• 28 September 2009
  • Posted By David Elliott
  • Sanctions

The reformist Presidential candidate turned opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi has officially spoken out against further economic sanctions. He joins the outspoken Mehdi Karroubi, who came out against sanctions earlier this month.

“We are against any sanctions against our nation,” Mousavi said in a statement posted on Rouydadnews reformist website.He said sanctions “will impose agonies on a nation who suffers enough from miserable statesmen.”

He added: “The country is on the verge of crises which will mostly hurt the poor as a result of wrong and adventurous foreign policies of the government from which our people suffer.

“We might have simplistically thought this is an advantage for our green movement, but it is not,” said Mousavi, who along with his green-wearing supporters regard President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s re-election as “illegitimate.”

“Which one of them can be expected to care about the agony their behaviour imposes on people?” he asked of Iran’s current leaders. “If we don’t care about what harms those living in this land, nobody will.”

Human rights advocates like Shirin Ebadi have argued that any new sanctions imposed against Iran should be targeted specifically at Iranian government officials, not Iran’s general population. Unfortunately, the primary tool the US Congress is considering is a refined petroleum embargo — just in time for winter. The IRGC probably won’t have any trouble getting gasoline or heating oil, but what about Iran’s poor and middle class, many of whom are out risking their lives to protest against the government?

The US should stand in solidarity with the Iranian people, not stand on their backs.

Posted By David Elliott

David Elliott is the Assistant Policy Director at the National Iranian American Council.

    5 Responses to “Opposition leaders say sanctions will hurt the Iranian people; gov’t won’t care”

  1. Babak says:

    Sanctions are the best way to force this regime adhere to international laws. The idea that sanctions will hurt the Iranian people are utter nonsense.

    Sanctions are the only way to get rid of the terrorist regime.

  2. Ardeshir says:

    Babak, clearly you and this terrorist regime share the same values as you could care less what happens to the ordinary people. Good one!

  3. parvin irandoost says:

    People of Iran have been hurting for the past 30 years regardless. Good example is the the $300B oil revenue in the past 4 years which did not do anything for people except higher inflation and un-employment. No doubt the sanctions will hurt people but they will hurt the government even more. Once the government is not able to provide financial support to their foreign backers such as Hamas, Hez0aalh, Iraq, and South American allies as well as their internal thugs such as Basij forces, they will have less power and people of Iran will feel more empowered to get rid of this criminal regime.

  4. James says:

    The effect will be quite the opposite, parvin. Sanctions on gasoline imports would provide the excuse the IRI wants to get rid of gasoline subsidies, which cost them billions of dollars every year. So actually, they would have more money to support Hamas, Hezbollah, etc.

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


7,350 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: