Navy Causes Controversy by Changing ‘Persian Gulf’ to ‘Arabian Gulf’
Thursday, December 09, 2010
The U.S. Navy has ticked off a lot of Iranians. Quietly, the Navy changed its policy on the name of the body of water separating Saudi Arabia from Iran—what commonly has been referred to as the Persian Gulf. Now all naval personnel are supposed to call it the Arabian Gulf, and that’s not sitting well with many from the land once known as Persia.
Once word got out that the Navy was using Arabian Gulf, angry messages began appearing on the service’s Facebook page. At least 4,000 messages reportedly were posted as of last Thursday, most of which called for the Navy to go back to using Persian Gulf.
Some of the messages, according to UPI, were:
--“From thousands years ago this gulf had been persian gulf and it will be forever persian...sorry for americans.”
--“How can world trust you when you easily change the history? It’s persian Gulf forever.”
-- “Is anybody in US Navy who has studied the geography? ... My question is can anybody change the name of America? that's crazy.”
For most of recorded history, the area was known almost universally as the Persian Gulf, but with the rise of Arab nationalism in the 1960s and the decline of Iranian power, Arab nations began using the new name.
Navy Facebook Page Gets Pro-Iranian Posts (United Press International)
Arabian vs. Persian: Iranians Take to U.S. Navy's Facebook to Protest 'Arabian Gulf' (by Melissa Bell, Washington Post)
U.S. Navy Bombarded with Facebook Complaints on Use of 'Arabian Gulf' (by Barbara Starr, CNN)
Persian Gulf Naming Dispute (Wikipedia)
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