• 20 August 2009
  • Posted By Patrick Disney
  • 1 Comments
  • Congress, Sanctions

House Foreign Affairs Chairman Howard Berman (D-CA), currently on a Congressional Delegation trip (CoDel) to China, discussed his concerns about Iran’s nuclear program with Chinese leaders.  Most likely, Berman is hoping to convince the Chinese to support another round of UN Security Council sanctions on Iran, modeled off of his bill, H.R. 2194, that seeks to impose a gasoline embargo on Iran.

Berman and his colleagues pressed Chinese leaders to continue working closely with the international community to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapons capability.

“A nuclear weapons-capable Iran would be a threat to security and stability in the Persian Gulf and beyond,” Berman said.  “By continuing to enrich uranium, Iran is flouting the will of the international community, as expressed in numerous UN Security Council resolutions supported by both the US and China.

“The clock is ticking on Iran to engage in serious dialogue regarding this matter,” Berman added.  “If it does not respond to our offer of engagement by early this fall, I believe the international community, including China, must move to impose tougher economic measures to change Iran’s policies. In my meetings, I have emphasized to leaders here that China and the United States share a common goal of preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability and ensuring that peace and stability are maintained in the Middle East. I also urged the Chinese that we must continue to work in close cooperation with each other and our partners in the Security Council to convince Tehran to change direction before it’s too late.”

But Berman and his colleagues also expressed “deep disappointment” with recent multi-billion-dollar energy deals signed with Iran by Chinese state-owned companies. “This is exactly the wrong signal to send to Iran at a time when Tehran continues to enrich uranium in defiance of the international community,” Berman said.

In late April Berman introduced the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act (H.R. 2194), bipartisan legislation that would bar from the U.S. market companies that are involved in exporting refined petroleum products to Iran or in helping Iran increase or maintain its existing domestic refining capacity.  He has held off bringing the bill up for consideration before the Foreign Affairs Committee in order to give the Obama Administration and its international partners time to work on diplomacy with Iran.

Posted By Patrick Disney

    One Response to “Berman talks Iran sanctions with Chinese officials on CoDel”

  1. The outlook on Iran is quite apparent since the general elections held couple of months ago when the observers realised the effectiveness of the electoral college……..

    The election proved that those opposing the rulling party had opened a gold mine that was kept secrect to the Iranian voters 2009, ie the voters all had registered to vote but when seen thru an observers lens showed no sign of ”record”…….

    In an age when technology has overcome such fears recording the voters is become a mandatory practice for a proper audit to occur………

    Food-for-oil programmes are and will always be a loop hole that has been seen with the war in Iraq going on now last 8 years……..

    The vision for 2020 looks quite gray…….

    salil.

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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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