• 14 July 2009
  • Posted By Ali Delforoush
  • 4 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Mousavi, Karroubi form legal defense committee

About 2 weeks ago we posted a blog with regard to a joint committee that has been established by Mousavi and Karroubi. The committee was established in order to follow up on the rights of those individuals arrested or wounded as a result of clashes with the armed forces.

Etemadmeli (Karroubi’s official newspaper) in today’s newspaper released additional information regarding the committee:

“Ali Reza Hosseini Beheshti (son of famous martyr Beheshti) will be the official spokes person of the committee.”

“Families of the victims can conduct searches for their arrested relatives, and additionally they can now pursue legal actions through the various facets of the committee.”

“The committee is a legal organization and Morteza Olavy will be the head of the legal division.”

“The aim of this committee is to exert sufficient pressure on the judiciary and penitentiary officials in order to safeguard the release of those who have been arrested.”

“THIS COMMITTEE DOES NOT HAVE POLITICAL AMBITIONS AND ITS GOAL IS TO SERVE THE PEOPLE.”

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As of today, we at NIAC have decided to stop blogging in “liveblog” format.  We will, however, continue monitoring the situation in Iran and will post information as it becomes available to us in individual blog posts.  As always, thanks for reading.

Posted By Ali Delforoush

    4 Responses to “Mousavi, Karroubi form legal defense committee”

  1. Peter Easton says:

    We will miss your live blog. It was one of the very best. a real resource for those with limited time seeking to keep on top of the outlook for justice in Iran.

  2. Ben says:

    What an anticlimactic response by the leaders of the opposition. I realize the previous revolution took a long time to materialize and this could be a strategy to survive the immediate clampdown while working to expand the committee and gain clout. However, it is making poor use of the current momentum. If they lose the momentum, hardliners will weed out all elements of the regime that demonstrated slightest resistance.

  3. David Elliott says:

    Peter,
    Don’t worry — we aren’t about to stop blogging! It might be a little longer between updates, but the updates will also probably be a little longer, and more detailed.

  4. DW says:

    I like the change from the “liveblog” format to separate updates, as it works much better with RSS newsreaders & notifications with each update, as opposed to only one notification for a single “liveblog” that may contain numerous updates. This way I know when theres new material that I will want to read.

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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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