After discovering that Google had taken the initiative to change what has been historically known as the “Persian Gulf” to the “Arabian Gulf” in their popular Google Earth software, the country of Iran had some harsh words for the search giant. Iran makes the claim that Google has attempted to “distort” historical facts, and refers to their action as a “political ambition” and a “plot”.
The controversial change has since evoked very strong reactions across Iran. The Islamic Iran Participation Party has said that it raises suspicions that Google Earth managers are “knowingly or unknowingly” following the lead of external powers who aim to provoke conflict in the region. Iranians both living within the country and abroad have flooded Google with complaints.
Interestingly, this is not the first time that someone has attempted to change the name of the Persian Gulf. In 2004, the National Geographic Society made mention of the Arabian Gulf in its World Atlas, instead of the Persian Gulf. However, following huge protests by Iranians, it was corrected in the book’s eighth edition.
Google, it seems, has not yet publicly addressed the issue.