• 18 June 2009
  • Posted By NIAC
  • 17 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Post-Election Iran as it Develops

[polldaddy poll=”1718531″]

The U.S. House of Representatives will vote on this very question tomorrow. Contact your elected officials to tell them what you think should be done:

#1: The US shouldn’t interfere.

#2: U.S. involvement would be counterproductive, but human rights violations must be condemned.

#3: The US should voice its support for the demonstrators.

* We have attempted to broadly capture the most common ideas about what the United States should be doing, but we recognize this is not an exhaustive list of options. If your views aren’t fully reflected, simply modify the message to reflect your views.

10:55 pm: Breaking: House to vote on Iran resolution tomorrow

According to CQ, the House will vote tomorrow on a bipartisan resolution expressing support for Iranian dissidents who have been demonstrating since the presidential election last week.

House Foreign Affairs Chairman Howard Berman (D-Calif.) joined with Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) on a resolution condemning the violence against the protesters, the suppression of communication technologies, and affirming “the universality of individual rights.”

This measure is almost guaranteed to pass–probably with an overwhelming number of votes–which will unfortunately put the Congress directly at odds with the White House in responding to the crisis in Iran. Up to now, the President has been very cautious not to be seen as choosing one side over the other in the election dispute, saying he doesn’t want the US to become the story inside Iran. But the Congress seems poised to speak out more vocally on the subject, choosing to come down squarely on the side of the dissidents.

Les Gelb, earlier in the day, had this to say:

Republican leadership calls for Obama to condemn Iran’s election results and speak out for the demonstrators shows no knowledge of Iran whatsoever. If he did so, America would become the issue in Iran, not Ahmadinejad, and we would become the excuse and justification for spilling Iranian blood.

These sniping remarks by Republican leaders also shows they put pandering to their right wing above American national security. Why can’t they listen to their own real foreign policy expert — Senator Richard Lugar — and see and say that the U.S. must exercise restraint in our public statements for Iran’s sake and our own.

As we’ve been saying for some time now, the President has it right here. Though of course everyone supports free and fair democracies, Iran is a country in flux at the moment. If US political figures come out in strong support for Mousavi, then what? Won’t Ahmadinejad just use that to declare Mousavi is a puppet of the West? That certainly won’t do much to help the cause for reform in Iran.

9:00 pm: A powerful and frightening account of a Canadian journalist mistakenly detained by the Ministry of the Interior in Iran:

Before I knew what was happening, I was whisked away on a motorcycle to the Interior Ministry headquarters, and taken to a large basement room.Inside a concrete room to my left, I could see more than 50 others being made to stand in uncomfortable positions – on their toes with their hands pressed behind their heads. Some were covered in blood, and police with batons patrolled the rows, tapping some detainees on the shoulders with their sticks.

There was no screaming, just the sound of boots pacing on the concrete floor.

For a few terrifying hours yesterday, I was mistaken for an anti-government protester, giving me a glimpse into how the hundreds arrested over the weekend are being treated by authorities in a system where dissidents are known to “disappear” and not be seen again for months.

What was dubbed a “terrible misunderstanding” by the officers in charge has given this Canadian journalist a glimpse into the nightmare that countless Iranians are experiencing right now. When President Obama condemns the violence and human rights abuses going on in Iran, this is what he’s talking about.

8:51 pm: A loyal niacINsight reader used the website we mentioned earlier to subtitle one of Mousavi’s campaign videos:

[vodpod id=ExternalVideo.840007&w=425&h=350&fv=]

7:21 pm: Basij Killed
According to Iranian state media, (words in quotes are the language they used) 1 Basij has been “martyred.” He was killed by “thugs” (referring to the protesters who ran him over in Sa’adat Abad a northern well-off part of Tehran). According to state media, they have reported 8 deaths, one of them being a Basij and the others, according to them “thugs.”

6:32 pm: What’s going on here?

Earlier in the day, we saw a message posted on Mousavi’s facebook page saying “Mousavi & Karoubi ask supporters NOT to attend Friday prayers (which is being delivered by supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei).” We thought this was strange, since they were saying exactly the opposite just a little while ago. Now, Nico and the NYT both have commented about the same message going up on Twitter.

Just as we were trying to figure out what was going on on Mousavi’s facebook page, the message was removed. This appears to be an organized attack on Mousavi and Karroubi’s facebook and twitter accounts to send misleading messages to supporters. We got the impression that they were trying to take these messages down as fast as possible, so we are pretty convinced they’re not legitimate.

