• 22 July 2008
  • Posted By Farid Zareie
  • Diplomacy, Iran War related legislation, Sanctions

Patience is a virtue

This past Saturday, Ambassador William Burns traveled to Geneva, Switzerland to meet with one of Iran’s top nuclear negotiators, Saeed Jalili. This meeting was the first since 1979 between a top US diplomat and an Iranian representative. So evidently, this was a tremendous breakthrough in US-Iran relations – a relationship that has been almost non-existent under the current Bush Administration. However, even with this great first step, people still appear to be disappointed. The Washington Post, the New York Times, and many other news sources reported that the Americans were not completely pleased with their meeting.

The Washington Post wrote on Saturday July 20th: “European officials said they were disappointed by the Iranian response. ‘Jalili did not respond directly to Burns’s presentation, but simply responded with generalities,’ one official said.”

My opinion about this is simple: negotiations take time, and it will not happen in one meeting. Yet, I do believe that this meeting exemplifies what US-Iran relations can look like in the future – without military threats or unilateral sanctions – just talking. However, for this to happen, patience is needed from both countries. Jalili left the meeting in Geneva optimistic about future US- Iran relations, but the US and European officials were not as pleased. To have honest and serious negotiations lead to an actual solution, it is essential for the United States and the European countries to be patient. If not, Western participation in diplomatic negotiations will not be seen as credible in the eyes of the Iranians and the rest of the world.

Negotiating a critical issue such as Iran’s nuclear enrichment program, which has been highly criticized by various countries around the world, is a sensitive and delicate matter. The United States and Iran are not going to reach a common understanding in a single meeting, instead we should realize that this is a process and it will require long-term relationship before results are reached.

Posted By Farid Zareie

    2 Responses to “Patience is a virtue”

  1. As an Iranian-American I can understand the Europeans and Americans not being pleased with Iranian’s approach. Who are we kidding?! Lets go back to World Cup 1998 or was it 2002? one of them anyway, it was the first US-Iran meeting.

    At the time, the relations between the 2 countries were not good but Khatami was in power and they were trying. Remember when the Iranian players held small persian rugs, some handicrafts and some flowers and brought it to the center field?! American players just brought their team banner to be exchanged with the Iranians. After the players shook hands and Americans took the “gifts” and went back and just tossed them aside! I liked that gesture. WTF?! who brings handicrafts to world cup?!

    More recently when the British soldiers were taken prisoner in Persian Gulf, last year or so, after their interviews and shaking hands with Ahmadinejad, they gave them Ahamadinejad style suits and again persian rugs and handicrafts and I think an Iran Air bag and the soldiers probably tossed them aside as soon as they got on the aircraft!

    So here, on a much more important issue and more of a international stage and of historical significance, Iranians probably brought some handicrafts to the table and tried to explain what they are instead of talking about IAEA’s reoprt and uranium enrichment and so forth. You can imagine the rest, can’t you?!

    My recommendation to the European and US delegations is what we say in Farsi, dast-e pish-o begir ke pass nayof-tea. It means take the lead and don’t be left behind. Next time you go to a meeting, bring some native-American handicrafts and some flowers and similar gifts and basically try to shut them up! Stay ahead and play their hand. After the gifts, Iranians will have no other reason to preach or if they do it will be limited and you can start the real talks.

    I’d give them a different gift in every meeting so they’re handcuffed with pleasantries! It is much more preferred than bombs and guns and another catastrophic war.

  2. Babak Talebi says:


    now THIS is a new approach to diplomacy that Congress could get behind… each meeting a handicraft from each state can be given… lol

    love the comment

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7,349 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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