Photo of Gulf War

From an exchange of notes in February 1996 between Shabnam Tabibzadeh and Ben Rooney, the editor of the British Electronic Telegraph.


You are always using the word "Gulf" instead of "Persian Gulf" in your articles. Is this another one of your anti-Iranian (or pro-Arab) plots to make it common for everyone to call it by this name? How would you feel if others call British Columbia or British Isle (or many other places that start with British) as only Columbia or Isle, etc.?

You have lost all the places that you once owned. Please don't do something that would make you lose your respect too.


I am afraid the logic of your arguement defeats me. The term "The Gulf" is not a UK-specific term -- I remember well that CNN called their coverage War in the Gulf.

It was know as The Gulf War and people suffer from Gulf War Syndrome. It has nothing to do with being anti-Iranian or anti-anyone else for that matter.

If you want to widen the debate you could ask why we refer to some countries and/or towns by their old names, e.g. Burma not Mynmar. The simple reason for that is that people would not know where we were talking about.

Our job is to inform our readers. The Gulf it was and the Gulf it will remain.

Ben Rooney
Editor, ET

Dear editor,

Thank you very much for your response. But if you look at history books , you will find out that the "Gulf" has been the "Persian Gulf" for centuries. Even if CNN called it the "Gulf" a few times (as a matter of fact American media refers to it as Persian Gulf most of the time) you as a responsible newspaper should try to give the right information to your readers.

"Persian Gulf" it was and "Persian Gulf" it will remain.

Thank you for your time and wish you happiness.


I am not saying it was not called the Persian Gulf, but merely that the term Gulf is synonymous. In newspapers given the choice between a longer and shorter phrase, the shorter will always win.

Ben Rooney

Your argument defeats ME!!

Thank you for your time and have a great day.


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Last Updated: 11-Mar-96
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