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Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Iran censures Google Earth use of “Arabian Gulf”
Tehran Times Political Desk
TEHRAN – Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini on Monday criticized Google Earth for using the term “Arabian Gulf” on maps where a body of water, historically and contemporarily known as the Persian Gulf, is located.
“Raising such issues about a historically-documented and undeniable term is illegal,” Hosseini told the Mehr News Agency.
The Islamic Iran Participation Party also condemned the move, saying it will raise suspicion that Google Earth managers and experts are “knowingly or unknowingly” following certain power’s efforts to provoke conflict in the Persian Gulf region.
In a declaration released on Monday, the party described the action as insulting the intelligence of the international community.
It expressed surprise that Google Earth has repeated a previous mistake made by the National Geographic Society that enraged Iranians in 2004.
The NGC removed the term “Arabian Gulf”, which appeared under the name “Persian Gulf” in the eighth addition of Atlas of the World in 2004, after facing millions of protests from Iranians all over the world.
The Islamic Iran Participation Party expressed hope that Google Earth will revise its “questionable disregard of historic, political, and international documents and the United Nations directives on the name ‘Persian Gulf’”
Earlier, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) in a letter to the CEO of Google Inc. Eric Schmidt protested against “any misuse of accepted and accurate references” to the Persian Gulf.
“Several legal documents from the United Nations as well as the United States Board of Geographic Names confirm the legitimacy of the term (Persian Gulf), as do centuries of classical history, including a reference to the body of water by Greek geographer and astronomer Ptolemy as the Aquarius Persico.”
“The Persian Gulf has been known and recognized as such for more than 2,500 years. Agreement on this matter has been solidified by the signatures of all six bordering Arab countries on United Nations directives declaring this body of water to be the Persian Gulf,” the NIAC wrote