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Persian Gulf Online Sends Letter to Reader's Digest

In its recent World Atlas, Reader's Digest has replaced the Persian Gulf with a bogus term "the Gulf". The following is the letter that Persian Gulf Online (PGO) sent to Reader's Digest's headquarters in Sydney and New York to protest the matter.

Reader's Digest World Atlas and misnaming of the Persian Gulf re: Persian Gulf Online

It appears that the new edition of the Reader's Digest World Atlas has the historically recognized name of the Persian Gulf ambiguously labeled as simply 'the Gulf'. The Persian Gulf has been known under this name since the 6th century BC.

Significant steps in modern juncture have been taken by legislative international bodies such as the United Nations to legally reaffirm the name on various records as the Persian Gulf. This was specifically resolved by two significant announcements -- The first announcement was made through the document UNAD, 311/Gen on March 5, 1971, and the second was UNLA 45.8.2 section C, on August 10, 1984.

Whereas we could only hope for your inadvertent, nonetheless, negligent oversight for such an error, we request that you immediately edit the mistake made in all your printed editions of Reader's Digest World Atlases and other publications from your organization by correctly labeling the body of water south of the nation of Iran and north of the Arabian Peninsula as the Persian Gulf.

The significance on a social and political scale for an educational organization of your magnitude to use the correct term when referring to the Persian Gulf and its surrounding regions in all your printed or online or otherwise editions, whether imported from other sources or produced by one of Reader's Digest's own writers/editors/cartographers is of paramount importance.

As we do not believe the commission of such an act and or omission to act could have been committed under a misapprehension, should you on the alternate ignore the courteous request being made in the contents of this statement, in the interests of full disclosure, our organization may take the following course/s of action as fitting:

i) worldwide petition through electronic and otherwise means, to ban/boycott the sale and or purchase of all Reader's Digest Atlases and all other publications in print and or revoking of membership and or purchasing memberships prospectively;
 ii) written request to the Iranian Cultural Heritage Organization (ICHO) for further advise and request for pursuing other avenues, which may include national banning of all Reader's Digests publications in print or electronic or otherwise format throughout all Iranian territories and those companies and organizations affiliated with the ICHO;
 iii) organizing academic conferences to decipher possible ulterior motives on the part of Reader's Digest for the illegal use of geographical nomenclature;
iv) recommending to academic, scholarly and literally peers to refrain from submitting their work to Reader's Digest. 

You may have heard of recent actions taken against National Geographic, another organization in a similar category as that of yours. In that matter the National Geographic in its eighth edition world atlas had deliberately misnamed the historically significant body of water, the Persian Gulf, and it subsequently faced a total ban on all forms of commercial dealings within all Iranian territories and a worldwide sale restriction by all lovers of history and patrons of unbiased education.

Whilst the National Geographic did incur losses into the millions of dollars and which eventually issued a public apology and corrected its mistake in its new atlases, which all now bear the correct name the Persian Gulf, we believe that the initial actions for which we have no reason to believe were motivated by anything other than financial commitments by certain groups who advocate historical revisionism, may have been averted by the National Geographic simply exercising due diligence and professionalism.

Similarly we expect the same sort of professionalism and care from Reader's Digest to adhere to the form of conduct one has come to expect from its dedicated professional team of employees over the years.

We trust that this line of correspondence which will also be simultaneously forwarded to your New York head office, contains within it a sense of the reality at stake, and is able to encapsulate the feelings and the concerns of a larger community of people who have come to expect a high standard of service and dedication from Reader's Digest and its publications.

In aiding your decision-making process we are enclosing the following as references:

United Nations Cartographic/Maps,

United States of America Department of State,

Please also note that as your office also operates from the United Kingdom, that Her Majesties Government's position is that it accepts the advice of the permanent committee on Geographical Names for Official British Use that the correct term for the body of water between Iran and Saudi Arabia is the Persian Gulf (please visit our website at  on how to obtain a copy of letter from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London to our MP in the House of Commons).

Once again we urge you to change the labeling on your World Atlas and all your future maps to read the Persian Gulf and to abstain in the future from indulging in the type of historical revisionism mentioned above.


Persian Gulf Online Organization


... Payvand News - 12/29/06 ... --

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