Obama’s Pro-Arab Agenda Further Isolates the Iranian People


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Though never before a cyber confrontation, this cultural and historical rivalry has been long and often bloody.  Now proponents on each side have created dozens of Facebook group pages that fans can “like” and comment on. Caustic messages on both ends have resulted in the removal of some groups from the site. There are Youtube videos historically validating the use of “Persian Gulf” and its origins and others defending the use of “Arabian.” A “Google bomb” that was created a few years ago on the terminology is back: Those researching the “Arabian Gulf” might click on www.arabian-gulf.info, a site highly recommended by Google.  Once the site loads, the page reads,  “The Gulf You Are Looking For Does Not Exist. Try Persian Gulf.”

This is not the first time that the Iranian international community has been up in arms about this issue.  The Google bomb was actually created over the last Persian Gulf controversy in 2004.  Customarily, National Geographic has used the name Persian Gulf, but that year, it published an updated version of the National Geographic Atlas of the World where “Arabian Gulf” was provided as an alternative name.  Iranians around the globe protested heavily.  At the end of 2004, National Geographic formally apologized to the Iranian people and reversed its decision. They published an updated amendment removing the parenthetical reference, still mentioning that the body of water “is referred to by some as the Arabian Gulf.”

So the question remains: why is the administration so keen on appeasing the Arab world?  More importantly, where is the concern for further damaging the Washington D.C./Tehran relationship?  Even if the argument can be made that the name change adoption was a rogue move against an even more rogue dictator such as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the distinction must be made that this is not merely a move against the government of Iran — it is a betrayal against the people.

But what’s the big deal? It’s one word, some might say. Persian. Arabian.  To some they’re even synonymous.  But to the Iranians, who value and revere their heritage and culture, it is viewed as robbery of their one last cherished possession.

Ever since the Iranian people have been on the international stage intermittently since the country’s election in June of 2009, there has been speculation and confusion about the overall political hue of the country.  Are the people religious? Who actually voted for Ahmadinejad?  Do they hate Americans?  And while there are some religious, some fanatics, some supporters of Ahmadinejad and some brutally against the United States and its people, the media has been portraying them as a nation of freedom-loving, Internet-using, Tweeters and pop-culture consumers.  It has been difficult to generalize 70 million people living in a diverse and expansive country.  Finally, we have found a notion on which all Iranians will unite, and that is on their patriotism.

If we consider the political and social trials that the Iranian people have endured over the last three decades, as their country was uprooted by brutal, unjust Islamic fanatics who preached and violently enforced a religious ideology contrary to their own Iranian culture, their fascination and fixation with history, legacy and nationalistic pride gives a clear indication about the people’s homogenous love affair with Iranian heritage, dating back before Iran was a country and when the Persian Empire flexed its power and control over the region.

Delegitimization of that history, whether in the form of a government ban against the celebration of Mehregan, the ancient Zoroastrian celebration of the arrival of the autumn season, or by a U.S. directive to change the name of a geographically and emotionally significant body of water, shakes and the soul of every Iranian, wherever they live.

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  • http://hereticscrusade.blogspot.com Guy DeWhitney

    Google maps and Mapquest have ommited the label entirely though the Gulf of Aden is still labeled. Google maps labels the Gulf of Oman but not the larger Persian Gulf.

  • http://www.marzeporgohar.org Roozbeh Farahanipour

    Great piece,

    you can check our Statement regarding the U.S Navy directives regarding the Persian gulf :
    http://marzeporgohar.org/en/content/statement-reg

    and also my podcast in persian:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzVanACuqQA

    Down with Islamic republic
    Long Live Iran
    Roozbeh Farahanipour http://www.facebook.com/farahanipour

  • irandissident

    Obama and Iran:

    As thousands of Iranian demonstrators chanted in Tehran streets last year: "Obama! Obama! Yaa Baa Oonaa… Yaa Baaa Maa" , Obama ! Either With Them (the regime) or With Us (the people).

  • Negin S

    I just don’t understand why they are denying world history!? This unjust act should not only upset Persian people, but also everyone who believes in preserving historical symbols, names, and trademarks!