5:22 pm: Before and After the elections (thanks to NIAC intern Ali for the translation):

Cartoon

5:14 pm: Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, wrote over at HuffPo:

Iranian Authorities Must Void Elections to Restore Peace on Streets

On Monday, June 15, more than 1 million people marched in the streets of Tehran to support Mir Hossein Moussavi and Mehdi Karroubi — two defeated presidential candidates — and to object to the results of last week’s election. Their destination was Azadi Square (Freedom Square) which, at the time of the Islamic Revolution 30 years ago, had been the gathering spot for revolutionaries. Mir Hossein Moussavi climbed on top of a minibus and spoke to the people through a loudspeaker. He told them to continue their objections but refrain from aggressive behavior, in order not to give security forces an excuse to resort to violence.

5:10: More on the victims’ families in Qom from http://twitter.com/iranbaan:

“According to Fars News Agency, the martyr Rajae’s wife has been arrested in Qom. It is said that the family and wives of some of famous martyrs such as Hemmat and Bakeri were also with Rajae’s wife. Fars wrote that these women along with Jamileh Kadivar and Ms. Mohtashami Pour were planning a sit-in in Qom when they were arrested by the armed forces.”

4:44 pm: Greatest headline ever, courtesy state-run Fars news — “Government: Iranians’ Unity Thwarts Enemies’ Plot”

4:18 pm: According to a reader comment, at least a few of the government phone numbers we posted below check out:

Those numbers you posted at 1:34pm – they work! I tried a few. A couple were engaged and on a couple more I got through! A great way to maybe make a real difference – call up our government and tell them what you think. Btw, I am not in Iran – just from there.

3:54 pm: Translated from twitter.

“In Tabriz today, riot control police and police in civilian clothes severely beat people with batons and they arrested a LOT of people.”

Though I have read reports in recent days that the protests have been spreading to cities such as Ahvaz and Esfahan, this may represent a substantial escalation of state violence. We’ll keep you posted on whether the reports confirm this.

3:51 pm: Fars News is reporting two children of Rafsanjani (Faezeh and Mehdi) have been forbidden from leaving the country. They also claim that students gathered at the prosecutor’s office to demand that legal action be taken against them. I’m not going to speculate, but you can read the story below and draw your own conclusions.

3:37 pm: Translated from twitter.

“State TV is trying to portray Hashemi Rafsanjani as the main reason of turmoil.”

I’ve been watching intently for any signs that Rafsanjani will tip his hand. As of this point, he’s been working largely behind the scenes. He reportedly called an emergency meeting of the Assembly of Experts yesterday, which (we can only speculate) might have been intended to raise questions about Khamenei’s fitness to remain as Supreme Leader. (The Assembly of Experts is in charge of naming Khamenei’s successor, and has some oversight responsibility for the Supreme Leader).

Though we’ve heard conflicting reports about him resigning from his very powerful government posts, he has yet to reveal his positions publicly. In my opinion, if Rafsanjani comes out of the woodwork and joins the demonstrations, the entire situation will be changed drastically.

If this news is correct, the hardliners understand the threat, and are trying to neutralize it.

3:35 pm: US rallies continue

As all of you know, rallies have been taking place all over the country. The past week’s demonstrations have been seen in Iowa, North Carolina, New York, DC, California, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Washington, and more. These rallies have been widely successful as hundreds of Iranian Americans across the country have spoken out against the human rights abuses and election fraud of the Iranian elections. From Orange County to Raleigh to the nation’s capitol, young and old alike have come together to support their fellow Iranians.

Via facebook’s Where is my vote? group, upcoming Iran election demonstrations will be held in the following days in Colorado, San Jose, New York, and Sacramento, as well as another tonight at 6 in DC outside the Iranian interests section, with a processions to the Russian and Chinese Embassies.

3:00 pm: The Twitter Revolution

For the first time in history, ordinary citizens have taken it upon themselves to report news instantaneously, spreading information to all the corners of the world online via Twitter. Though internet connectivity in Iran has been somewhat spotty, Iranians have been able to chat with the outside world to give an accurate account of the events on the ground.

This firsthand perspective is even more important given the crackdown on foreign journalists, many of whom have had their equipment confiscated and even a few of whom have been detained by the authorities.

