Iranians urge UK embassy to stop harming Qolhak Garden
Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov. 9 /Trend/
Iranians staged popular demonstration before the UK embassy in Tehran on Wednesday to protest against cutting trees of a garden near the embassy, ISNA reported.
The marchers were carrying placards which read "There is no place for the old fox of colonialism in the Qolhak Garden" and "Death to Britain."
They also called for the UK embassy to stop cutting trees in the garden. It came after British embassy has started cutting trees to build property.
Reports say TV footage taken from homes in the Qolhak Garden's neighborhood show the UK embassy planning to build new properties in the garden.
Last week, Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf said the Executive Office of Tehran city has taken the case of the Qolhak Garden, which is still 'illegally' occupied by the British Embassy to court.
The Qolhak Garden case is not a political issue, Mr. Qalibaf stressed, adding that the matter concerns the violation of the law.
As for the recovery of the garden to the city, Mr. Qalibaf said he is not authorized to make such a decision. However, he said, the Iranian law specifies two points concerning the issue. First, any area where trees were illegally chopped down should be returned to the Executive Office and the Mayor may order to lay out a park there. Second, a violator should pay a penalty and plant trees ten times more than he/she chopped down.
Iran argues that the Qolhak Garden belonged to Iranian Qajar King Nassereddin Shah and that the British Council took possession of this garden by force.
Some 162 members of the Iranian Parliament wrote a letter in 2006 to the then speaker, Gholam Ali Haddad-Adel, demanding an investigation over the ownership of the Qolhak Garden.
The investigation team reported that the garden belongs to Iran completely.
A meeting was organized in July 2007 to address the ownership of the compound. However the British side did not attend.
Edited by T.Konyayeva.