To: International Media
February 19, 2008
>>> SIGN PETITION
Dear Administrators of Google Earth,
We, the undersigned, through this letter, protest your irresponsible, unscientific actions, and demand an immediate and unconditional deletion of “Arabian Gulf” from Google Earth.
Arbitrarily designating the Persian Gulf as the Arabian Gulf is an irresponsible violation of all historical and International standards and would undermine the integrity of Google Earth.
For the records, the name Persia has always been used to describe the nation of Iran, its people, and its ancient empires since 600 BC. It is derived from the ancient Greek name for Iran's maritime province, called Fars or Pars in modern Persian, Pars in Middle Persian and Pârsa in Old Persian, a word meaning "above reproach.” Persis is the Hellenized form of Pars, and through the Latinized word Persia, the other European nations came to use this word for the region. This area was the core of the original Persian Empire.
Since ancient times almost all foreigners referred to the entire country as Persia until March 21, 1935, when Reza Shah Pahlavi formally asked the international community to call the country Iran — a name that the people of Persia, themselves, used to refer to their country since the Sassanian period. "Iran" means "Land of Aryans". In 1959 some Persian scholars protested to the government that the name change had separated the country from its ancient civilization. Therefore, the late King Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi announced that both Persia and Iran can be used in Western languages.
Without disparaging the Arabs, Iranians are proud of their non-Arab heritage and strongly resent any attempt at denigrating or changing any aspect of their Iranian heritage. And the Persian Gulf occupies a pivotal place in the Iranian history and culture. Furthermore, Iran abuts the Persian Gulf for 2,000 Km, while about a dozen recently-created Arab Sheikhdoms and emirates border the Gulf on the other side.
The historical and geographical name of the Persian Gulf has been endorsed and clarified by the United Nations on many occasions and is in use by the UN, its member states, and all other international agencies worldwide. The last UN Directive confirming the name of the Persian Gulf was (reference ST/CS/SER.A/29/Add.2) on August, 18th 1994.
The worldwide Iranian people are deeply affronted by this arrogant designation of “The Arabian Gulf.” We demand, in the strongest possible terms, that you take immediate steps to restore the rightful name of the Persian Gulf to the waterway on Google Earth and delete any other arbitrary name. We hope that this notice would suffice and obviates the need for litigation.
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