So I am struck by the tragic irony, then, of a story we reported on recently here at niacINsight, about how Microsoft has blocked its instant messaging service in Iran, citing its interpretation of US sanctions laws. The US Treasury has made it clear that transfers of informational materials are allowed:

The receipt or transmission of postal, telegraphic, telephonic or other personal communications, which does not involve the transfer of anything of value, between the United States and Iran is authorized

We’ve spoken to OFAC, who said that Microsoft did this without any prompting from them, and that they are discussing the matter with Microsoft officials. (We’re also reaching out to them as well).

At a time like this, it sure would be nice to be able to have as much access as possible to the Iranians on the ground, letting them tell the world what is actually going on. It’s a shame that they have to fight against their own government’s repression and censorship and at the same time struggle with America’s attempt to isolate the Iranian regime at the expense of its people.

2:27 pm: Today’s rally was called “green wave in black silence” as Iranians paid respect to those who have lost their lives in the demonstrations.

vigil

Rally 1

“I fear the day that the youth will demonstrate for their rights against you as result of your incompetence.” – Ayatollah Khomeini. (This photo was posted on Mousavi’s website today.)

2:14 pm:Victims’ families visit Qom’s religious authorities

According to Mowj [Farsi], a group of families affected by the recent violence and several widows of Iran-Iraq war joined together to gp Qom today to plead for justice and express their opposition to the use of violence against the Iranian people.

They also issued a statement asking the Ulema (religious authorities) to come to their help, saying:

Where should we, women of this land, take our complaints? Today, our daughters and sons in universities, dorms, and streets are getting slapped in the face, their blood is being shed, [they] are being hit by sticks, batons and bullets, and [they] are losing their lives while they are defending their rights and their nation’s rights.

The families asked the Ulema to help them and to speak up against the atrocities being committed against their children and the Islamic Revolution. As representatives of “concerned and suffering mothers,” the families said they expect the Ulema to defend the ”oppressed, patient, and resistant people” because “if you don’t think about saving Islam from the claws of petrifaction, fraud and lies today, it will be too late tomorrow.”

1:58 pm: Nico points out that there is a website that allows users to insert their own subtitles to videos. Check it out and send your translations to yourletters /@/ niacouncil.org.

1:54 pm: By now, most people have heard about the six Iranian soccer players who wore green arm bands in yesterday’s game with S. Korea. But what you may not know is that the team is always accompanied by an “ethics official” who did not approve the green arm bands, and the players were forced to remove the armbands at half time. Multiple twitter reports say the official has already sent a report to officials in Iran about the players’ conduct.

The players showed remarkable bravery to make such a display during the game, which was broadcast live by the Iranian state media.

1:32 pm: From a reader comment in a thread below, a website encouraging people from anywhere BUT in Iran to call and speak out about the election violence. (Usual caveats apply, since we haven’t tested any of these numbers and have no knowledge of their validity).

Call these numbers to discuss the Iranian elections! Do NOT do from within Iran.

President

* 00989121196107

* 00989123274006

Esfandiyar Rahim-Masha’i – Vice President of Iran

* r_mashaee@ichto.ir

Council of Guardians

* 00982166401012

Mojtaba Samareh-Hashemi – President’s trusted advisor and campaign manager

* 00989121081443

Ali Akbar Javanfekr – Press advisor to the President

* aajavan321@hotmail.com

* 00989123279500 (telephone)

* 00982164454028 (fax)

Gholamhoseyn Elham – Government spokesperson

* 00989121486826

12:43 pm: Thanks to Jill at PSR, a tweeted translation of Mousavi’s statement to supporters early afternoon today:

I have come due to concerns of current political and social conditions – to defend the rights of the nation. I have come to improve Iran’s international relations. I have come to tell the world and get back Iran’s pride, our dignity and our future. I have come to bring to Iran a future of freedom, of hope and of fulfillment.

I have come to represent the poor, the helpless, and the hungry. I have come to be accountable to you, my people, and to this world. Iran must participate in fair elections. It is a matter of national importance. I have come to you because of the corruption in Iran. 25% inflation means ignorance, thieving and corruption.

Where is the wealth of my nation? What have you done with the $300 billion in the last four years? The next Government of Iran will be chosen by the people. Why do all our young want to leave this country? I know of nobody else who places himself ahead of 20 million other of a nation.

12:12 pm: Basij scared and cover their faces
The Basij have now begun to cover their faces, whereas previously they hadn’t. This indicates they are becoming more scared of retaliation from the general public. Also, we have heard that cell phone service is cut off at night. There have been efforts to identify members of the Basij who have used violence against demonstrators, through facebook and other social networking websites.

