Zarif questions U.S. military in Iran’s ‘backyard’

August 3, 2018 - 20:50

TEHRAN – In a tweet on Thursday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Thursday criticized the presence of U.S. military forces in the Persian Gulf and questioned why U.S. forces are “in Iran’s backyard” some 7,000 miles away from home. 

Zarif also slammed the U.S. Navy for using the fictitious name of "the Arabian Gulf" to refer to the Persian Gulf.

Referring to the historical background of the name Persian Gulf, Zarif said the waterway has been called by this name for millennia.

“U.S. Navy can’t seem to find its way around our waters,” Zarif tweeted. "Perhaps because it hasn’t figured out its name: Persian Gulf, as it's been called for 2,000 yrs longer than U.S. has existed. Or maybe it doesn't know what it's doing in our backyard, 7,000 miles from home.”

Zarif's remarks came shortly after chief spokesman for U.S. Central Command William Urban used the fabricated "Arabian Gulf” during an interview with the CNN.

Iran has designated April 30 as National Persian Gulf Day to highlight the fact that the waterway has been referred to by historians and ancient texts as "Persian" since the Achaemenid Empire was established in what is now modern day Iran.

While historical documents show that the waterway has always been referred to as the “Persian Gulf,” certain Arab states and their allies have recently mounted efforts to remove “Persian” from the name of the strategic waterway.