NIAC 2010 Conference Video: Iran at a Crossroads

In case you missed our livestream video, here is the full conference video, available for viewing.  We apologize for the beginning part being cut off, we experienced some technical difficulties at the start (but it gets better!)

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Posted By Patrick Disney

    6 Responses to “NIAC 2010 Conference Video: Iran at a Crossroads”

  1. Pirouz says:

    Gosh, I had no idea my congresswoman (Eshoo) is so anti-Iran. She sure as heck won’t get my vote in the next election. Nor my family, nor my friend’s.

  2. NorCal IA says:

    Pirouz, it’s a shame you take such a foolish stance. Congresswoman Eshoo has long been a strong ally of our community’s and has supported us through thick and thin. When other Members of Congress have turned their back on our community and the people of Iran, representatives like Anna Eshoo and Mike Honda and have come through, speaking up about the blatant violations of human rights by the Iranian government and lending a voice to those who need it most. I hope you’ll remember that next time you jump to such negative conclusions.

  3. Eric says:

    Pirouz believes only in the dictator. Dictator says jump, he asks how high? Human rights are of no concern to the dictator, so they are of no concern to Pirouz. Blame America, blame Israel, blame anyone but the dictator.

    Fortunately the dictator and his little henchman’s days are numbered, as the youth/students are getting older and will soon become the majority constituency in Iran.

  4. Pirouz says:

    NorCal: I was appalled at her characterizations of Iran, particularly with regards to the nuclear program. I do not consider that “supporting” the Iranian people. Remember, the Iranian people (inside Iran) overwhelmingly support the nuclear program.

    She is clearly anti-Iran.

    This is not a knee-jerk reaction. How would it be for another nation’s lawmaker to characterize our US system of government (“regime”, if you will) entirely on issues related to human rights violations at Guantanimo, Bagram, the CIA black sites, civilian deaths by drone attacks, tens of thousands of Iraqis incarcerated without due process, millions of Iraqis turned into refugees by an illegal war, support for the inhumane siege of Gaza, etc., etc., etc.? As an American, I would take offense to that. What makes it okay for Eshoo to do that?

    Like I said, I’m not voting for her, nor my relatives, nor anyone else in my social circle. The NIAC forum today was a big eye opener, with regards to our US Rep in Congress.

  5. Survivor's Guilt says:

    Gosh I had no idea that Pirouz was so pro-dictatorship…oopps i mean pro-Ahamaginejad..oops..oh neveremind

  6. Iranian-American says:

    She is clearly not “clearly anti-Iran” if everyone here seems to disagree with that claim. I wouldn’t be so sure that, as you claim, your relatives or anyone in your social circle would agree with you on this one.

    Did you pay attention to the chat going on while the conference was taking place? It seems quite clear that there are very few Iranian-Americans that are as pro-government as you are or as you would like.

    Furthermore, I am am quite certain there are not as many pro-government Iranians as you claim (or would like to believe) in Iran. But, I will admit that is more difficult to prove given that in Iran one can face arrest and even execution for disagreeing with the government. Nonetheless, in America, where we have freedom of speech, it is quite clear that you are part of a very small minority.

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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.



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