11:48 am: Friday prayers
Through contacts in Iran we have heard people are being bused and brought into Tehran for Friday prayers. They have closed down some streets and have made others one way to help with the constant flow of traffic coming into Tehran. There is much confusion whether or not to protest tomorrow is an especially sacred day as prayers are led by Supreme Leader Khamenei. Apparently, Moussavi, Rezai and Karrubi will show up as well.

11:26 am: Rallies Spread to San Francisco

Iranian Americans have showed their continued support for the demonstrators in Iran, by rallying day in and day out all over the country. In fact, the demonstrations have spread worldwide, as many have made a stand against the disputed presidential election.

On Tuesday, hundreds came out in San Francisco’s Union Square in their bright green colors demanding human rights and democracy in Iran, and urging the UN to be involved. Demonstrators planned on sleeping in Union Square until another rally started Wednesday at 6:00pm. These demonstrators are not giving up, as the rallies are planned to continue for a fourth straight day on Thursday.

The demonstrators in San Francisco are inspired by the young people in Iran, as are many of us all over the world. According to one demonstrator, Sahar Maali, “We see them fighting on everyday and it’s a matter of showing them that we’re back here supporting them as well, so they keep on pursuing their fight for basic freedoms that everyone deserves.”

The rallies in San Francisco and throughout the country show the anger and frustration that this election has caused for many Iranian Americans. And no one can deny that the demonstrators in Iran indeed have a tremendous amount of solidarity outside of their country.

11:00 am:Ahmadinejad heckled by Mousavi crowd (before election: “Just don’t cheat this time.”)

This video shows Ahmadinejad getting heckled by a throng of Mousavi supporters during the campaign. This actually happened before the vote, which I think makes it even more significant. Mousavi supporters pointed to the “Green Wave” that was then sweeping across the country with a wave of optimism for reform (highlighted by a prescient bit of caution: “Just don’t cheat this time.”)

For my money, chants don’t get much better than “Ahmadi Bye Bye!”

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2JI7dwSyaA]

Someone I assume to be a government official walking up to a car with hand raised, in gray suit, condescendingly saying “Droplets of water, return to the ocean.” (it’s a reference to a poem)

The cameraman asking him: “Have you not been looking to the streets? Just look at the streets!”

Second cameraman: “Mr. Mirzavi, we liked you.” [too many people talking at the same time – inaudible] Cameraman again: “Just don’t cheat this time.”

Then they start screaming “MOUSAVI!” when Ahmadinejad shows up and “LIAR!” when he is pulling away, and then my favorite: “Ahmadi Bye bye.”

<!–[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 <![endif]–><!–[if gte mso 9]> <![endif]–> <!–[endif]–>

US rallies continue

As all of you know, rallies have been taking place all over the country. The past week’s demonstrations have been seen in Iowa, North Carolina, New York, DC, California, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Washington, etc. These rallies have been widely successful as hundreds of Iranian Americans across the country have spoken out against the human rights abuses and election fraud of the Iranian elections. From Orange County to Raleigh to the nation’s capitol, young and old alike have come together to support their fellow Iranians.

Via facebook’s Where is my vote? group, upcoming Iran election demonstrations will be held in the following days in Colorado, San Jose, New York, and Sacramento.

Posted By NIAC

    17 Responses to “Post-Election Iran as it Develops”

  1. Solomon2 says:

    That’s why when the crowd captures Basijs it should break open a ballpoint pen and fingerprint the Basijs before releasing them. Fear of accountability will then spread quickly through their ranks.

  2. tallaway says:

    To be honest, guys, I believe this was shot during the election campaign and not after. When I previously saw was described as a visit Ahmadinejad made to Shiraz university.

  3. tamaseb says:

    HAVE YOUR SAY ON IRAN GO TO http://tinyurl.com/mbu434

    PLEASE SPREAD THIS LINK

  4. DBX says:

    It may be “old” but it’s relevant. It’s the kind of treatment reserved only for the most unpopular of politicians, people who have forfeited so much respect that these things actually happen. Besides, what do you suggest they post — Ahmadi mucking it up with Medvedev?

  5. minachica says:

    Um, try to read the post first: “… shows Ahmadinejad getting heckled by a throng of Mousavi supporters during the campaign. This actually happened before the vote, which I think makes it even more significant.” I think the point is that the animosity toward Ahmadi didn’t just come from nowhere after the election.

  6. Amin says:

    Those numbers you posted at 1:34pm – they work! I tried a few. A couple were engaged and on a couple more I got through! A great way to maybe make a real difference – call up our government and tell them what you think. Btw, I am not in Iran – just from there,

  7. The Reader says:

    Can Ayatollah Ali Khamenahee ask Mr. Ahmadeenejad to write his resignation letter and may be he can pack and go live some where in a nice island some where in Islamic world
    May be with all his money, he can go to Singapore and turn to a successful business man !
    This way no one is going to be hurt, if Iranian leader intent to resolve this issue peacefully than this should be the right approach.
    I am serious, there are many in Mr. Bush’s administration who were asked to leave their post and that is fine approach.
    I am not asking to act like Chinese government to send him to a work camp but just leave and live in a nice island some where far from Iran.
    I am going to call … may be they hear me ..also if you agree call and tell .

  8. colt_rams says:

    The message about not attending tomorrow is back on Mousavi’s facebook. Is there any way we can get more clarification on the matter?

  9. Ali says:

    STOP SPREADING FALSE NEWS PPL!!! JESUS! NIAC SHAME ON YOU. HERE IS FACTUAL PROOF that tomorrows friday prayer event is cancelled:

    http://www.etemademelli.ir/published/0/00/45/4575/

  10. Evun says:

    Hi,

    The hecklers don’t say “Ahmadi, Bye Bye!” because “Ahmadi, Vai behalet” more loosely translates to “Ahamdi, your days are numbered” (not a literal translation though) which can be interpreted as “bye bye.”

    P.S. “Behalet” means your (“et”) state and natural condition or well being (“hal”). “Be” is a proposition.

  11. bobbygee says:

    The election was a scam. Yet, God interceded. Read the Bible. God is working. Iraq is free and that has had a huge ripple effect in the Middle East. Bobby Gee Check out blog it’s not politics but it is fun
    http://bobbygee.wordpress.com/
    If you want politics go to my Associated Content Source page under Bobby Gee

  12. David says:

    Great election video! I hope someone will translate one from Ahmadinejad.

    The first 5 minutes definitely made me think of Iran’s “Bob Dole”, but then it got interesting! 🙂

  13. Is the Backlash of the Iranian Election Heading Toward Tiananmen Square Massacre Results?…

    The way the Iranian Government is trying to crackdown on the rallies is a lot like the way the Chinese Government handled the situation about 20 years ago.
    ……

  14. Ryan says:

    For any US Congressperson advocating any sort of involvement in Iran (even a non-biding resolution), I suggest they first sit down and read some history. US involvement (rather, meddling) in Iran is one of the major reasons Iranians are facing these events in the first place (HELLO… 1953 calling). It’s infuriating that people who could probably not even find Iran on a map insist on meddling in that nation’s affairs. There should be a history course requirement and IQ test before these people get involved in foreign affairs. Seriously, how many of them have even ever left the United States?! (Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean do not count).

  15. Jim Edmonds says:

    Oh, yes. Please let’s not meddle. Let’s just stand by in silence while the mullahs and their thugs beat and kill peaceful protesters.

    If the Iranian people would switch their support to the mullahs because Obama would voice support for freedom, then perhaps they should continue to live under this tyranny.

    I guess I am just an arrogant, evil American who believes that the people of Iran would appreciate knowing they have the support of the US President and the American people.

    Obama needs to grow a spine and speak out in support of the people of Iran and in support of freedom.

  16. Jim Edmonds says:

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/weblogs/TWSFP/2009/06/mousavi_spokesman_smacks_obama.asp

    Mousavi Spokesman Smacks Obama

    In an interview with the Washington Post’s Foreign Policy blog, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, described as Mir Hussein Mousavi’s “external spokesman,” had some sharp words for President Barack Obama’s recent comments about the demonstrations in Tehran. But Makhmalbaf also said some things that could make it even more difficult for Obama to maintain his passive, pro-stability approach to the ongoing struggle for power in Iran.

    FP: There has been growing criticism here in Washington that U.S. President Barack Obama hasn’t said or done enough to support those demonstrating in the streets of Iran. Do you think Obama is being too careful? Or even that he is helping Ahmadinejad by being cautious?

    MM: Obama has said that there is no difference between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi. Does he like it himself [when someone is] saying that there is no difference between Obama and [George W.] Bush? Ahmadinejad is the Bush of Iran. And Mousavi is the Obama of Iran.

    (It doesn’t sound to me like the Mousavi camp is happy with Obama’s statements thus far.)

  17. very nice stuff, my first time at your blog , i love the way you write
    got yourself a new reader here:)

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Sign the Petition

 

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.

Sincerely,

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