Iran Challenges Google’s Map Omission


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The Iranian Foreign Ministry said Thursday that it will sue Google if it fails to identify the Persian Gulf on its maps.

The Mehr News Agency reports that ministry spokesman Rami Mehmanparast said the omission of the Persian Gulf’s name on Google Maps is offensive to Iran and the Iranian people. He warned that if Google fails to include the body of water’s appropriate name on its maps, Iran will file a suit against the company.

“Using new technology to play political games is one of the new approaches of Iran’s enemies, and Google is being taken advantage of in this manner,” Mehmanparast said.

Currently, the Persian Gulf is not named on Google Maps, and the Google Earth program uses the body of water’s two names: Persian Gulf and Arabian Gulf.

Earlier this month, a Google representative told the BBC that the company did not name every place in the world; he was, however, unable to provide an example of a similar case of an unnamed landmark on Google Maps.

The absence of the name Persian Gulf on Google Maps has triggered the anger of Iranians all over the world, and they have started various internet campaigns against it.

Iranian also launched an internet offensive after the National Geographic referred to the Persian Gulf as the Arabia Gulf several years ago. As a result, anyone searching for the Arabia Gulf on Google would land on a page indicating that the Arabia Gulf does not exist.

Britain’s Guardian newspaper writes that the Persian Gulf’s name is not a point of dispute on the international level, as the United Nations and Western countries all refer to the body of water as the Persian Gulf; however, Arab countries use a different title for it, and some media outlets just use the term “the Gulf” in order to avoid controversy.


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