back to article Iran threatens to chuck sueball at Google over missing gulf

Iran's Foreign Ministry has threatened to take legal action against Google because the web firm removed the name Persian Gulf from its Maps and left the stretch of water nameless. "One of the seditionist acts taken as part of the soft war against the Iranian nation has been Google's shameless act to drop the name 'Persian Gulf' …

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Anonymous Coward

Reallly!

I'd love to see them try and sue in the US.

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Re: Reallly!

Considering the number of idiot judges, it's probably the only venue they would be heard in.

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Re: Reallly!

Just claims it's libel and sue in the UK.

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Facepalm

Re: Re: Reallly!

"Just claims it's libel and sue in the UK." For libel you would have to make a false statement, whereas it seems Google are simply not saying anything at all. You can't sue for libel for not saying something.

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Re: Reallly!

"For libel you would have to make a false statement....."

You don't read Private Eye, do you? The British courts have a long and chequered history of passing libel judgements against published material that is essentially, er, true.

That's why the filthy rich move heaven and earth to get a libel suit heard in the UK. Such things as: "Yes, the plaintiff is based in X and the material was published in Y, but someone in Britain could buy it from Amazon......."

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Reallly!

Yes, it's well enough established that the term "libel tourism" has been coined for it:-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libel_tourism

...and the Americans even passed a law to address the phenomenon:-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SPEECH_Act

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Boffin

Re: Re: Reallly!

TeeCee, I do read Private Eye quite often, but it doesn't change the fact you still need a defamatory statement (or what you consider a false statement or lie) in broadcast or print (for libel) before you can go to a court in the UK and sue under the defamation laws.

"....English law allows actions for libel to be brought in the High Court for any published statements alleged to defame a named or identifiable individual or individuals in a manner that causes them loss in their trade or profession, or causes a reasonable person to think worse of them...." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defamation#United_Kingdom

You cannot sue for libel for something someone did NOT publish, simple as, as there is no statement made. For example, you could suspect that I think you are a complete numpty, but unless I actually post a comment saying "TeeCee is a complete numpty", there is nothing you can do, you cannot sue for the libel of being not called a complete numpty (of course, not that I would want anyone to think you were a complete numpty). Seeing as Google have not put an alternative name on the Gulf in question, simply left it blank, it's kinda hard for the Iranians to claim the Gulf has been misnamed. I'm also not sure how the Iranians can claim the Gulf itself is upset seeing as it is just salty h2o without the ability to feel slighted....

On the practical side, we cannot stop the Arab countries changing the name of the body of water in their control, so if they want to call their half something different (such as the Arabian Gulf) then that's up to them, and the Iranians and the rest of the World can carry on referring to the half under Iranian control as the Persian Gulf, just as we have no say in the Indians saying we have to refer to Bombay as Mumbai. In fact, there is nothing to stop the individual countries all insisting we refer to parts of the old Persian Gulf as the Gulf of Iraq, the Bahraini Gulf, the Sea of Qatar, etc, etc. TBH, there are more serious issues in the World.

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Rolls eyes..

Maybe they should rename their country "Persia" then.

Might save the septics from confusing Iran and Iraq..

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Anonymous Coward

But it was Persia historically.

This is madness...

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Re: But it was Persia historically.

Wrong meme AC. Madness is Sparta, not Persia.

Persia is for time travelling princes.

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Megaphone

Re: But it was Persia historically. - - Yeah but who eventually screwed up Persia?

Yeah, and who screwed it up in the first place eh? Not the Iranians (Persians)!

Right, it was the British, French, Russians et al before and after WWI--fighting over OIL of course! The 'colonization' of Persia by the British and the dissolution and carve-up of the Ottoman Empire next door by competing Western interests whilst picking up the spoils of these centuries-old states is best described as hungry piranhas in a feeding frenzy.

And the fuck-up continues unabated today; we're still paying sorely for it with battlefield dead not to mention terrorism. And like Pontius Pilate, we in the West still continue to wash our hands of our early involvement.

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Re: But it was Persia historically.

And where did the guy who got kicked into the pit come from?

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Mushroom

Re: But it was Persia historically. - - Yeah but who eventually screwed up Persia?

Yeah right. I suppose you still blame the Romans for the problems of Europe, including Britain, too.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: But it was Persia historically. - - Yeah but who eventually screwed up Persia?

