A dhow carrying tourists cruises off the Oman’s Khasab shores along the Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf
AFP/File – Marwan Naamani
Iran warned on Thursday it could sue Google for leaving the body of water separating it from the Arabian peninsula nameless on its online map service.
Shiite Iran insists on calling the waterway the “Persian Gulf” but the Sunni-ruled Arab countries on the other side of the body of water prefer “Arabian Gulf” or simply “Gulf.”
“Google’s action is part of the plots against our country,” Foreign Ministry Ramin Mehmanparast told reporter on Thursday.
“If Google does not correct its mistake as soon as possible, we will file an official complaint against Google,” he said, adding that many Iranians have protested online against the Internet giant.
Iranians say historical evidence shows the water has always been “Persian,” and that the Gulf’s identity is part of Iran’s territorial integrity.
Earlier this month Iran criticised Google over its decision, saying keeping the map nameless would hurt its credibility.
Tehran has constantly criticised countries and institutions that do not use the term “Persian Gulf.” In 2010, it warned that airlines using the term “Arabian Gulf” on in-flight monitors would be barred from Iranian airspace.
The simmering dispute also resulted in the cancellation of sports events by the Riyadh-based Islamic Solidarity Sports Federation in early 2010, after Iran used the term “Persian Gulf” on medals for the event it was seeking to host.
Another point of contention between the Islamic republic and its Arab neighbours is the group of three barren islands in the Gulf over which both Iran and the United Arab Emirates claim territorial sovereignty.
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