A senior Iranian legislator said that Tehran is confident that the papers presented by the British embassy to prove its ownership of the Qolhak Garden in Northern Tehran are not legal and authentic and the government is now required to reclaim the orchid.
"During the two-hour meeting of the (Parliament's National Demands) committee, title deed that Britain claims to have received for the Qolhak Garden in 1930 was studied attentively and it was concluded that the necessary legal stages have not been taken at that time and the issued ownership certificate is illegal and unauthentic," Head of the parliament's National Demands Committee Seyed Hossein Naqavi Hosseini said on Monday.
He said that the issue of Tehran municipality's lawsuit against the British embassy for cutting hundreds of trees in Qolhak garden was also studied and supported during the meeting.
Naqavi Hosseini underlined that the committee will next file a lawsuit to retake the garden from the British government.
Tehran and the British embassy have been in quarrel over the ownership of the garden for years. Iran has called on the British mission to return the Qolhak Garden which has been possessed illegally since the Qajar Dynasty.
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.
After years of debates, Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf eventually initiated a lawsuit against the embassy over the ownership of the Qolhak Garden late last month.
"I order my colleagues in the Tehran municipality to send the British embassy's transgression case on Qolhak Garden to the Judiciary as soon as possible," Qalibaf said in a meeting with a number of Tehran municipality directors in October.
After his remarks, Chairman of Tehran's city council Mehdi Chamran voiced support for Qalibaf's decision for suing the British embassy.
The row between the two sides escalated specially after the British cut and burnt over 340 trees in the Garden.
Tehran municipality told FNA in November that the municipality has filed a complaint with the judiciary over the case and meantime informed the British embassy that it has been fined for cutting trees in the orchid.
According to the national laws, the embassy should now pay a 1.6-billion-Rial (approximately USD1.25mln) fine for cutting the trees and the garden should be confiscated in the interest of the people.