Iran threatens to sue Google over dropping Persian Gulf

Published: May 18, 2012

Legal action is threatened against Google for dropping the name Persian Gulf from its Google Maps.

DUBAI: Iran’s Foreign Ministry threatened on Thursday to take legal action against Google for dropping the name Persian Gulf from its Google Maps and leaving the waterway between Iran and Arab states nameless, state television reported.

“One of the seditionist acts taken as part of the soft war against the Iranian nation has been Google’s shameless act to drop the name ‘Persian Gulf’ which is … against historical documents,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast was quoted as saying.

“We have put on our agenda to make an official complaint against Google,” he said, according to state television.

Designation of the key waterway for global oil and gas supplies has long been a touchy issue among the countries bordering it – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Iraq and Iran.Iran says it is the Persian Gulf, the Arab states say it is the Arabian Gulf. Foreign language descriptions can offend either party if they use one name or the other, or sometimes if they avoid an adjective altogether.

Tension between Iran and US-allied Gulf Arab states has been high over Iran’s nuclear energy programme, which Gulf rulers fear will give Tehran a nuclear weapon.

Iran says its peaceful nuclear programme is aimed at generating electricity. Gulf Arabs also accuse Iran of fomenting unrest in Bahrain – a charge Iran and protesters deny. Tehran has lauded Arab uprisings in the region as an “Islamic awakening” against despotic rulers, saying they were influenced by its own 1979 Islamic revolution.

Most ordinary Iranians are sensitive about the name of the waterway, saying it has been historically called the ‘Persian Gulf’. Numerous pages on social media such as Facebook have been created and dedicated to the waterway. Iran threatened in 2010 to ban airlines from using its airspace if they referred to the Arabian instead of Persian Gulf.

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Reader Comments (3)

  • John B
    May 18, 2012 - 10:44AM

    Hmmm. Interesting developments.

    I say Persian gulf is the right way to go. Persians were there even before modern day Iran and Shia and the Iranian ancestors sailed and ruled the gulf when the Arabs were nomads. Romans and Indians and Chinese also referred that gulf in reference to Persians only.

    Any consolation to the Arabs: you have the Arabian sea, Persians have only the gulf !

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  • iranian
    May 18, 2012 - 12:55PM

    Persian Gulf will remain Persian Gulf forever

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  • s.k.sajadian
    May 21, 2012 - 10:22PM

    Can your site become nameless?
    Can you become nameless?
    Can your place of birth or your country become nameless?
    With this nasty & senseless job that Google has done, it is not only insulting & disrespecting about 80 millions of Iranian, but also ignored the history’s truth as well. Before this event, we had very good impression of Google, but now we are totally, heartily & deeply hurt, disappointed & disgusted with this site. Hope Google will soon be remorseful for this intentionally committed mistake and do apologized from all Iranian, so that it may be able to convert this 80 million Iranians enemies to friends again. Just keep in mind that you can not withhold the evergreen an ancient fact or ignore the truth & history ‘s evidence from the people for the propose of self interests & dirty politics.
    And remember that Persian Gulf is always & for ever & ever & ever …remains Persian Gulf & nobody is allowed to ignore the Persian Gulf or make it nameless. Long live Iran & The Persian Gulf
    From Dr. s.k.sajadian, Tehran, Iran

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