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Posts Tagged ‘ Christian Science Monitor Iran ’

  • 9 March 2009
  • Posted By Patrick Disney
  • 1 Comments
  • Afghanistan, Culture, Diplomacy, Persian Gulf

CSM: Obama should hold Nowruz town-hall to send message to Khamenei

A great idea from Joshua Gross at the Christian Science Monitor:

The Iranian calendar offers Obama an ideal opportunity to reach out to them and challenge common misperceptions. Nowruz, the Persian New Year, will be celebrated later this month. Obama should take advantage of this unique moment to travel to California and hold a town-hall meeting with the Iranian diaspora. In the context of a major speech to this community, Obama will be able to address the Iranian people and the Iranian government indirectly, without the political fallout of stalled direct negotiations.

{snip}Such a speech should avoid specific policy prescriptions, but emphasize the desire for a “new approach.” Iran’s constructive role in the early stages of Afghanistan’s reconstruction should also be acknowledged.

Germans found a partner in President Kennedy when they believed they were alone and abandoned. Russians who were desperate to experience the outside world were heartened by President Reagan’s passionate insistence that President Gorbachev “tear down this wall.”

The day may soon come when Iranians – disillusioned by the failures of their revolution, alienated by our previous president’s arrogance and pugilism – find hope in the simple, respectful words spoken by a compassionate US president.

  • 6 February 2009
  • Posted By Patrick Disney
  • 0 Comments
  • Culture, Diplomacy, Events in Iran, Nuclear file, Persian Gulf, Sanctions

Christian Science Monitor, NPR doing series on Iran

If you haven’t been following the Christian Science Monitor’s series on Iran lately, you’ve been missing out.  The same with Steve Inskeep’s dispatches from Tehran every morning on NPR (part 1, 2, 3, 4).  Check them out.

Is Iran prepared to undo 30 years of anti-Americanism?

As Obama spells out aims to engage with Iran, the Islamic Republic debates whether to step away from decades of hatred for the ‘Great Satan.’

By Scott Peterson | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

from the February 6, 2009 edition

Tehran, Iran – “On that day when the United States of America will praise us, we should mourn,” said Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, leader of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.

His words so captured the uncompromising anti-American ideology here that they were painted like a billboard across the old US Embassy wall in Tehran, standing for years as a message of defiance to the West.

Today the quote is gone, recently painted over as if to signify a softening of Iran’s hard-line rhetoric. But as President Obama spells out his wish to engage with Iran, is the Islamic Republic – which marks its 30th anniversary next week – really ready to set aside decades of official hatred for the “Great Satan”?

That is the debate now swirling across Iran, where leaders have been sending mixed signals as they anticipate an unprecedented public effort by Washington to reach out to its archrival.

[This is Part 2 in a two-part package on Iran’s view of America under Obama. To read Part 1, ‘Iranians wary of Obama’s approach,’ click here.]

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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