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  • 25 July 2008
  • Posted By Caroline Tarpey
  • Legislative Agenda

Foreign Affairs Committee Approves 123 Agreement with Conditions

On Thursday, the House Foreign Affairs Committee approved HR 6574, a bill that grants Congressional approval for the proposed “123” US-Russia nuclear agreement if Russia certifiably halts nuclear cooperation with Iran.

The bill sets specific conditions on the 123 agreement’s implementation. According to section 201, the President must certify that Russia has sought to “prohibit, terminate and prevent the transfer of goods, services, and technology” to Iran for use in nuclear, biological or chemical weapons or ballistic missile programs. The bill provides an exception to this rule, permitting Russian support for the Bushehr nuclear reactor, which the Bush administration defends as a nonproliferation safeguard. It further stipulates that during the past year Russia must have had “no cooperation” with Iran.

  • 18 July 2008
  • Posted By Caroline Tarpey
  • Iranian American activism

“I Can’t Wait ‘til Ayandeh”

The Future of the Iranian American community

Since the inception of the Iranian Alliances Across Borders’ Camp Ayandeh, a summer program for Iranian-American high-schoolers, campers have left eager for more. For the past three years, Camp Ayandeh’s warmth and excitement have won over a group that can be difficult to woo: teenagers. But what’s really special is that this process takes place during the course of only one week. For many it is not only the next year of camp that becomes a source of eager anticipation; campers leave truly reinvigorated about the future—and about their Iranian heritage and Iranian-American identity.

  • 11 July 2008
  • Posted By Caroline Tarpey
  • Diplomacy, US-Iran War

Bloggingheads: Talking to Iran Video

From the New York Times website and

Heather Hurlburt of the National Security Network and Eli Lake of The New York Sun debate nuclear negotiations with Iran.

[vodpod id=ExternalVideo.629817&w=425&h=350&fv=file%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fbloggingheads%252Etv%252Fnyt%255Fclips%252Fmirror%252Dplaylist%252F12429%253Fin%253D00%253A00%2526out%253DNaN%253ANaN]

more about “Bloggingheads: Talking to Iran | New …“, posted with vodpod
  • 24 June 2008
  • Posted By Caroline Tarpey
  • Diplomacy, Events in DC, Presidential 2008 Elections

Bipartisan Consensus-Building: The Key to Any U.S. Strategy

On June 23, panelists at the Partnership for a Secure America discussion on “Bipartisan Foreign Policy for January 2009” demanded bipartisan national security policy in the next presidential administration.

The panel, which featured Ambassador Tom Pickering, Undersecretary of State, 1997-2000; Robert McFarlane, National Security Advisor, 1983-85; and Frederick Barton, senior adviser in the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ International Security Program, called for U.S. national security reform that clearly defines U.S. strategic interests, abandons party lines, and builds consensus between and among policymakers and the American public.

Led by Youth, Future of Iranian-American Participation Grows Brighter

Iranian American participation in civic life is growing, and it is the younger generations that are leading this effort. As some of the other NIAC interns observed last week, Iranian Americans have often distanced themselves from politics in socially vibrant but politically dormant communities. From expert Iranian scholars to average Iranian American citizens, many label this lack of political engagement “understandable” and “unsurprising” given Iranians political past. And the trend is both those things.

What it is not, however, is here to stay.

  • 3 June 2008
  • Posted By Caroline Tarpey
  • Diplomacy, Events in DC, Sanctions, US-Iran War

US-Iran Issue Linkages: Instrument of Diplomacy, Casualty of Preconditions?

The script between Washington and Tehran seems to be replaying like a broken record: The United States to Iran, “Suspend your uranium enrichment and we will talk.” Iran to the US, “We will not give up our right to nuclear energy.”

Iran’s unwillingness to acquiesce to external demands about the production of nuclear technology before discussion begins and the US’s unwillingness to drop the precondition before discussion begins causes the first casualty of preconditions: diplomatic engagement.

Yet, there is a second casualty of the failure to bring Iran to the table, a casualty whose inclusion in the international diplomatic exchange may provide hope for the cooling of US-Iran tensions: issue linkages.

  • 15 May 2008
  • Posted By Caroline Tarpey
  • US-Iran War

Critical Vote Deferred on Resolution Opposing War with Iran

In Chicago City Council yesterday, the vote on the resolution against war with Iran was deferred one month until the next council meeting (full resolution text here).

Under a procedural regulation in the Chicago City Council, two aldermen can defer a vote until the next council meeting, but they may only defer it once. According to Robert Naiman, Just Foreign Policy senior policy analyst who has been tracking the proceedings, Alderman Stone was one of the aldermen responsible for its deferral today.

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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