• 15 May 2008
  • Posted By Caroline Tarpey
  • US-Iran War

In Chicago City Council yesterday, the vote on the resolution against war with Iran was deferred one month until the next council meeting (full resolution text here).

Under a procedural regulation in the Chicago City Council, two aldermen can defer a vote until the next council meeting, but they may only defer it once. According to Robert Naiman, Just Foreign Policy senior policy analyst who has been tracking the proceedings, Alderman Stone was one of the aldermen responsible for its deferral today.

“We already knew he was opposed to it,” Naiman said, referencing Stone’s stated disapproval of the resolution at the Human Relations Committee hearing Tuesday. Alderman Stone joined with Alderman James Balcer to defer the vote at the behest of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, who expressed his belief that the resolution might negatively affect Illinois presidential hopeful Barack Obama’s campaign.

If the resolution is amended in committee before the next City Council meeting, it may be considered a new resolution by the City Council, meaning it could be deferred again. Otherwise, it must come to a vote at the June 11 council meeting.

Call your alderman about this important vote and express your support for the current version of the resolution (click here for contact information).

The Chicago City Council previously passed a resolution opposing the ongoing war with Iraq, but the aldermen opposing the resolution against war with Iran, a minority in the City Council, have expressed that to preclude a potential war is a more sensitive subject.

Obviously, the Chicago City Council has no tangible ability to formulate foreign policy. Nonetheless, about ten US cities have already passed resolutions similar to the one that stalled in Chicago yesterday. This resolution is an opportunity for Chicago citizens to add their collective voice to the ever-increasing volume of the cry to avoid war and seek peace in US-Iran relations.

Posted By Caroline Tarpey

    4 Responses to “Critical Vote Deferred on Resolution Opposing War with Iran”

  1. ctarpey says:

    The resolution was deferred, partly because Mayor Daley was concerned about the political consequences for Obama, but Obama is already on record supporting dialogue with Iran. How critical will resolutions like this become in the ongoing struggle against war with Iran?

  2. […] city of Chicago looks as if it may pass a resolution opposing a war with Iran (though there is some manoeuvring to block the resolution in case it damages the Democratic nominee).  Scott Ritter has been asked to witness it and has […]

  3. […] city of Chicago looks as if it may pass a resolution opposing a war with Iran (though there is some manoeuvring to block the resolution in case it damages the Democratic nominee). Scott Ritter has been asked to witness it and has […]

  4. Thinking Dove says:

    Of Course, Iran working towards Nuclear weapons.

    Can you blame them for it? Two national governments on their borders have been overthrown. Israel has threatened them with air strikes…

    A Nuclear Weapon is a defensive weapon.

    Ever notice that North Korea and Pakistan can resist the United States,,, What do they have in common?
    They are both Nuclear Powers.

    It is simple bigotry that Iran is not being allowed to develop atomic weapons. Why shouldn’t an Islamic hereditary theocracy be allowed to build I.C.B.M.s?

    A nuclear middle-east will be a peaceful middle-east because of Mutually assured destruction. Mutually assured destruction kept the peace between the United States and the Soviet Union for decades.

    Atomic bombs are defensive weapons because they make victory impossible for anyone.

    Nuclear proliferation is going to happen sooner or later any way.
    Technology always spreads. Gunpowder was invented by the Chinese, but now everyone has it. Even the most isolated illiterate tribesman carrys an assualt rifle when he goes to war.

    In the future, every Mullah, Latin American Generalismo, and African Warlord will have the ability to hurl nuclear weapons at one another. But, they will also be threatened with the same thing coming back at them. War shall become obsolete and peace shall prevail.

    Support Iran, Support Nuclear Proliferation, Support World Peace.

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Sign the Petition


7,350 signatures

Tell Google: Stop playing Persian Gulf name games!

May 14, 2012
Larry Page
Chief Executive Officer
Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, California 94043

Dear Mr. Page:

It has come to our attention that Google has begun omitting the title of the Persian Gulf from its Google Maps application. This is a disconcerting development given the undisputed historic and geographic precedent of the name Persian Gulf, and the more recent history of opening up the name to political, ethnic, and territorial disputes. However unintentionally, in adopting this practice, Google is participating in a dangerous effort to foment tensions and ethnic divisions in the Middle East by politicizing the region’s geographic nomenclature. Members of the Iranian-American community are overwhelmingly opposed to such efforts, particularly at a time when regional tensions already have been pushed to the brink and threaten to spill over into conflict. As the largest grassroots organization in the Iranian-American community, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) calls on Google to not allow its products to become propaganda tools and to immediately reinstate the historically accurate, apolitical title of “Persian Gulf” in all of its informational products, including Google Maps.

Historically, the name “Persian Gulf” is undisputed. The Greek geographer and astronomer Ptolemy referencing in his writings the “Aquarius Persico.” The Romans referred to the "Mare Persicum." The Arabs historically call the body of water, "Bahr al-Farsia." The legal precedent of this nomenclature is also indisputable, with both the United Nations and the United States Board of Geographic Names confirming the sole legitimacy of the term “Persian Gulf.” Agreement on this matter has also been codified by the signatures of all six bordering Arab countries on United Nations directives declaring this body of water to be the Persian Gulf.

But in the past century, and particularly at times of escalating tensions, there have been efforts to exploit the name of the Persian Gulf as a political tool to foment ethnic division. From colonial interests to Arab interests to Iranian interests, the opening of debate regarding the name of the Persian Gulf has been a recent phenomenon that has been exploited for political gain by all sides. Google should not enable these politicized efforts.

In the 1930s, British adviser to Bahrain Sir Charles Belgrave proposed to rename the Persian Gulf, “Arabian Gulf,” a proposal that was rejected by the British Colonial and Foreign offices. Two decades later, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company resurrected the term during its dispute with Mohammad Mossadegh, the Iranian Prime Minister whose battle with British oil interests would end in a U.S.-sponsored coup d'état that continues to haunt U.S.-Iran relations. In the 1960s, the title “Arabian Gulf” became central to propaganda efforts during the Pan-Arabism era aimed at exploiting ethnic divisions in the region to unite Arabs against non-Arabs, namely Iranians and Israelis. The term was later employed by Saddam Hussein to justify his aims at territorial expansion. Osama Bin Laden even adopted the phrase in an attempt to rally Arab populations by emphasizing ethnic rivalries in the Middle East.

We have serious concerns that Google is now playing into these efforts of geographic politicization. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Google has stirred controversy on this topic. In 2008, Google Earth began including the term “Arabian Gulf” in addition to Persian Gulf as the name for the body of water. NIAC and others called on you then to stop using this ethnically divisive propaganda term, but to no avail. Instead of following the example of organizations like the National Geographic Society, which in 2004 used term “Arabian Gulf” in its maps but recognized the error and corrected it, Google has apparently decided to allow its informational products to become politicized.

Google should rectify this situation and immediately include the proper name for the Persian Gulf in Google Maps and all of its informational products. The exclusion of the title of the Persian Gulf diminishes your applications as informational tools, and raises questions about the integrity and accuracy of information provided by Google.

We strongly urge you to stay true to Google’s mission – “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” – without distorting or politicizing that information. We look forward to an explanation from you regarding the recent removal of the Persian Gulf name from Google Maps and call on you to immediately correct this mistake.



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