• 23 July 2009
  • Posted By Patrick Disney
  • Diplomacy, Events in Iran, Iran Election 2009, Uncategorized

Clinton says Iran unable to respond to overtures

From Reuters:

LONDON (Reuters) – The United States is still willing to ‘reach out’ to Iran but political turmoil there means Tehran is not now in a position to respond, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the BBC on Thursday.

President Barack Obama made diplomatic overtures to Iran before its June 12 election, but Clinton told the BBC: “We haven’t had any response.”

She added: “We’ve certainly reached out and made it clear that’s what we’d be willing to do, even now, despite our absolute condemnation of what they’ve done in the election and since, but I don’t think they have any capacity to make that kind of decision right now.”

Clinton here is right on.  Iran is currently in political paralysis–they can’t pick a cabinet, much less deal with the outside world.  We should remember this when members of the US Congress call for us to rush into negotiations to meet some September deadline.  Beginning an ambitious effort now for renewing bilateral ties with Iran will only ensure one thing: that talks will fail.  And with neocons and hawks chomping at the bit to ramp up the pressure, it’s unlikely we’ll have a second chance.

Posted By Patrick Disney

    3 Responses to “Clinton says Iran unable to respond to overtures”

  1. Megan says:

    You mean to tell me Iranian regime cannot chew and walk at the same time.

    Are you serious? The right time is now when Iranian regime is discombobulated.

    I support the effort in U.S. Congress for Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act (IRPSA). Cut the import of gasoline to Iran and in less than two weeks the regime will come to its knee. IRPSA will kill two birds with one stone-it brings about the change in the government Iranian people are asking for and U.S. gets its nuke negotiation.

    You cannot expect a victorious Khamenie and his clan come to the negotiation table. And if they do it will be another Kim Jong Il story.

  2. Ellie says:

    Megan, the USA should do no such thing. The IRPSA will only hurt the Iranian people. Given time, the Iranian people will be able to resolve their own political problems. All they need from us is the knowledge that we support them and that we are watching the regime very closely.

  3. Megan says:


    I know a lot more than you do about what Iranian people want or do not want. I know they have been asking for shutting down the import of gasoline. They do not want world community to just bear witness. They need meaningful actions.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

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.



Share this with your friends: