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  • 28 October 2011
  • Posted By Loren White
  • 1 Comments
  • Congress, Diplomacy, Events in Iran, NIAC round-up, US-Iran War

Iranian News Roundup 10/28

Beres, Edney, and McInerney Haaretz op-ed calls for preemptive strikes by U.S. against Iran
Democrats attempt to block GOP measure by highlighting company’s Iran ties
Economics beats politics: Saudi opposition to Iran fades on $100 oil goal
Explosion on Iranian oil rig kills 1, injures 3
NY bill seeks ban on companies investing in Iran
Chinese missiles may get around sanctions
Iranian officials respond to Secretary Clinton’s interview
EU trip to Iran canceled amid international criticism
Rep. Lipinski and Wolf send letter to Sec. Clinton urging sanctions against foreign entities aiding Iran’s nuclear ambitions

Haaretz op-ed calls for preemptive strikes by U.S. against Iran
In concert with Wednesday’s hearing on Capitol Hill, this op-ed is part of the new increasing trend laying the groundwork for military action against Iran.  The writers, which include Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney–who has endorsed utilizing the MEK for “tit for tat” campaign of terrorist attacks against Iran, call for the U.S. should launch a preemptive strike to destroy Iran’s nuclear program. (Louis Rene Beres, Leon Edney, Thomas McInerney Jerusalem Post 10/28)

Democrats attempt to block GOP motion by highlighting company’s Iran ties
House Democrats used ties between a U.S. companies parent company, based in London, and an Iranian government-controlled company to attempt to block an Arizona land swap deal.  The blocking measures failed to garner a single Republican vote.  The Democrat’s previously have tried to use ties between the Koch brothers and companies doing business in Iran for fundraising purposes. (Ron Kampeas 10/27)

Economics beats politics: Saudi opposition to Iran fades on $100 oil goal
Despite the deteriorating relationship between Iran and Saudi Arabia, the countries have reached an agreement to work together to keep oil prices above $100 a barrel. (Lobelog 10/28)

Explosion on Iranian oil rig kills 1, injures 3
An explosion occurred on an Iranian oil field yesterday that left one person dead.  It is not exactly clear whether this incident was a result of Iran’s deteriorating oil infrastructure, an act of sabotage, or human error. (Washington Post 10/28)

NY bill seeks ban on companies investing in Iran
The New York State legislator is currently looking into a bill to prevent companies that invest in Iran’s energy sector from doing business in New York.  If passed there is a list of 50 potential companies that would be targeted by this legislation. (Reuters 10/27)

Chinese missiles may get around sanctions
A U.S. commission determined that China was not in violation of existing sanction laws with its sale of short range missiles to Iran.  However, as these missiles could be used by Iran to target oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz, the commission recommended that changes be made to existing laws so that future sale of such missiles to Iran would be barred.  (Bloomberg Businessweek 10/27)

Iranian officials respond to Secretary Clinton’s interview
Secretary of State Clinton’s announcement about the launching of a “virtual embassy,” was quickly rebutted by Iranian officials.  Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast and Iranian Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani claimed that Clinton’s efforts to reach out to the Iranian people were attempts to take attention away from economic uncertainty and protests in the U.S. (InsideIran 10/27)

EU trip to Iran canceled amid international criticism
A controversial five-day diplomatic trip to Iran by European Union lawmakers was canceled.  The reason for the cancelation is not yet clear, as there are conflicting reports about which side ultimately decided to pull the plug on the trip. (Jerusalem Post 10/28)

Rep. Lipinski and Wolf send letter to Sec. Clinton urging sanctions against foreign entities aiding Iran’s nuclear ambitions
In a bi-partisan letter sent to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the congressmen urge that the State Department take steps to target “the lifeblood of Iran’s economy” by sanctioning foreign companies that invest in Iran’s energy sector. (Lipinski.hou.gov 10/26)

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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