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Games or no games, Persian Gulf is its eternal name

TEHRAN, Apr. 29 (Mehr News Agency) -- Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami stated on Wednesday that the name of the Persian Gulf can never be changed. "The Persian Gulf's name has been deeply ingrained in the culture of every Iranian and is unalterable," he said on the sidelines of the seminar on the Persian Gulf.

The one-day seminar was organized by the Center for the Great Islamic Encyclopedia to unveil the Persian Gulf encyclopedia.

A historical map of Persian Gulf

He added, "According to the historical documents... and international law, there is no doubt that the Persian Gulf is the Persian Gulf and no one can change this historical fact."

Khatami also criticized the "politically motivated" attempts to confine the Islamic culture to Arab civilization, saying Iranians' efforts to enhance Islamic culture can not be denied.

"There is no doubt about the status of Iran in Islamic civilization and culture... From this viewpoint, our nation believes it has an indisputable right to play a role in important global developments."

Iran insists on Persian Gulf, even if Islamic games are cancelled

Ali Akbar Velayati, the foreign policy adviser to the Supreme Leader, emphasized that Iran should insist on the use of the name Persian Gulf in the brochures and on the medals of the 2009 Islamic Solidarity Games, which Iran is scheduled to host, even if the event has to be cancelled.

"The Persian Gulf and its name are so important that we should stand firm on our position and emphasize that its name is the Persian Gulf, even if some countries do not take part in the games or it is cancelled altogether," he said.

There are a number of unconfirmed reports that Tehran decided to cancel the second Islamic Solidarity Games after Saudi Arabia asked Iran to remove "Persian Gulf" from the games' medals and brochures.

Islamic Solidarity Sports Federation Secretary General Saleh Gazdar said in Tehran that Arab states have said they will only participate in the event if the term Persian Gulf is replaced with the Arabian Gulf or the Gulf, Press TV reported.

Velayati stated that Britain is the source of this tension.

"For the first time, an illegitimate term was used in place of the Persian Gulf by a British broker in a book. Commenting on why he used such a term, he wrote that it was because the inhabitants of the Persian Gulf are Arab... he has (even) entitled the book with such a name."

He also noted that Britain has utilized such names to create schisms in the region.

Iran will never back down from its position

Ali Akbar Nateq Nouri of the Society of Combatant Clerics pointed out that Iran will never back down from its position on the name of the Persian Gulf.

"Our stance is exactly what was expressed at this seminar. In fact, this name (the Persian Gulf) has been deeply ingrained into Iranians' identity," he stated.

He went on to say that the name will never be changed, even if the Islamic Solidarity Games are cancelled.

"All the historical and legal documents prove this fact. The name of the Persian Gulf can never be changed by any means," Nateq Nouri added.

Iranians will never back down from their stance on the Persian Gulf's authentic name, he asserted.

... Payvand News - 04/30/09 ... --

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