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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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reallly!

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

    1. aelfheld

      Re: Reallly!

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

      1. kain preacher Silver badge

        Re: Reallly!

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

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          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.

          1. TeeCee Gold badge
            Facepalm

            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......."

            1. Anonymous Coward
              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

            2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              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.

  2. amanfromearth

    Rolls eyes..

    Maybe they should rename their country "Persia" then.

    Might save the septics from confusing Iran and Iraq..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      But it was Persia historically.

      This is madness...

      1. Chad H.

        Re: But it was Persia historically.

        Wrong meme AC. Madness is Sparta, not Persia.

        Persia is for time travelling princes.

        1. Graham Wilson
          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.

          1. TeeCee Gold badge
            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.

            1. Graham Wilson
              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.

              1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                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).

          2. Anonymous Coward
            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.

        2. Anonymous C0ward

          Re: But it was Persia historically.

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

  3. Turtle

    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.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      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.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. James Micallef Silver badge
      Facepalm

      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

  5. tmTM

    I take it

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

    Such a shame.

  6. ravenviz Silver badge
    WTF?

    Why don't they make their own internet then?

  7. umacf24
    Happy

    Finally

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

    1. Alister Silver badge

      Re: Finally

      English Channel?

      Oh, you mean La Manche...

    2. Anonymous Coward 15

      Re: Finally

      And the Falklands.

      1. James Micallef Silver badge
        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 :)

        1. Displacement Activity
          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?

          1. Echowitch
            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.

    3. aelfheld

      Re: Finally

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

      1. James Micallef Silver badge
        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

        1. Boothy

          "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.

          1. Graham Wilson
            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).

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              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.

              1. This post has been deleted by its author

              2. Graham Wilson

                @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.

                1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                  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.

              3. Graham Wilson

                @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.

                |

                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.

                1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                  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.

        2. Jaybus

          Re: Finally

          Yes. Damn them for spoiling all the fun.

          1. Fibbles

            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?

        3. TeeCee Gold badge
          Flame

          Re: Finally

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

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

    4. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: Finally

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

  8. Spanners Silver badge
    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        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.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        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.

      3. Blue eyed boy
        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.

        1. jonathanb Silver badge

          Re: On that subject...

          An English person reading out "Cardiff" will come up with a pretty similar pronunciation to a Welsh person reading out "Caerdydd".

      4. jonathanb Silver badge

        Re: On that subject...

        Because English is an official language in India, and Mumbai is the official name of the city in English, whereas Munich is a translation into English of the German word München.

    3. aelfheld

      Re: Sadly

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

      1. h4rm0ny
        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.

  9. davidjs

    Just fake it?

    Why don't they just change the results like they do per country, like they do for Kashmir?

    http://i.imgur.com/ZbSat.jpg

    (Link is to a picture of maps of India)

  10. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    And are then countersued via the WTO...

    When several US companies claim that they already own the "iRan" patent for a new digital music player / track shoe hybrid, and the "iRaq" patent for a new digital music player / vegetable counting device.

    It all kicks off and nobody wins except the lawyers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And are then countersued via the WTO...

      I thought the iRaq was a digital music player/brassiere?

      1. Dire Critic

        Re: And are then countersued via the WTO...

        "I thought the iRaq was a digital music player/brassiere?"

        Nah, it's a pet name for Mrs Jobs' chesticles.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Pretty Dumb

    It is internationally known as the Persian Gulf and has been for a very long time. It makes no sense for Google to screw with that. I note that Bing is still correct.

    If this sort of thing is OK, then can I make a case for renaming the Bristol Channel? Why should the English be claiming it?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pretty Dumb

      Er... because most people know how to pronounce 'Bristol' on account of it including vowels?

      1. Jediben
        Devil

        Re: Pretty Dumb

        Talking of pretty dumb, I would have thought Bug Dumb Guy 555 would be all over this like a big dumb thing.

        1. Tom 13
          Coat

          Re: Bug Dumb Guy 555

          Nah, I heard his wife permanently turned off the CAPS LOCK on his PC so he won't be posting for a while...

