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  • 11 June 2008
  • Posted By Farid Zareie
  • 4 Comments
  • About, Iranian American activism

Move forward, not back

Being an Iranian, raised in Sweden and now living in the United States, I have had the pleasure to experience the Iranian community in these two countries as well as many others. What I have discovered is a common similarity among all Iranian regardless of where we live. Even though there are of course many similarities between us, there is one in particular that has really grabbed my attention; that is our lack of involvement in the political arena.

  • 9 June 2008
  • Posted By Julia Murray
  • 5 Comments
  • About, Iranian American activism, Legislative Agenda

First Day at NIAC

It is my first day interning at NIAC and I am very excited to be here. I am from Scotland and attend St Andrews University but I have been in America since last August on my junior year abroad. Studying in the U.S. has been a fantastic experience and one that has opened many doors for me, not least because of the opportunity to intern in Washington, D.C.

From these introductory remarks it is obvious that I am not Iranian American. Nevertheless, I found a placement at NIAC extremely appealing for a number of reasons. First, my major is International Relations and consequently the issues that NIAC deals with are relevant for this area of study. I hope that interning here will better my understanding of U.S. foreign policy, as well as civil society and its influence over policy making. More specifically, the issues that NIAC deals with pertain to my major and are important from an international affairs point of view. For instance, its efforts to highlight human rights abuses in Iran; I wish I could have been around when NIAC held its conference on “Human Rights in Iran and U.S. Policy Options” since I am especially interested in this topic.

  • 4 March 2008
  • Posted By Babak Talebi
  • 16 Comments
  • About

Official Launch: Welcome to NIACinSight

Fellow NIAC members,

 

Welcome to NIAC’s official blog!

Over the past year, we have seen tremendous growth here in DC going from 3 full-time employees in January of 2007 to eight currently working out of our offices.  This growth and the extensive support of the community has meant that we have a lot more information we would like to share with you and a need to have more lines of communication to our members.

Through this blog, we will be able to share insights about the “behind-the-scenes” dealings in DC that go beyond the range of topics covered in our newsletter and website. Furthermore, the blog is meant to engage Iranian-Americans, as well as the broader American public, in an ongoing discussion about current issues important to our community.

  • 3 December 2007
  • Posted By Emily Blout
  • 0 Comments
  • About, Neo-Con Agenda

Smells Like Desperation, Michael Rubin

Michael Rubin must really be scared. Actually the whole neo-con establishment must be, as they’ve pulled out big guns to attack my organization, the National Iranian American Council, and its allies for defending the wishes of Iranian pro-democracy and human rights activists.

(Follow the link to read the rest of this article which was first posted on the Huffington Post)

  • 3 December 2007
  • Posted By Babak Talebi
  • 2 Comments
  • About

Topics we intend to cover

As our community matures in its collective political awareness, the most important ingredient to becoming effective in impacting the discourse among policy makers is to be well-informed.

At NIAC, we have decided to launch this blog mainly to provide you information and to engage in you in increased activism. I want to introduce the three individuals who will be posting most of the commentary and what they will be highlighting.

Follow me below to meet the editors of NIAC’s blog and to find out what type of stories we plan on sharing with you…

  • 3 December 2007
  • Posted By Babak Talebi
  • 1 Comments
  • About

Pre-Launch of NIAC’s Blog

The purpose of this blog is to share insights and answer questions about NIAC that go beyond the range of topics covered in our newsletter and website. More importantly, the blog is meant to engage the Iranian American community, as well as the rest of the American population to engage in ongoing discussions about current issues important to the Iranian American community.

It should be noted that opinions and comments posted on this blog do not necessarily reflect NIAC’s views; they are the thoughts and reflections of individuals. NIAC encourages participants to maintain respect for all writers, posters, and commentators.

While we welcome open dialogue, obscenity, personal attacks, and threats will not be tolerated. NIAC reserves the right to remove any comments that that cross the boundaries of constructive dialogue.

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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