IAA Monthly Lecture:

Cyrus Cylinder

First Declaration of Human Rights
Merely Propaganda?

Thursday, December 13, 2007, 7:00 p.m.

By: Hossein Badamchi, LLB., LLM.

PhD Candidate, Ancient Law at Johns Hopkins University


Cyrus cylinder is a document from the time of Cyrus, the great Persian king in sixth century BC. Some scholars have described the first declaration of Human Rights; some others call it pure propaganda. He will read the document and discuss its contents in his lecture. The Cyrus cylinder is a fragmentary clay cylinder with an Akkadian inscription of thirty-five lines discovered in a foundation deposit by A. H. Rassam during his excavations at the site of Marduk temple in Babylon in 1879. P. R. Berger identified a second fragment containing lines 36-45, in the Babylonian collection at Yale University. The total inscription, though incomplete at the end, consist of forty-five lines, the first three almost entirely broken away.

The text contains an account of Cyrus’ conquest of Babylon in 539 B.C., beginning with a narrative by the Babylonian god Marduk of the crimes of Nabonidus, the last Chaldean king( lines 4-8). Then follows an account of Marduk’s search for a righteous king; his appointment of Cyrus to rule the entire world, and his causing Babylon to fall without a battle (9-19). Cyrus continues in the first person, giving his titles and genealogy (lines 20-22) and declaring that he has guaranteed the peace of the country (lines 22-26). For this achievement, he and his son Cambyses received the blessing of Marduk (lines 26-30).

He describes his restoration of the cult, which had been neglected during the reign of Nabunidus, and his permission to the exiled people to return to their homeland (lines 30-36). Finally, the king records his restoration of the defenses of Babylon( lines 36- 43) and reports that in the course of the work he saw an inscription of Ashurbanipal ( lines 43-45; cf. Kuhrt 1983, pp. 85-86).

About the Lecturer:

Mr. Badamchi is currently a PhD candidate at Johns Hopkins University.  He is studying “Ancient Law” with Professor Raymond Westbrook. He has also graduated from Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, in law. He has published two books on “Ancient Law” in Iran:

 “The Origins of Legislation”, Tarhe No. 2003 

“A History of Ancient Near Eastern Criminal Law”, SAMT 2004


Montgomery Community College (Rockville Campus)- Student Services Building (SV), Faculty and Staff Lounge

Get Directions, Bulding Location on Campus

Dues: $15 per person, $5 for students (including dinner)

IAA Monthly Lecture:

“Managing Iran’s Gasoline Supply and Demand”  

Thursday Sep. 13, 2007, 7:30 p.m. 

Our coming session will be held in the format of a discussion panel. Three distinguished experts in the field of “Oil and Natural Gas” are invited and each lecturer will open discussion ground with a short speech on the following topics: 


Historical Background and Outlook
Mr. Mohsen Shirazi 

Economics and Pricing
Dr. Cyrus Tahmassebi 

Opportunities and Challenges
Mr. Hossein Ebneyousef

Location: Tony Lin’s Kitchen 12015 Rockville Pike # G
Rockville, MD 20852
(301) 468-5858

Get directions  
Dues: $15 per person, $5 for students (including dinner)

If you plan to attend please send an email to monthlylecture@iaa-dc.org for reservation.

About the Guest Speakers: 

Mr. Mohsen Shirazi:
Mr. Mohsen Shirazi has over 40 years of experience in the international oil and gas industries in management, planning, project development, engineering, procurement; gas sales contract negotiations, project economics, and corporate restructuring. He got his B.S in Petroleum Engineering from Abadan Institute of Technology, Iran, in 1956.      He has 12 years of experience with the World Bank identifying and appraising oil and gas projects as well as formulating energy sector policy for over 20 countries with emerging economy. Formerly Director of Frontier Projects for the Gas and Gas Liquids Group at Phillips Petroleum Company (1979-1983).  Along with a number of key positions in the industry that he held in Iran, served as a Member of the Board and Managing Director of the National Iranian Gas Company (1966-1979). Served as a Chairman of the Gas Committee of OPEC (1975-1977) and as a member of the Council of the International Gas Union represented Iran (1970-1978) and World Bank (1983-1987).

