“The Americans called on Thursday and said, ‘We have a gift for you’. Then they brought the chalice, escorted and in a ceremonial manner and announced: This is our gift to the Iranian nation,” Rouhani said.
The president added, “We are glad that we have brought back this artifact with us to Iran and the fact that it is now in Iran. This is a precious historical work that is a sign of the ancient Iranian civilization.”
A 2700 year-old silver chalice may be a new token of friendship between the United States and Iran, at least that's the way Iran's cultural heritage chief sees it, reported the CNN on Friday
The piece was gathering dust in a US customs warehouse for years. Customs officials would say they could not return it to Iran until relations between Washington and Tehran were normalized.
The silver drinking cup, cast in the shape of a winged griffin, was looted from a cave in Iran and seized by US customs officials a decade ago.
"It is considered the premier griffin of antiquity, a gift of the Iranian people to the world, and the United States is pleased to return it to the people of Iran," the US State Department said.