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  • 10 August 2012
  • Posted By Jessica Schieder
  • 0 Comments
  • NIAC round-up

Iran News Roundup: August 10, 2012

Sanctions on Iran: ‘ordinary people are the target’
U.S. still believes Iran not on verge of nuclear weapon
White House says it has ‘eyes’ inside Iranian nuclear program
Israel media talk of imminent Iran war push
Asian oil buyers help Iran stave off the worst, for now
Iran playing ‘nefarious’ role in Syria: Rice
Fiery Erdogan Slams Assad, Iran
Iran Oil Embargo Has Ripple Effect for Europe
Analysis: False records issue is key to Standard Chartered case
Iran’s Navy Says Has No Plan for Naval Reactors
Iran urges Syrians to talk after Tehran meeting
Indian PM Likely to Visit Iran

Notable Opinion: Stop the Shadow War Talk

  • 9 August 2012
  • Posted By Jessica Schieder
  • 0 Comments
  • NIAC round-up

Iran News Roundup: August 9, 2012

Israeli Defense Minister publicly divulges US intelligence report
Iran Syria talks seen short on action
Standard Chartered begins fightback on Iran allegations
Flame and Stuxnet Cousin Targets Lebanese Bank Customers, Carries Mysterious Payload
Iran says abrupt Assad fall would be “catastrophic”
Gulf Nations Aim to Secure Water, Food Supply
U.S. Navy Rescues 10 From Iranian Ship on Fire
Pakistan, Iran agree wheat price in barter deal
Turkey Warns Iran: ‘You Cannot Threaten Us’
Tehran denies kidnapped Iranians killed in Syria
Egypt’s president holds talks with Iran’s vice president
MTN in Talks With U.S. to Unlock Iran Earnings

Notable Opinion: Sanctions Will Kill Tens of Thousands of Iranians

  • 3 August 2012
  • Posted By Jessica Schieder
  • 0 Comments
  • NIAC round-up

Iran News Roundup: August 3, 2012

Don’t attack Iran now, warns ex-IDF intel chief
No imminent threat of a nuclear-armed Iran, experts say
Analysis: Israeli rhetoric not seen leading to Iran war – yet

Netanyahu: If Israel attacks Iran, I will take responsibility for the consequences

Iran blames U.S., others for failure of Annan’s plan: report
Iranian hostages may be freed Friday: Libyan Red Crescent
Iran boosts strategic grain stocks with wheat buy
Iranian tankers return to buy Syrian crude
US lawmaker compares Iranian exile camp to Auschwitz

Notable Opinion: Sanctions cripple Iran’s middle class, not the regime

  • 18 July 2012
  • Posted By Jessica Schieder
  • 0 Comments
  • NIAC round-up

Iran News Roundup: July 18, 2012

Netanyahu Blames Iran for Fatal Terrorist Attack in Bulgaria; Vows Retaliation

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Iran for a fatal terror attack in Bulgaria, saying “Iran is responsible for the terror attack in Bulgaria, we will have a strong response against Iranian terror.”

Panetta: U.S. Would Hold Iran “Directly Responsible” for any Hormuz Disruption

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Wednesday of a potential Iranian obstruction to the Strait of Hormuz, “The Iranians need to understand that the United States and the international community are going to hold them directly responsible for any disruption of shipping in that region, by Iran or for that matter by its surrogate.” He added, “We’ve invested in capabilities to ensure that the Iranian attempt to close down shipping in the Gulf is something that we are going to be able to defeat, if they make a decision to do that” (Reuters 7/18).

IRGC Official: Sanctions Aimed at Fomenting Regime Change

A senior official of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Ali Ashraf Nouri, has said the U.S. sanctions strategy is designed to “break people’s tolerance threshold and force them [to take to the streets] like during the 2009 sedition” (Radio Free Liberty Radio Europe 7/17).

Iran Condemns Assassination of Syrian Defense Minister

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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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