      2. Anonymous John

        Re: Pretty Dumb

        Môr Hafren has three vowels. So there.

      3. Graham Marsden
        Boffin

        Re: Pretty Dumb

        "most people know how to pronounce 'Bristol'"

        Well, no, they *think* they know how to pronounce it, but it's actually more correctly pronounced "Bristle" (at least by the locals ;-) )

    2. Fibbles
      Coat

      Re: Pretty Dumb

      Because Wales was annexed by England and as a principality they have to do as they're told?

      /blind_nationalism 0

    3. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: Pretty Dumb

      "Why should the English be claiming it?"

      Because Owain Glyndŵr lost.

  12. DrXym Silver badge

    Persian Gulf is fine

    But Iran's attitude is not. It's a really stupid argument over a large expanse of water that Iran does not control. If consensus amongst countries in the region were to change the name, then the name should be changed. If the name continues in dispute then I see no issue in calling it Arabian / Persian Gulf until some international body sits everyone down and resolves the issue.

    I'm not sure why Google should give a shit about which of either name is right. They certainly shouldn't try very hard to molify Iran given their obsession to isolate the entire country from the internet.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Persian Gulf is fine

      "... molify Iran given their obsession to isolate the entire country from the rest of the world"

      Fixed it.

    2. James Micallef Silver badge

      Re: Persian Gulf is fine

      "consensus amongst countries in the region were to change the name"

      I gather that the arabian countries already call it the 'arabian gulf' in arabic and the Iranians call it the 'persian gulf' in Farsi. The question is, why should English speakers change from the centuries-old usage of "Persian Gulf"?

      Iran is basically throwing a hissy fit over nothing but it's still stupid of Google to not write "Persian Gulf" at least on their English-Language maps

      1. Vic

        Re: Persian Gulf is fine

        > why should English speakers change from the centuries-old usage of "Persian Gulf"?

        Because we were forced to change from the centuries-old usage of "Persia"?

        Vic.

      2. h4rm0ny

        Re: Persian Gulf is fine

        Changes of name from outside are usually a prelude to aggression. Seriously, whether that is enforcing English names on places in Ireland (as the English did when they first started trying to invade Ireland), or Israel giving their own names to various places or China's refusal to recognize what Taiwan calls itself. Before territory grabs, aggressors attempt to assert their right to the territory and dismiss others. Name changes have historically been a part of that ever since people started to demand justifications from their governments for why it was right for them to take control of somewhere.

        Given how threatened Iran feels by the West and by Israel recently, it's not surprising they are touchy on this subject. But like you say, that's by the by. There's no reason we should change the name of centuries upon centuries because arab nationalists would like it to be called the Arabian Gulf.

      3. Tom 13

        Re: why should English speakers change from the centuries-old usage of "Persian Gulf"?

        Because somewhen between 1945 and now we lost the pair we use to have. If we still had a pair, we'd have told them to sod off a long, long time ago.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why does it matter so much? Who actually cares?

    Think about it!

    On the Iranside they call it Pursian Gulf

    On the Saudi side they call it Arabian Gulf

    Its the same stretch of water know by different names by different cultures.

    The same could be said about alot of stuff.

    Oi! Iran! Wind ya neck in!

  14. Homer 1 Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Missing waterway

    The waterway running from my freshly-washed car to the drain at the side of my house is missing from Google maps!

    I will not tolerate this outrage!

    On a more serious note... I'm not exactly a fan of US politics, in fact I think it's even more corrupt than that of the Middle-East, but at the same time I don't see how a private, American company like Google can be held legally accountable to a foreign country, just because it chooses to omit something from a service it doesn't specifically provide to that country.

    Of course, you could say the same if they had included that information, and pissed-off Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE instead, except it would also have pissed-off the interventionist US government as well, which is rather more relevant to a US company, and thus the real motive for this ostensibly arbitrary decision.