"Yeah, and who screwed it up in the first place eh? Not the Iranians (Persians)! Right, it was the British, French, Russians et al before and after WWI--fighting over OIL of course! "

There's been 5000 years of war in the Middle East with numerous empires rising and falling but everything was wonderful until the West came along and "screwed it up"? Read a history book - but not that marxist shit you' seem to read.

Incidentally, the Persians are not Arabs (and neither are the Turks) - why doesn't their colonization and subjugation of the region count for anything? Your outlook on the matter seems pretty frankly racist - everyone there who is not Europeans is essentially the same.

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Stop

Re: But it was Persia historically. - - Yeah but who eventually screwed up Persia?

"Yeah right. I suppose you still blame the Romans for the problems of Europe, including Britain, too."

To some extent yes. abcd is the Roman/Latin alphabet after all, but that's irrelevant in the 20th-C context to which I'm referring.

The point I was making is hardly a matter of argument. In the light of the WWI Versailles treaty fuck-up, it's pretty easy to understand. The Ottoman Empire, which the WWI allies, Britain, France, Australia etc, was fighting in the Dardanelles, were allied to Germany. Insensitivities, cultural and otherwise were not considered when the allies carved-up the Ottoman Empire.

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FAIL

Re: Re: But it was Persia historically. - - Yeah but who eventually screwed up Persia?

I really hope Graham doesn't work as a history teacher as he's obviously not cut out for the role, not unless he wants to work in North Korea, Zimbabwe or some other revisionist paradise.

"....Insensitivities, cultural and otherwise were not considered when the allies carved-up the Ottoman Empire." You really need to go do some reading about the history of the Mid East and the Med area in general. In particular, you may wish to focus on how the Ottoman Empire subjugated the locals, including the Arabs that fought on the side of the Brits in WW1 (hint - go read up on Lawrence of Arabia), the Armenians (the Hamidian massacres), and relations with the Christian states in the Balkans and Southern Europe (most of the eventual ethnic problems in the former Yugoslavia can be traced back to the Ottoman invasions).

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And next...

"One of the seditionist acts taken as part of the soft war against the Iranian nation has been Google's shameless act to drop the name 'Persian Gulf' which is... against historical documents,"

They are not serious about it. Well not yet, anyway. If they were serious, or when they get serious, they will start blaming Zionism and Zionist agents.

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Happy

Re: And next...

The really funny bit is that all the Iranian frothing is exactly what the Arabs (read Saudis) wanted to provoke, and they're probably all laughing into the hookah pipes right now.

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Anonymous Coward

politically charged

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persian_Gulf_naming_dispute

Make of it what you will.

I for one call it the Persian Gulf.

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Re: politically charged

Jeez, Google, it's called the Persian Gulf, just leave well enough alone.

I wonder if they were bowing to global-Zionist-banking-cartel pressure to remove all references to Iran, or to Muslim-Arab-Sharia-petro-terrorsists who want it renamed to Arabian Gulf

/sarcasm

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I take it

Google won't be invited onto Iran's internet.

Such a shame.

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WTF?

Why don't they make their own internet then?

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Happy

Finally

Something that I agree with Ahmedinajad about. They'll be anonymising the English Channel next!

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Re: Finally

English Channel?

Oh, you mean La Manche...

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Re: Finally

And the Falklands.

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Re: Finally

Well why not? The EU is calling World War II a "European Civil War".

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Happy

Re: Falklands

Hmmm, curious. A search on maps.google.com.ar for "las malvinas" doesn't identify the falklands, but instead returns a list of possible options, the top one of which is "Islas Falkland (Islas Malvinas)"

A search for "Golfo Pérsico" returns a red marker slap in the middle of the Persian Gulf, but with no label, so same as the English-language version.

Oh, and maps.google.fr can locate "la manche", but it's very clearly labelled "English Channel". I await President Hollande's official protest to Google... or he might decide to simply invade, last I heard, the UK had a shortage of carrier planes :)

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Holmes

Re: Finally

" Well why not? The EU is calling World War II a "European Civil War". "

Well, it was until Japan and the US butted in

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"European Civil War"?

How can it have been a civil war? As far as I know, that requires two groups within the same nation to be at war.

European may now be a Union (of sorts), but it wasn't back then.

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Re: Finally

Yes. Damn them for spoiling all the fun.

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Re: Finally

It's a bit strange to call it a European civil war. The European powers instigated it but they also controlled most of the world at that point so it wasn't just Europeans fighting, even at the beginning.

Also, are carriers really needed to defend an island with airstrips from a country 12 miles away?

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Re: Finally

Oh that's just great! Now we have revisionist history from the EUSSR.

