Google Map’s missing Gulf angers Iranians

The adjoining Gulf of Oman is still clearly marked on Google Maps


Iranians have been complaining that Google Maps now has no name on the body of water they call the Persian Gulf and is also known as the Arabian Gulf.

The issue has stirred controversy in recent years between Iranians and Arabs, who each say their name is the only one that should be used.

A Google representative told the BBC it did not name every place in the world.

He said the company also did not want to take any political stance in response to the angry Iranian reaction.

He was unable to provide an example of a similar case of a missing landmark.

‘No historical justification’

The fact that the blue space between Iran and Arab Gulf states is now nameless on Google Maps shows just how heated the issue has become.

Iranians say there is absolutely no historical justification for calling it anything but the Persian Gulf.

Spoof page showing result of search for "Arabian Gulf" Searching for “Arabian Gulf” on Google elicits a spoof message from Iranian internet users

But there has been increasing pressure from Arab sources to call it the Arabian Gulf – or at least to use both names.

Several years ago, Iranians launched an internet offensive after National Geographic did just that.

As a result, anyone searching for the Arabian Gulf on Google found a website saying it did not exist.

Still on Google Earth

A number of Iranians have posted on twitter a link to Google Maps with the question: “Where’s the Persian Gulf?”

They could look at Google Earth – another interactive world map provided by the internet giant.

It still appears there – as does the alternative, the Arabian Gulf.

Source: BBC News


I don’t care what they call it.

But I always remember it as the Persian Gulf.

The name should stay, because it in no way represents the Iran that Persia has become.

The fact that Iran and Iranians are quibbling over Google’s crude attempt at sitting on the fence is inconsequential. Had Iran still been called Persia, then there is an issue.

The Persian Empire


As you can see, Iran is nothing like the mighty Persian Empire. The Persian Gulf was named before Iran existed, and as you can see by the map, rightly so, it was in the middle of Persia.

When the Persian Gulf is brought to mind, I no more think of Iran than fly to the moon.