Daily Israel Report
Show More

OpEds


Iran Rattles Saber at Google in Persian Gulf Dispute

Tehran will sue Google if it does not return the name 'Persian Gulf' to its maps; Google left the body unnamed.
By Gabe Kahn
First Publish: 5/18/2012, 3:10 AM

Ahmadinejad
Ahmadinejad
Reuters

Iran plans to sue Google over the Internet giant's decision to drop the name of the Persian Gulf on Google Maps.

Tehran's now-litigious mullahs issued their threat of legal action after the company's search engine left the body of water between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula nameless on its online map service.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said, "if Google does not restore the name of the Persian Gulf," it will face “serious damages.”

Mehmanparast told the Mehr news agency Thursday that Tehran has already warned Google of possible legal action.

The waterway is also shared by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain – the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – who call it the “Arabian Gulf.”

However, Google has also declined to label the contested body of water “Arabian Gulf,” or even “the Gulf,” saying it would hurt their credibility and credibility.

The company instead decided, perhaps as the biggest landmark on its maps, to leave the 250,000 square kilometers (97,000 square miles) body of water nameless.

Rising tensions between Iran and the GCC amid the Arab Spring uprisings has led the Gulf Arab states to move towards the formation of a diplomatic and military union that would serve as a strategic bullwark against Tehran's drive for hegemony over the region.