It'll be book-burnings and gulags next.....

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Paris Hilton

Re: Falklands

Both Google Earth and maps.google.co.uk show a map of the Falklands labelled "Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)". You have to wonder who's running the mapping department at Google. Some sort of Argentinian redneck?

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Childcatcher

Re: Falklands

Its named as Falkland Islands (Isla Malvinas) because one is its officially recognised name, and the other is its alternate name as recognised by some others.

Such as the English Channel is referred to a La Manche in France.

Its Googles way of keeping the Brits and the Argies happy.

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Re: Finally

Or they could deal with it in the same way as they label Northern Ireland's second largest city - as "Londonderry/Derry"

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Megaphone

@Booty -- Re: "European Civil War"? - - Essentially, it was.

Essentially WWII was a "European Civil War", also it was round two, WWI being round one.

To quote directly from Wiki, note the last sentence:

"Wilhelm II or William II (German: Friedrich Wilhelm Viktor Albrecht von Preußen; English: Frederick William Victor Albert of Prussia) (27 January 1859 – 4 June 1941) was the last German Emperor (Kaiser) and King of Prussia, ruling the German Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia from 15 June 1888 to 9 November 1918. He was a grandson of the British Queen Victoria and related to many monarchs and princes of Europe."

The Germans and British rulers were related, also read Wiki on Nikolay Alexandrovich Romanov/Nicholas II of Russia and check the tangled spider's web of relations he had with other European Royalty.

If you are not happy with the fact that royalty in most European countries were closely related to each other and that this was a large family feud (a la civil war), then I suggest to read the famous historian A.J.P. Taylor's book 'The Origins of the Second World War', 1961. In this controversial-for-the-time publication he argues that WWII was a continuation of WWI and that the interwar years were essentially 'intermission'. He also gives very detailed and documented reasons together with references.

Right, I'm oversimplifying it a bit but that's the very gist of it. Both WWI and WWII were essentially 'European' at their very core; but as with all good bun fights, others on the periphery (U.S/Japan etc.) also have a habit of joining in (and anyway, the U.S. was also in WWI, which further legitimises its involvement in WWII--well, at least to some extent).

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FAIL

Re: @Booty -- "European Civil War"? - - Essentially, it was.

"....If you are not happy with the fact that royalty in most European countries were closely related to each other and that this was a large family feud (a la civil war)...." Which is completely irrellevant, given that the Great War and WW2 were both started by elected governments, not the royalty. You might have spotted that if you had been able to see round those massive chips on your shoulder.

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@Matt Bryant -- Re: @Booty -- "European Civil War"? - - Essentially, it was.

You've obviously never stood amongst the graves of the dead at the Dardanelles, the Somme or Verdun. Your comments would be more circumspect otherwise.

100 million dead in the 20th C. means fuck-all to you eh?

Thought so.

Similarly, it seems, goes your concern for the actual reasons behind why this was so.

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@Matt Bryant -- Re: @Booty -- "European Civil War"? - - Essentially, it was.

"Which is completely irrellevant, given that the Great War and WW2 were both started by elected governments, not the royalty"

Oh, BTW, read this: http://hti.math.uh.edu/curriculum/units/2004/01/04.01.04.php.

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Now that you've read it, delete all reference to royalty. Still make sense eh?

If you don't believe that one, then I've more in the same vein.

Beats me why you're bothering to argue about something you know so very little about.

---

"You might have spotted that if you had been able to see round those massive chips on your shoulder."

Sorry, the chips aren't mine. Suggest you plant them where they actually belong--on the shoulders of history.

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FAIL

Re: @Matt Bryant -- @Booty -- "European Civil War"? - - Essentially, it was.

"You've obviously never stood amongst the graves of the dead at the Dardanelles, the Somme or Verdun...." I have a relative recorded at La Neuville in Corbie, France, who died in the 1916 fighting on the Somme. There's just a marker because his body was never identified. Please don't think your moral hobbyhorse somehow gives you a better view than anyone else, you'll only be shown up for the fool you are.

".....100 million dead in the 20th C. means fuck-all to you eh?...." It is more deeply worrying that all those dead fell due to the decisions of common politicians, yet there are still rabid "believers" like yourself that are determined to paint it all as some form of monarchistic game. So, was Stalin a royalist when he invaded Finland and Poland in 1939, and the Baltic States in 1940? How about Hitler, I don't seem to recall him being anything more than an illegitimate son of an Austrian civil servant, not a member of the royal House of Hohenzollern.

