Monday, March 09, 2009

Iran bans 'Gulf'-named vessels

Iran has decided to prevent vessels that carry the term 'Gulf' instead of 'Persian Gulf' in their name, from entering the country's waters.

"As certain countries have been making mischievous attempts to change the true name of the 'Persian Gulf ', we see the term 'Gulf' used in the name of a number of vessels," deputy head of a provincial ports and seafaring authority Ali-Reza Khojasteh, said according to a Monday report by the Iran daily.

"These vessels will be prevented from reaching the country's southern coasts from here onwards," he added.

During the past few years, some Arab countries that lie on the shores of the Persian Gulf have intensified their efforts to change the ancient designation of the water way, with the specific aim of removing the 'Persian' from the name and eventually replacing it with 'Arabian'.

Western powers have not refrained from aiding efforts to change the name, which has ordained world maps, atlases, and globes for many centuries.

In one of the latest cases, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown referred to the Persian Gulf in a June 26 public address as 'Gulf of Arabia', a move that was strongly condemned by Iran.

Despite attempts to create confusion and spread alternate use of the two terms, the United Nations Secretariat has repeatedly asked its staff to use only the full name of 'Persian Gulf' as the standard geographical term.

In 1994 and 1999, the UN Secretariat also issued two editorial directives, clarifying that only the term 'Persian Gulf' should be used in UN documents.

The International Hydrographic Organization also recognizes the name 'Persian Gulf', as outlined in the organization's reference S-23 (Limits of Oceans and Seas), section 41.

The IHO provides hydrographic information for international marine navigation and other purposes. The data provided by this organization is used as an official source for atlases, geographical information systems and scientific activities throughout the world.

According to British archaeologist Dr. Lloyd Weeks, the title of 'Persian Gulf' is deeply rooted in history and any attempt at changing it will be pointless.
"All historical texts have cited 'Persian Gulf' by the same name and world's reputed academic circles recognize it by the same title," Weeks says.

No comments: