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A Letter to Google: It's Persian Gulf

By Persian Gulf Online

Persian Gulf Online sent the following note to Google, Inc. CEO Dr. Eric E. Schmidt. We encourage all friends of Iran send a similar friendly letter of complaint to Google.

25 February 2008

Dr. Eric E. Schmidt, CEO
Google Inc
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043

Dear Dr. Schmitt,

It has come to our attention that Google is including "Arabian Gulf" as a synonym or alternative term for the Persian Gulf on its Google Earth maps.

Please note that "Arabian Gulf" was once used as a reference to what is known today as the Red Sea [1] which renders its reintroduction as a variant for the Persian Gulf even more misleading. Historically, the accuracy of the term Persian Gulf is beyond dispute. Several legal documents from the United Nations as well as the United States Board of Geographic Names confirm its legitimacy, 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. Agreements have also been solidified by the signatures of all six bordering Arab countries on United Nations directives declaring the name of this body of water as the Persian Gulf.

Applications of false and divisive references made to the Persian Gulf were first observed approximately 50 years ago, and formed part of a pan-Arab strategy aimed at diminishing the status of non-Arab influences in the Middle East. Iran and Israel, being non-Arab states, were the obvious target of this practice within the movement, initially attributed to and adopted by former Egyptian President and strongman Gamal Abdel Nasser, later promulgated and employed by the deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Today, it is frequently used as a tool of destabilization by unsavory radicals and militants.

We do not presume that by alluding to the Persian Gulf with a secondary reference, your intentions mirror those of the aforementioned parties but remain concerned that your action will be misconstrued by your website visitors as political in nature as no legal or geographically technical grounds exist for the inclusion of such terminology.

Given the fact that Google Earth is designed as a learning tool, its accuracy is of the utmost importance. We reiterate and reaffirm our position that the term "Arabian Gulf" is not only incorrect due to its past usage as a synonym for the Red Sea, but that its use will be perceived as reflective of your alignment with revisionist elements intent upon using the renaming of the Persian Gulf as a divisive political tool.

It is for these reasons that we, along with thousands of others expressing their discontent via this online petition [2], ask that Google avoid making such political statements and protect its reputation as an unbiased source of information by promptly correcting this mistake.

Sincerely yours,

Persian Gulf Online Organization

[1] Arabia, Red Sea & Persian Gulf [G. Child], Bellin, c. 1752, Rare Maps & Books
[2] Petition Online:
Immediate and unconditional deletion of "Arabian Gulf" from Google Earth

... Payvand News - 02/28/08 ... --

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