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  • 16 January 2009
  • Posted By Daniel Robinson
  • Diplomacy, Neo-Con Agenda, Nuclear file, Persian Gulf

Could Covert Op’s in Iran Be Obama’s Bay of Pigs?

The following is a special guest post by former NIAC associate Dan Robinson:

January 16, 2009

The New York Times’ recent leak of President Bush’s denial of Israel’s request for aid in a covert air strike against Iranian nuclear facilities is another example of how national security information is just like water in a cracked seal–it’s going to get out.

The rest of the story, if accurate, has the potential to wreck the Obama team’s initiative to engage Iran directly on the nuclear issue: the Bush administration’s acknowledgment to Israeli PM Olmert that the US has been conducting covert intelligence missions inside Iran to deter, possibly sabotage Tehran’s nuclear program.

  • 24 March 2008
  • Posted By Daniel Robinson
  • Diplomacy, Nuclear file

In the Holiday Season, No Room for Warmongering

President Bush’s interview on Radio Farda should leave no doubt that Iran is still in the crosshairs. At the beginning of the end of his presidency, President Bush leaves the legacy of a ruinous war in Iraq, a destabilizing situation in Afghanistan, and an inflammatory situation with Iran that his administration cannot (or perhaps, will not) solve.

In his address to the Iranian people for Nowruz, the Persian New Year, President Bush performed a feat of rhetorical gymnastics: he extended good wishes to the Iranian people, while simultaneously banging the drum of war. Bush pronounced the United States’ respect for the great Iranian history and culture, but blamed the Iranian government for isolating the Iranian people for the last 30 years.

  • 5 March 2008
  • Posted By Daniel Robinson
  • Election 2008, Presidential 2008 Elections

Clinton Stages Comeback; McCain Wraps up Nomination

Hillary Clinton staged a surprising comeback in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination and John McCain is now the presumptive nominee, having reached the required delegate threshhold.

What does this mean for the race going forward? Follow me below for a quick preview.
  • 4 March 2008
  • Posted By Daniel Robinson
  • Election 2008, Presidential 2008 Elections

McCain and Obama Win Wisconsin; March 4 States Up Next

Barack Obama won the Wisconsin Democratic primary and the Hawaii Democratic caucus. Obama extends his delegate lead and his impressive run of victories. The delegate lead is still close in this epic struggle between Democratic heavyweights, but Hillary Clinton must now counter the mounting press coverage of her campaign’s troubles.

  • 5 February 2008
  • Posted By Daniel Robinson
  • Election 2008, Presidential 2008 Elections

Super Tuesday Looms as Candidates Make Final Pitches

The clock is ticking. Campaign funds are being extinguished as the campaigns pump every last effort into turning out the vote for their candidate. This is where Tuesday February 5, 2008 leaves us, the granddaddy of all campaign days: Super Tuesday.

In the Republican race, Romney is trying to survive as he lags further behind in the national race.
A key battleground to watch tomorrow will be California. California is running a closed primary tomorrow, so Iranian Americans will have a great role in deciding who snares the Golden State because 20% of California voters are self-described independents, and

Also, the economy remains a key concern among GOP voters, and all voters in general, so look for more economic chest-pounding by the candidates because California and several states were affected heavily by the economic downturn.

Obama and Clinton have all hands on deck as spouses, surrogates and the candidates themselves trek the country for precious votes in tomorrow’s primary. Obama is contesting Clinton strongholds like New Jersey and even her home state of New York, and again, the substantial representation of Iranian Americans will be a huge factor in who captures these delegate rich states.
All in all, tomorrow makes for one of the more exciting political dramas we’ve seen in the last few election cycles.
  • 5 February 2008
  • Posted By Daniel Robinson
  • Election 2008, Presidential 2008 Elections

Southern Hospitality and Super Tuesday

Last Saturday, Senator Barack Obama scored a substantial victory in the South Carolina Democratic primary. Following a contentious week of back-and-forth attacks and allegations of record distortion, Obama beat his rivals Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and former Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) in the nation’s first Southern primary.

  • 23 January 2008
  • Posted By Daniel Robinson
  • Diplomacy

Naval Incident Shows Need for Greater Communication

The radio transmission that almost caused a firefight between US navy warships and the Iranian military might have been the work of a heckler known as the ‘Filipino monkey.’

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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