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Oxford University Press Apologizes to Iran for Persian Gulf Misnomer

Source: Fars News Agency

TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- The Oxford University Press in a letter extended an apology to Tehran for its mistaken use of a false name to refer to 'the Persian Gulf' in its Bright Star Pupil's Book 4, stressing that any reference will be deleted in future prints.

The Oxford University Press said its editorial board agreed that reference to the so-called Arabian Gulf, instead of the correct name Persian Gulf, needed to be removed from its Bright Star Pupil's Book 4 and that it will ensure any reference is deleted in future prints.

"On behalf of Oxford University Press, I would like to apologize for the inaccuracy in this usage," Group Communications Director Anna Baldwin said.

"Oxford University Press strives towards excellence in scholarship and accuracy in all our facts," Baldwin told Cultural Counselor of the Iranian Embassy in London in a letter.

She said that OUP's in-house editorial guidelines on appropriate nomenclature were already correct about the accuracy of Persian Gulf, but that she "ensure the guidelines are re-circulated to avoid such an error re-occurring."

The apology comes after Iranian Cultural Counselor in London Ali Mohammad Helmi wrote to express his surprise and disappointment about the inaccuracy to OUP chief executive Nigel Portwood.

"My disappointment is confounded by the fact that this mistake is in direct contradiction with the very concept of a universal institution that Oxford University Press has strived to embody throughout its history," Helmi said.

He said that OUP, which has offices in more than 50 countries, had a well-renowned reputation "built upon adhering to the basic principles of disseminating accurate and unbiased historical facts to the public, especially in this case to young children."

The Persian Gulf was the historical name of the waterway "used over two millenniums ago by the ancient Greeks as Sinus Persicus as recorded by renowned Greek historians/geographers and then by the Romans as Mare Persicum", Helmi reminded OUP.

While historical documents show that the waterway has always been referred to as the 'Persian Gulf', certain countries deliberately or mistakenly remove the word 'Persian' from the name of the waterway.

Iran designated April 30 as the National Persian Gulf Day to highlight the fact that the waterway has been referred to by historians and ancient texts as 'Persian' since the Achaemenid Empire was established in what is now modern day Iran.

In July 2009, archeological excavations in the Iranian port city of Siraf yielded new evidence confirming the antiquity of the Persian Gulf title.

The Iranian archeologists discovered Sassanid and early-Islamic residential strata as well as a number of intact amphoras used in sea trade during the Parthian, Abbasid and early Islamic eras, all referring to the waterway as the Persian Gulf.

... Payvand News - 01/07/11 ... --

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