A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Monday, August 16, 2010

The [Insert Name Here] Gulf, Yet Again

The old Persian/Arab Gulf argument is back again, with the Mayor of Shiraz (Iran) going after Gulf Air because the Bahrain-based airline does not call itself "Persian Gulf Air." (Thanks to The Gulf Blog for catching this one.) You'll recall that this sort of thing keeps coming up, and even led to postponement of the (apparently misnamed) Islamic Solidarity Federation games.

It also is noted in the first link above that the Iranians have also gone after National Geographic and banned both its Atlas and its reporters.

I know from experience as an editor that Iranians, including Iranian scholars living in the West, get very insistent about this, and whereas my predecessor sought to use just "the Gulf," I let the author decide, and the Iranians of course always will choose Persian Gulf.

If we agree, will they scrap the nuclear program?

1 comment:

David Mack said...

Ayatollah Khomeini, founder of the Iranian Islamic Republic, had the idea of calling it "Islamic Gulf." Unfortunately, despite his great prestige in modern Iran, his wise idea could not overcome Persian chauvinism.