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Iran threatens to chuck sueball at Google over missing gulf

State unhappy that 'Persian Gulf' name is gone

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Iran's Foreign Ministry has threatened to take legal action against Google because the web firm removed the name Persian Gulf from its Maps and left the stretch of water nameless.

"One of the seditionist acts taken as part of the soft war against the Iranian nation has been Google's shameless act to drop the name 'Persian Gulf' which is... against historical documents," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said on state television.

"We have put on our agenda to make an official complaint against Google," he said, according to Reuters.

The waterway in question is bordered by Iran on one side and Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE on the other, plus a teeny bit of Iraq. Those states prefer to call it the Arabian Gulf, while Iran wants it to stay the Persian Gulf, as it has historically been known.

In Iran, the issue is taken very seriously. The country has previously told airlines that if they don't use Persian Gulf on their onscreen passenger maps, they'll be banned from Iranian airspace. Iran also does not accept use of the compromise name The Gulf, insisting on Persian Gulf.

Google Maps has left the waterway clear of any name, but a search for "Persian Gulf" puts the red marker smack bang in the middle of the stretch, while a search for "Arabian Gulf" gets you options of the water right beside Dubai or Kuwait.

Google told The Register that it had no comment on the issue.

The possibility has been raised that perhaps more than one waterway has been left unnamed on Maps, but no one has yet come up with an example of another major missing one. ®

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