Dr. Cyrus Tahmassebi:
Dr. Cyrus Tahmassebi received his B.S. and M.S. from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah and his Ph.D. from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.  He has served as a member of the National Academy of Science’s Workshop on the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the U.S. Congress’ Office of Technology Assessments Workshop on the U.S. Oil Production — The Effect of Low Oil Prices, the Advisory Committee of the Johns Hopkins University International Energy and Environment Program, and the Advisory Committee of Energy and Environmental Policy Center at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. 
Currently, Dr. Tahmassebi is the President of Energy Trends, Inc. and prior to this, he was the Chief Economist and Director of Market Research for Ashland, Inc.  During his fifteen-year tenure with Ashland
, Dr. Tahmassebi gained international recognition for his oil market forecasts and views on energy-related issues.  
Dr. Tahmassebi has a broad-based experience in international oil and natural gas markets. During his 16 years of experience with the National Iranian Oil Company and National Iranian Gas Company, Dr. Tahmassebi was responsible for the economic/feasibility study of multi-billion dollar LNG and pipeline gas export. He also represented Iran in OPEC‘s Gas Committee. 

Hossein Ebneyousef:
Mr. Ebneyousef holds BS and MS degrees in petroleum engineering from Louisiana State University (LSU) and University of Southern California (USC), respectively. 
Since 1988, Mr. Ebneyousef has been the President of International Petroleum Enterprises where he manages the Company’s worldwide consulting services and technical assistance on oil and natural gas development opportunities in the Middle East, North Africa and the Caspian Sea region. Previously he worked for Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO) for 14 years — 6 years with ARCO International, on projects in the Middle East; 6 years with ARCO Oil & Gas, on evaluating oil and gas producing properties for time rating of reserves and coordination of legal, geological, engineering, operation and business evaluation efforts towards acquisition or sales of oil and gas properties; and 2 years with ARCO’s Corporate Planning, on identification and analyses of critical global oil-related issues and response strategies.  

IAA Monthly Lecture:

MD Road Safety Audit Program

Wednesday Aug 08, 2007, 7:30 p.m.

By: Morteza Tadayon



In 2005, the State of Maryland made a long-term commitment to implement a formal Road Safety Audits (RSA) program. The primary objective of this road safety audits program is to reduce the frequency and severity of crashes throughout the state in all modes of transportation. The RSA program is a proactive innovative approach, tailored to improve the planning and engineering design process for safer new and existing roadways. One of the greatest benefits of this program is the partnership of state and local governments and Community Safety Advocates and focus on road safety.
Since 2005, the state has conducted professional training for 50 state and local jurisdictions employees, with a range of disciplines such as traffic engineering, highway and civil engineering design, maintenance and construction, traffic safety, project planning, local police and community safety coordinators. The state developed its first RSA Manual in 2006, which outlined a formal process for road safety audits including roles and responsibilities, project selection, RSA Guidelines, and RSA Checklists. Subsequently, this new program kicked-off with several new projects to test the new process and streamline the guidelines.

About the Lecturer:

Morteza Tadayon has been with the Maryland State Highway Administration for the past 20 years. He has spent most of his career as a Transportation Engineer with the Office of Traffic and Safety (OOTS) and since July 2006, he has been leading the MDSHA’s Travel Demand Forecasting Section, Office of Planning and Preliminary Engineering (OPPE). During his tenure with SHA, he managed the development of traffic design standards and manuals for OOTS, primarily for rumble strips, signing and pavement markings, signals and lighting. For many years, Morteza had a vision that traffic control design should be interactive and automated, and SHA should be the beneficiary of the cost savings. His vision for design automation became a reality in 2001 when he introduced the concept of Integrated Design System (IDS). For the past four years, he spent tireless hours co-managing the development of this effort with his SHA peers. IDS is now a process that is implemented in all SHA design divisions. Morteza earned a Bachelors and a Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Louisville, Kentucky and also is a graduate of the SHA Advanced Leadership Program class of 2004, known as ALP. As one of SHA’s Business plan strategists, Morteza has led the effort in developing and overseeing the guidelines for Road Safety Audit (RSA) in Maryland.

Fee: $15 per person, $5 for students (including dinner)

Location: Tony Lin’s Kitchen

12015 Rockville Pike # G
Rockville, MD 20852
(301) 468-5858

Get directions

* Please email your comments or suggestions regarding the IAA monthly lectures to: monthlylecture@iaa-dc.org *