    But if Iran's Foreign Ministry really wants to do something about it, they should counter with their own online maps, then they could reinstate the "Persian Gulf", and rename Washington to "America Incorporated® HQ" while they're at it, then leave it to the reader to decide which is more accurate.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Missing waterway

      I'll go with that - Google favouring the (Persian) Gulf states they can influence rather than the one they can't.

      Why don't google put all the names its known by on the map - they are an information provider after all.

      I tried putting the question to google direct "what is the gulf near iran called" I typed and the top answer was "Persian Gulf".

  15. Yann BZH
    Joke

    English Channel

    Me too, I'm planning on suing Google. It is not the "English Channel", it's called "La Manche"!

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: English Channel

      I think the Fwench have to go ask Angela Merkel's permission before they can rename anything.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: English Channel

      Will that make you "the man of La Manche?"

  16. dotdavid
    Go

    My Suggestion..

    ...The Freedom Gulf.

    The yanks should like it too.

    1. Tom 13
      Mushroom

      Re: My Suggestion..

      No, no we wouldn't. Truth is we'd rather just bomb the whole thing into a glass parking lot and be done with it, but it seems to be an important place to you Europeans, so we let it be, well at least as much as we can.

  17. Paul Naylor
    WTF?

    To paraphrase Marcus Brigstocke...

    Put on a Pink Floyd record and chill the fuck out

  18. Mike Richards Silver badge

    If they're that worried

    Why don't the Iranians tow some rafts out into the middle of the sea and arrange them to spell out PERSIAN GULF for the Googlesats?

  19. John A Blackley

    History

    When an autocracy or theocracy (and I don't care how many 'elections' Iran stages, this still applies) starts to get belligerent over the little things - like names on a foreign map - then it's time for the international community to either smile, nod and back away or to smack down hard.

    History will bear this out.

  20. Mectron

    Iran?

    The illegitimate country. threatning everyone with war? the country who secretly (wll not so secret) try to produce weapon(s) of mass destruction? the country ruled by religion, where every human (pass, present and futur) are been squash every day?

    you the world will take them seriously.....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Threats of war? Weapons of mass destruction? Ruled by religion?

      You're talking about the USA, right?

    2. Richard Bijster
      Mushroom

      Re: Iran?

      Sounds like a nice description of Israel.

    3. h4rm0ny

      Re: Iran?

      "Iran? The illegitimate country. threatning everyone with war?"

      Illegitimate? It's one of the oldest continuously existing countries in the world. It goes back millenia and has had more or less the same borders for a long, long time. Even the name change from Persia to Iran is little more than an artifact of the revolution popularizing a name that goes back centuries in place of another name that goes back centuries (it's akin to swapping in Britain in place of United Kingdom - there are some actual differences, but it's the same basic political entity. The country has at least as much right to exist as any other.

      As to threatening war? You have to be either massively biased or massively misinformed. Iran absolutely does not war. Currently the USA is running around organizing embargoes, sanctions and pretty much every political credit it can call in to try and isolate and pressure Iran. They have also run active operations in Iran, e.g. trying to forment revolution. Congress under the Bush administration approved millions to fund CIA operations within Iran. And you think Iran is the aggressor? The USA is pulling out all the diplomatic stops to try and get Iran to do as it is told for two reasons: One, with US power in the Middle East looking shaky, Iran is the natural alternative that Middle Eastern countries turn to. The USA does not want Iran to be the major power in the region. Two, the USA desperately wants to avoid Israel, which really is threatening war, to actually attack. If they do, then we likely see an enormous wave of violence engulf the Middle East and the USA will undoubtedly get dragged in.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sedition?

    How can it be seditionist for a USAian country to not follow Iranian rules?

  22. Chad H.

    This is good we're talking about

    Next week it will probably known by different things depending on who wins the adwords auction.

  23. joeW

    How about "Arabian/Persian Gulf"?

    A nice compromise. After all, no-one has complained about Google Maps' use of "Londonderry/Derry" to label Norn Iron's second city, and if it can keep those chaps up there happy it should work just about anywhere.

