To President Barack Obama

Mr. President,

At an official level, the UN and various other international bodies recognize ” Persian Gulf ” as the established and recommended name based on historical usage. That has also been the official position of all the United States administrations since the time of its independence more than two and a quarter centuries ago. Or rather it has been until your term of presidency.

On October 20, 2010 at a press briefing on arms sales to Saudi Arabia, State Department’s Assistant Secretary for Political-Military Affairs Andrew Shapiro in prepared remarks said ” It will send a strong message to countries in the region that we are committed to support the security of our key partners and allies in the “Arabian Gulf” and broader Middle East.” He has also used word “Gulf” twice in his briefing in referring to “Persian Gulf”.

On November 24, 2010 the United States Navy has ordered all troops under its command to use the forged name “Arabian Gulf” to refer to the body of water to the south of Iran, and also made it acceptable to exercise using term “Gulf” in a second reference.

Considering neither of the illicit and historically incorrect terms “Arabian Gulf” or “Gulf” is recognized internationally, the use of such language by the U.S. government departments and officials in conducting the administration dogmas across the globe raises serious speculation about the nature of such wrong-doing policies. To realize how chaotic this episode may sound among international communities just imagine that U.S. unilaterally starts using the term “Gulf of America” in referring to the “ Gulf of Mexico ”.

Mr. President ,

The politically charged term “Arabian Gulf” or simply “Gulf” has originally been devised by some Arab states to create division between Arabs and non-Arabs in the Middle East. Iraqi dictator

Saddam Hussein employed the term to legitimize his territorial ambitions and generate discord among Arabs and Iranians, Israelis, and other non-Arabs in the region. Osama Bin Laden and other al Qaeda figures have used it to appeal for their cause and exploit potential ethnic divisions . On the other hand, the correctness of the term “Persian Gulf” is indisputable and carries none of these negative implications. The Persian Gulf has been known and recognized as such for more than 2,500 years . The name derives from the fact that the great Achaemenid Empire in the sixth century B.C.E. had its center of power in the province of Fars (Pars/ Persis) in the southwestern region of the Iranian plateau.

Mr. President ,

Prior to 1979 during the Shah’s regime Iran was the most politically stable country in the region and a strong U.S. ally. There is no doubt that our country has been degraded under the current rogue regime in Iran. The IRI regime has committed many crimes against Iranians and others and has broken and disrespected every single law of diplomacy among the international communities. The massive protests in Tehran and other cities in 2009 proved, millions of Iranians oppose the illegitimate mullahs’ regime and its criminal leaders. Despite promoted by the Islamic republic and its mercenary religious groups at large, Iranian people not only are not anti-Americans but they have proved their genuine love for Americans by holding candlelight vigil right after the 911 attack. That is why the course of action of U.S. administration in dealing with Iran necessitates pursuing a bidirectional policy, one that targets the imposition of political sanction on the IRI regime and its leaders and the other that aims at supporting the people of Iran with their strives toward reaching democracy. As such, millions of Iranians who have participated in the demonstrations against the regime will eventually be able to replace the theocratic government with a secular democratic one based on the principles of human rights.

Mr. President ,

the use of provocative terms of “Arabian Gulf” and/or “Gulf” falls short of assisting the State Department’s vision in safeguarding the security and stability in the region . Furthermore it aims at fueling the ethnic tension in the area and will cause enmity and hostility among the people of Iran toward America, which would signify a counterproductive path for the U.S. ahead. Thus, the U.S. administration officials are strongly urged to reconsider their positions regarding this issue and only use the correct name “Persian Gulf”.


On behalf of genuine Iranians

Mansur Rastani, PhD

CC: Secretary of State, Hillary R. Clinton

CC: Secretary of Defense, Robert, M. Gates

CC: Secretary of the Navy, Ray E. Mabus

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