Ahmadinejad hails Cyrus Cylinder
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad lauds the Cyrus Cylinder as the embodiment of human values and a cultural heritage for all humanity, Press TV reported.
Speaking at a ceremony held on Sunday to unveil the Cyrus Cylinder in Tehran, Ahmadinejad said the artifact has been an invaluable yardstick to evaluate the performance of politicians and rulers throughout history.
The Achaemenid relic, on loan from the British Museum, will be displayed at Iran's National Museum for the first time in the past 40 years.
The cylinder was escorted by a delegation headed by the British Museum keeper of the Middle East collections, John Curtis, to the exhibition site where it will be showcased for the next four months.
One of the principles stipulated in the historical piece is that it repudiates war as a means to sustain one's rule, the president said.
The Cylinder reads that everyone is entitled to freedom of thought and choice and all individuals should pay respect to one another, he added.
The historical charter also underscores the necessity of fighting oppression, defending the oppressed, respecting human dignity, and recognizing human rights, the president continued.
Ahmadinejad emphasized that the Cyrus Cylinder bears testimony to the fact that the Iranian nation has always been the flag-bearer of justice, devotion and human values throughout history.
"Talking about Iran is not talking about a geographical entity or race," Ahmadinejad said, adding, "Talking about Iran is tantamount to talking about culture, human values, justice, love and sacrifice."
The Cyrus Cylinder, which is considered the world's first charter of human rights, is inscribed in Babylonian cuneiform with an account by Cyrus II, king of Persia (559-530 BCE).