    1. Steve Knox Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: How about "Arabian/Persian Gulf"?

      Too long. How 'bout "Perbian Gulf"?

      Iran gets 6/7 of what they want, Arabians get 5/7 (albeit not in exact order.)

      1. joeW
        Thumb Up

        Re: How about "Arabian/Persian Gulf"?

        I hereby declare "Perbian Gulf" to be a 157% satisfactory solution.

        1. Local Group
          Meh

          Re: How about "Arabian/Persian Gulf"?

          "DUBAI (Reuters) - 'Saudi Arabia's thrust for a Gulf Union...'"

          Eureka.

          A Gulf Union.

          So which do you think sounds better:

          The Gulf Union Gulf or The Gulf of Gulf Union?

          1. TeeCee Gold badge
            Coat

            Re: How about "Arabian/Persian Gulf"?

            In that case I vote for the Union Gulf.

            All we need now is a Union Flag to fly over it........

  24. ChrisCabbage

    Even many of the anti-government ex-pats I've seen discussing this are up in arms over this one.

    It does look like it may be a nationalistic common cause for people to rally around, which is arguably a win for the theocracy.

    I tried politely using some of the same arguments in this thread, but they didn't wash. It really does seem to be a big deal - although I didn't get a straight answer as to why.

  25. Nigel 11
    Coat

    Suggestion for Google

    Draw in the international boundary down the middle. Label the Iranian side "Persian gulf" and the other side "Arabian gulf" . Simples! If anyone asks about the Gulf, point precisely at the line down the middle.

  26. graeme leggett

    Another case

    Try Sea of Japan on google maps

    1. John A Blackley

      Re: Another case

      Yeah! And for some reason Google insists on calling the Scottish Sea some rubbish name like the North Sea or something.

      1. graeme leggett

        Re: Another case

        We could go back to calling it the German Sea, if you'd rather.

        1. John A Blackley

          Re: Another case

          I'd sue you for that if I wasn't sane(ish)

    2. Al Jones

      Re: Another case

      Sea of Japan isn't labeled on Bin Maps either. And Bing Maps has the Yellow Sea, just west of Korea, but that's not labeled on Google Maps either.

  27. sjsmoto

    How about Exxon Gulf?

    1. Local Group
      FAIL

      "How about Exxon Gulf?"

      No. Exxon merged with Mobil.

      Gulf merged with Standard of California and is now Chevron

  28. Richard Bijster

    Google silliness

    The International Hydrographic Organization refers to the gulf as the "Gulf of Iran (Persian Gulf)", and defines its southern limit as "The Northwestern limit of Gulf of Oman". This limit is defined as "A line joining Ràs Limah (25°57'N) on the coast of Arabia and Ràs al Kuh (25°48'N) on the coast of Iran (Persia)". It is not and never has been called the Arabian Gulf. Not naming it at all on Google Earth is simply ridiculous by Google.

  29. mccp

    Bizarre

    According to the informative Wikipedia page that AC 12:17 gave the link to earlier (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persian_Gulf_naming_dispute) the following countries and organisations side with Iran on this:

    United Nations

    United States of America

    United Kingdom

    Group of Experts on Geographical Names

    International Hydrographic Organization

    National Geographic Society

    Associated Press

    Just saying.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Arsian Gulf anyone?

    because we simply needed some a**e in this debate

  31. John Savard Silver badge

    Bully for Iran!

    I'm glad to see Iran joining the fight to protect the English language, in which that particular body of water's correct and proper name is the Persian Gulf, from erosion and manipulation by the same sinister Arab cabal that oversees the boycott of Israel!

    For once, even if, no doubt, for the wrong reasons, they're on the side of the angels!

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Bully for Iran!

      Perhaps we can expect Mr Netanyahu to offer his support to his Persian friends.

  32. Mr. Great Sage
    IT Angle

    Isn't this a song? I think this is a song.

    Even old New York was once New Amsterdam

    Why they changed it I can't say

    People just liked it better that way

    1. Local Group
      Happy

      Re: Isn't this a song? I think this is a song.

