A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Monday, February 22, 2010

The (Insert Name Here) Gulf, Continued

Iran's latest campaign to enforce usage of the term "Persian Gulf" as opposed to "Arab Gulf" or simply "Gulf" is continuing. Iran is now saying it will ban airlines that don't use the term "Persian Gulf." This latest raising of the perennial issue apparently stems from Iran's firing and expulsion of a Greek flight attendant on (domestic Iranian operator) Kish Airlines, because the aircraft's monitor displayed the term "Arab Gulf." It isn't clear why this flight attendant was singled out, and the story also suggests the whole flight crew might be fired.

I addressed this issue just a month ago, and it remains a chip on Iran's shoulder (as if it has nothing else to confront its neighbors over).


Will said...

Shades of Reza Shah when he had all mail addressed to "Persia" sent back after he renamed the country "Iran" in 1935

Michael Collins Dunn said...

True enough, though he didn't really "rename" the country since Iran is an ancient name; he insisted on its use in foreign languages.