TEHRAN, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said on Thursday that he has brought back more than 3,500 clay tablets dating back to the era of the Achaemenid Empire of Persia (550s-330s BC) from the United States, according to the semi-official Tasnim news agency.
He made the remarks in an address to reporters upon his arrival in the Iranian capital of Tehran from a trip to New York, where he took part in the 78th session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly.
Raisi said the ancient tablets, which had been kept at the Institute for the Study of Ancient Cultures, West Asia and North Africa under the University of Chicago for the past 84 years, have been returned to Iran thanks to the efforts made by Iran's Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts and the country's permanent mission to the UN.
According to Tasnim, the number of returned tablets is 3,506.
The American institute was supposed to borrow the tablets for three years of study, but it took more than eight decades to return them to Iran, Raisi said.
The tablets, which are the country's cultural heritages, will be handed over to Iranian museums, Raisi said, noting that other tablets will also be given back to the country.
Heading a high-ranking delegation, Raisi arrived in New York on Monday.