Tehran, Dec 19, IRNA -- An exhibition of Persian Gulf historical maps opened here on Sunday in the presence of Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi.
Historical maps dating back centuries before the birth of Christ which all carry the name "Persian Gulf" in reference to the waters off Iran's southern coast are on display in the exhibition, which was organized by the Foreign Ministry's Documentation Center.
The Iranian foreign minister and a group of ambassadors of the Persian Gulf's littoral states to Tehran viewed the exhibits Sunday morning.
Kharrazi delivered a speech at the exhibition's opening ceremony.
The exhibition will run until December 22.
Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said that the word "Persian" should never be omitted when referring to the waters off the country's southern coast because the name is based on history.
Making the remark Sunday while talking to reporters on the sidelines of an exhibition of historical maps of the Persian Gulf, he referred to an atlas published by the National Geographic Society in which the Persian Gulf was called the Arabian Gulf. He said this would in no way be accepted to refer to the sea.
The foreign minister also noted that the magazine misnomer was in fact an attempt to misinterpret history and was probably had a material or political motivation.
Stressing that no historical fact would ever be changed by such acts, he said all maps that have been put on display in the ongoing exhibition refer to the strip of water off Iran's southern coast as the "Persian Gulf".
In reply to a question on the condition of Iranian pilgrims in Iraqi prisons, he said Iran was currently engaged in talks with Iraqi officials on the issue to get these detainees free.
Kharrazi noted that the Iranian charge d'affaires in Baghdad, during a meeting with the Iraqi prime minister's deputy two ago, called for efforts to secure the speedy release of the detained pilgrims which he said had been met with a promise by the official to act favorably on the request.
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