Iran Says It May Sue Google Over Dropping Persian Gulf Name On Google Maps

This morning comes more saber rattling from Iran, the troubled Middle-Eastern regime that routinely issues threats against real and perceived enemies. This time the object of the Iranian leadership’s vitriol is Google.

Google has dropped the name of the body of water historically known as the “Persian Gulf.” The map instead offers no name for the area.

According to a report from the Associated Press, “Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast says that if Google does not restore the name of the Persian Gulf, it will face ‘serious damages.’” The country has threatened to sue Google.

However the naming of the Gulf is disputed. Many Arab countries assert that it should be called the Arabian Gulf instead.

It’s not clear whether Google dropped the name because of this dispute. However it’s very unlikely that Iran has any real recourse through the US or European court system over the issue.

This is certainly not the first such “international incident” for Google Maps. Cambodia was upset with Google about how the country’s border with Thailand was drawn on Google Maps. And a Nicaraguan military commander moved troops into Costa Rica, creating controversy, and blamed the episode on Google Maps.

Most recently Google Street View photography on Google Maps supposedly revealed a secret military base in Israel.

Related Topics: Channel: Local | Google | Google: Legal | Google: Maps


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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  • s. kamal sajadian

    Can your
    site become nameless?
    Can you become nameless?
    Can your place of birth or your country become nameless?
    With this nasty & senseless job that Google has done, it is not only
    insulting & disrespecting about 80 millions of Iranian, but also ignored
    the history’s truth as well. Before this event, we had very good impression of
    Google, but now we are totally, heartily & deeply hurt, disappointed &
    disgusted with this site. Hope Google will soon be remorseful for this
    intentionally committed mistake and do apologized from all Iranian, so that it may
    be able to convert this 80 million Iranians enemies to friends again. Just keep
    in mind that you can not withhold the evergreen an ancient fact or ignore the
    truth & history ‘s evidence from the people for the propose of self
    interests & dirty politics.
    And remember that Persian Gulf is always & for ever & ever & ever
    …remains Persian Gulf & nobody is allowed to ignore the Persian Gulf or
    make it nameless. Long live Iran & The Persian Gulf
    From Dr. s.k.sajadian, Tehran, Iran

  • Rizvi Amir Abbas Syed

    When you bully a country then obviously they’ll ban you… and then the entire world will cry foul…. be responsible and don’t succumb to the Arab Dictators… they are all falling one after another and the US is losing their allies :)Persian Gulf is important from every point of view. it is the historical name which the Islamic Government did not tamper with. It is not about any single nation, it is about history and geography. Imagine if Alexandria is deleted from the map only because Alexandar was not an Arab… History is important for the civilization… Google should try to remain independent of Arab bullies and perto dollars. 
    Arabs even want the theory of Evolution to be removed from the the rest of the world… they have done that already in their text books… will Google support such stupidity? 

  • FreddyJo

    is there is defining group who decides what areas are named?

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