  • cyrus Kheiri

    Wikileaks: Obama’s War On America, Target Hillary Clinton

    On the day of the biggest breach of national security in American history, when war, in effect, was declared on the United States, the President of the United States held a press conference to announce a pay freeze on federal employees, and took no follow-up questions.

    http://biggovernment.com/pgeller/2010/12/03/wikil

    BIGGEST CONSERVATIVE STAND-OUTS OF 2010 http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=niqrrmev4mA&fe

    dont call my name Alejandro

    To: White House, Secretary of State, US Dept. of Defense & US Navy

    درود بیکران خدمت هموطنان گرامی‌. از آنجا که میبایست از هویت ایران و ایرانی‌ دفاع کرد و زحمات ایرانیانی را که تا به امروز برای ایران زندگی‌ کردند ایران را ساختند و برای ایران جان دادند، وظیفه امروز ماست که از آن آب و خاک پر گوهر دفاع کنیم. لطفا این پتیشن را خوانده و بعد امضا کنید. همچنین در وب سایت ما قرار گرفته است. یک ایران سپاس
    http://www.petitiononline.com/upopgulf/petition.h

    To: White House, Secretary of State, US Dept. of Defense & US Navy
    November 29, 2010

    The White House

    U.S. Secretary of State

    U.S. Department of Defense

    U.S. Navy

    Re: The “Persian Gulf”

    Mr. President, Honorable Secretary of State, and Chief of Naval Operations,

    We are writing to express our deep concern regarding the recent news that the U.S. Navy has revised its Style Guide in connection with a body of water located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula known historically and internationally as the “Persian Gulf.” Specifically, the U.S. Navy has revised its guidelines in adding the following notation:

    Arabian Gulf – use instead of Persian Gulf;

    while revising the following entry:

    Persian Gulf – use Arabian Gulf. "Gulf" is acceptable in second reference. Note: The Arabian Sea is its own body of water and should not be confused with references to the Arabian Gulf. (http://www.navy.mil/submit/view_styleguide.asp)

    The U.S. government is in possession of a plethora of evidence with respect to the history of the “Persian Gulf” as well as the earliest world maps correctly noting the name of this body of water. The U.S. government is also well aware of the 2006 United Nations’ confirmation of the name “Persian Gulf,” and its statement that “any change, destruction, or alteration of the names registered in historical deeds and maps is like the destruction of ancient works and is considered as an improper action” (Twenty-third Session, Vienna, 28 March – 4 April, 2006). Further, the June 1, 2009 Captioning Style Guide published by the U.S. Dept. of Defense defines “Persian Gulf” as:

    Persian Gulf. Do not use “Arabian Gulf.” Note that the Arabian Sea is its own body of water and should not be confused with references to the Arabian (Persian) Gulf.

    It is erroneous to assume this illegal geographic name change will bring harm to the despotic regime in Tehran – a regime that does not care about Iranian culture and heritage let alone identity. To the contrary, it is a psychological warfare against the Iranian people, and counterproductive to their endeavor to fight Islamist terrorists in taking back their country.

    The U.S. Army Center of Military History which at least twice makes reference to the “Persian Gulf” in its Style manual quotes the Father of this great nation George Washington as stating: “I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.”

    We respectfully request that the U.S. Navy revert back this recent gross oversight that may result in unimaginable and irreversible consequences in fostering good relations with the people of Iran at a critical time in history. The U.S. foreign policy should support secular, freedom loving forces to gain long-term benefits.

    Respectfully submitted,
    Iranians advocating Freedom, Democracy, Secularism & Human Rights in Iran

    By
    Active,Human Rights

  • cyrus Kheiri
  • Arash

    It's sad that the author had to make so many subjective statements regarding the government in Iran and it's origins. It takes away from her main argument and makes her look like your typical Iranian-American who has not lived in Iran in many years and is mostly informed via her parents or the diaspora. It's a shame because I would have posted this article for friends to read, but the intermittent drivel is a real turn-off. I wish Iranians on all sides could be more professional.

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