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Outcry against distortion of Persian Gulf continues

Tehran, Dec 4, IRNA -- The Islamic Labor and Iran Pak parties have joined a chorus of protest against the distortion of the Persian Gulf after National Geographic used a fictitious name in an atlas recently published by the US magazine.

Image Courtesy NASA Visible Earth

The Islamic Labor Party, in a statement a copy of which was faxed to IRNA Saturday, also lashed out at the Arabic satellite television Al-Jazeera for running an animation on its website, ridiculing Iranian reaction to the fracas.

The party condemned what it called 'the transgressive and illogical move of the European and American countries as well as the British-Zionist outfit of Al-Jazeera'.

"The Westerners have never considered the interests of Muslims and the regional people with goodwill, and its presence in the region has always followed either direct or indirect call of the Zionists or based on their own political and economic ends," it said.

Iran has pledged to follow up through legal channels distortion of Persian Gulf, a name internationally attributed to the waters on its southern shores.

Culture Ministry says it has banned the magazine's reporters as well as its sales in Iran after it also included the 'Arabian Gulf' name in parentheses on its map, while referring to the Persian Gulf.

"The Iranian government has always defended the historical identity of the Persian Gulf and invention of new names for historical places will never resolve anyone's problem," Government spokesman Abdollah Ramezanzadeh said recently.

"The government has given necessary warnings in this regard and the issue is legally being followed up," he said.

National Geographic's website has reportedly been flooded with strong letters of objections from Iranian Diaspora in the United States.

According to news reports, they have demanded the organization to correct its mistake.

This is not the first time that certain outfits and individuals use the fictitious name for the Persian Gulf, although it has gone as it stands in the United Nations' documents.

Sadeq Ziba-Kalam, a professor of political science at Tehran University said, "The basic point is that such measures are considered by many Iranians as a kind of transgression into the country's history, civilization and culture."

Director General for the Iranian Culture Ministry's Foreign Media Department Mohammad Hossein Khoshvaqt told IRNA recently that as a reaction, the country was banning National Geographic's reporters from entering Iran and the magazine's sale in the country.

He hoped the organization would take steps to correct the name as soon as possible.

... Payvand News - 12/4/04 ... --

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