Just to show the silliness of your frothing, the Prime Minister that took British Empire to war in 1914 was Henry Asquith, a Liberal, the US Prez that led America into the fray in 1917 was Woodrow Wilson (a very anti-royal Democrat that planned the League of Nations as a means of destabilising the traditional European royal empires), and the French PM of the day (Gaston Doumergue) was a Radical Socialist! Not a monarch amongst those elected decision-makers.

Please do continue exposing the limitations of your knowledge and your boundless prejudices, they are both highly amusing.

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FAIL

Re: @Matt Bryant -- @Booty -- "European Civil War"? - - Essentially, it was.

"....Oh, BTW, read this: http://hti.math.uh.edu/curriculum/units/2004/01/04.01.04.php...." I was going to, but it was a broken link, so instead I stopped at the prior level (http://hti.math.uh.edu/curriculum/units/2004/) to check the authors and noted that not a single one of them was a historian. This is my surprised face, honest! Frankly, if all your "vein" is going to be is academic whimsy then I suggest you leave the ivory towers and get out into the real World for a change.

"....Beats me why you're bothering to argue about something you know so very little about....." It is becoming very obvious that your "knowledge" is based not on experience or even reading of the subject matter, but on spoonfed and opinionated drivel passing itself as "education". Try again, only this time with some meat, please.

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Big Brother

Sadly

I have to agree with the people ruling Iran on this.

It is the Persian Gulf and has been so for a very long time. I expect that it is called something else in Farsi and something else again in Arabic. You can call something whatever you like in your own language but changing the name in my language (other than perhaps pronunciation) is not acceptable.

We say "English Channel" and the French say "Manche". Nobody is telling anyone what to call it.

It may even be that the Iranians are right when they blame a conspiracy on this. Iran has never got on too well with most Arabs. Now they don't get on very well with most of the rest of us. So some bright sparks somewhere could well have decided to this. They should shut up and get back into their box.

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Go

Re: Sadly

"It is the Persian Gulf and has been so for a very long time"

Well, they should play fair and give someone else a go!

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Anonymous Coward

On that subject...

Why are we supposed to call the Indian city Mumbai instead of Bombay, when we don't have to call the German city München instead of Munich?

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Re: Sadly

Just because a stopped clock is right twice a day doesn't change the fact that it's stopped.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: On that subject...

In most cases, the original name for a city (and many foods as well) is used verbatim in other languages. However, due to issues with varying pronunciation in different languages--and dialects, names generally don't translate well.

There are two methods that have been commonly used to make the foreign names understandable. The first is the wholesale corruption of the name to simply manhandle it into something simple, i.e. Munich or Venice.

The second method is usually a result of the languages having different writing systems. When the languages have different writing systems, transliteration schemes are developed to allow speakers from one language to more readily understand the other's written works. Historically, transliteration schemes have been rather imperfect due to misconceptions by speakers of both languages. This is especially true when the available phonemes (spoken sounds) in a pair of languages are dramatically different. As a result, once in a while the transliteration scheme will get updated which results in a new spelling for the same word, i.e. Peking is now Beijing. While I don't know much about the languages on the Indian sub-continent, I would expect that Bombay/Mumbai falls into this category as well.

So, to answer your question more directly, we generally try to use names that are as close as possible to the original while still being pronuncable by people who are not familiar with that language.

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Facepalm

Re: Sadly

"ust because a stopped clock is right twice a day doesn't change the fact that it's stopped."

Doesn't stop it being right, either. Seriously, I find renaming of things for political purposes both extremely petty and destructive. It merely creates bad feeling and something to fight over, whilst at the same time causing confusion and a messy historical record. There's no practical gain for changing the name, it's purely an antagonistic move. That body of water has been called The Persian Gulf since the ancient greeks and has that name in multiple languages (including English). The attempt to change the name came along with Arab nationalism in the Sixties. It was even called the Persian Gulf BY the arabs up until that time.

Please Google, just file this one away with "Freedom Fries" as a stupid thing by petty people. No good will come of it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: On that subject...

You can call it either, but the name has been changed to Mumbai (spelt M.u.m.b.a.i in English) by the local government. English is an official language in India and a whole lot of us who speak it in India have no problem with the pronounciation.

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Flame

Re: On that subject...

let's call our own autonomous regional capitals Caerdydd, Dùn Èideann and Béal Feirste here in the UK.

As for the original question of the Persian Gulf, let's be totally neutral and call it the Euphrates Estuary.

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