A week after the Islamic Republic Foreign Ministry warned Google that it will file a suit over the omission of the name “Persian Gulf” from Google Maps, Iran’s permanent representative to the United Nations has written to a Google executive, urging him to “correct their error.”
The Persian Gulf appears on Google Maps without a name, and this has drawn fire from Iranians all over the world, with numerous internet campaigns springing up in protest.
While the Persian Gulf appears on Google Maps with no name, on Google Earth the body of water is labelled with two names: Persian Gulf and Arabian Gulf.
Last week, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast condemned Google’s omission and accused the company of “playing games with the truth and the feelings of Iranian people.” He announced plans to file a suit against the company.
But this week’s letter, written by Iranian UN envoy Mohammad Khazai, is the Islamic Republic’s first official action on the matter.
Khazai writes in a letter to Google executive director Lawrence Page that the only internally recognized name for the body of water in the south of Iran is Persian Gulf.
He adds that the general expectation of professional organizations is that they remain impartial and he warns Google that the “dangerous approach” of trying to alter historical names can be used for political ends.
Khazai is referring to the fact that the Persian Gulf name can be seen on the oldest maps of the region, as well as the United Nation’s persistence in calling the body of water by that name.
Khazai urged Google to pay attention to this “thoroughly sensitive” issue and correct the naming error in its maps.