Persian Gulf or Arabian Gulf

Yesterday I received an e-mail in Farsi from my nephew asking me to vote on the Persian Gulf Issue:

I had heard verbally and in writing in the last few years of the Persian Gulf being called Arabian Gulf but never gave it any credence. But Google taking an active part on the subject took my attention. Apparently someone is serious about this, trying to take advantage from the Islamic Republic’s worldwide unpopularity and cashing in on something that is not theirs historically but crawls under their skin. If it has come to this, then we must act.

History: It has always been Persian Gulf as far back as history can remember. In the 5th Century BC, Darius the Great called it “tya;haca;parsa:Aifiy” meaning “ the sea which goes from Persia”. The Greeks called it “Persikonkaitas”, meaning Persian Gulf. During the Sassanian rule and Muhammad’s rule followed by the Caliphs, all call it “Persian Sea or Gulf”. On some occasions it was referred to as “Khalij e Basra”. The historians, travelers, and Geographers have spoken of: “Bahr-i-Fars”, “Daryaye-i-Fars”, Khalij-al-Ajami”, Khalij-i-Fars” all of which means “Persian Gulf” or “Persian Sea”.

Up until 1960’s all Arab Countries called the Persian Gulf with its proper name. In the 1960’s with emergence of Arab Nationalism, Pan-Arab union, they began to use the term “al-halig al-arabi”, “Arabian Gulf”. The use of the term was only limited to the Arab nations and never used by others or recognized by the United Nations. The United Nations Secretariat has requested this geographical body of water to be addressed as Persian Gulf. Arabian Gulf is to be referred to the Red Sea. On March-April 2006, the 23rd session of United Nations, the designation “Persian Gulf” was confirmed as the legitimate and official name to be used by United Nations.

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