      Of course you think it is a song. Probably because it is a very famous song

      Recorded cover versions

      Recording artists and groups known to have covered this song include:

      Edmundo Ros (1953)

      Bing Crosby with Ella Fitzgerald (1953)

      Frankie Vaughan (1954)

      Caterina Valente (1954)

      Renato Carosone

      Darío Moreno (1954, in French)

      Jacques Hélian et son Orchestre (1950s, in French as "Istamboul")

      Lou Busch (as "Joe Fingers Carr & his Ragtime Band")

      Ota Čermák (1959)

      Santo & Johnny (1962)

      Bruno & the Gladiators, instrumental surf rock band, though titled "Istanbul" (1963)[5][6]

      Leo Addeo, (1965)

      Bette Midler for the live album "Live At Last" (1977)

      Harvard Din & Tonics have sung this song since the group's inception in 1979.

      They Might Be Giants (1990)

      Lee Press-on and the Nails (1998).

      Belmont Playboys, Instrumental titled "Istanbul" (1999)

      Ac Rock, Acapella version "Istanbul" (1999)

      Oscar Aleman Instrumental version titled "Estambul" (2005)

      Ska Cubano (2006)

      PJ Harvey sampled the original for her song "Let England Shake" (2011).

      Terrance Zdunich sings this song as Count Tarakan, the Badass Russian (2011).

      And first by the Four Lads in 1953.

      Anyway, thanks for the memory.

      Isn't that a song? I think it's a song. :o)

    2. Jaybus

      Re: Isn't this a song? I think this is a song.

      "Even old New York was once New Amsterdam"

      That one was renamed in the usual and accepted way. It was first settled by the Dutch, native American people of course excepted. Then King Charles II, having taken it by force following the Second Anglo-Dutch War, awarded it to his brother, the Duke of York (later King James II).

  33. Winkypop Silver badge
    Mushroom

    How about calling it the "Pershing" Gulf?

    The name sort of fits.

    It's not the most peaceful region on earth.

  34. johnwerneken
    Trollface

    Persian...or blown to h*ll

    I would prefer to call it Persian, because that is what I am used to, and what I am used to, matters to me more than the opinion of the entire human race, even if enforced at pain of death. BUT. If Iran wants it, I'd rather call it the Brooklyn Gulf. Or maybe Bush or Clinton would be both more accurate and more offensive to Iranians...offending Iranians is my goal hear lol

  35. Jaybus

    Absolute Corruption

    I believe the phrase "absolute power corrups absolutely" applies. Only, I can't tell if it applies to the Iranian government or to Google.

  36. Persian Gulf is forever Persian gulf

    perisn gulf is forever persian gulf

    It is as stupid as that arab people wants to pay the google to rename every where in the world. Do not surprise some years later that they pay the money and omit the name every whrer or change the name of U.S.A. with something like United States of Arab,s.

    Just be fair. the stupid act of google is not acceptable.

    according to UN archives the onle name that is acceptabe is Perian Gulf.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: perisn [sic] gulf is forever persian gulf

      "according to UN archives the onle name that is acceptabe is Perian Gulf."

      The "Perian" Gulf?

      Is that the one named after Peri, the scantily-clad assistant in Doctor Who that Peter Davison transformed into Colin Baker to save?

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

      Strikes me as ironic that someone making such a fuss about it misspells it *twice* (once in the title, once in the example above).

      1. Persian Gulf is forever Persian gulf

        Re: perisn [sic] gulf is forever persian gulf

        sorry for bad typing.

        persisn gulf is forever persian gulf

        It is as stupid as that arab people wants to pay the google to rename every where in the world. Do not surprise some years later that they pay the money and omit the name every whrer or change the name of U.S.A. with something like United States of Arab's .Just be fair. the stupid act of google is not acceptable.

        according to UN archives the onle name that is acceptabe is Persian Gulf.

  37. Furbian
    Stop

    What a quality debate we have in progress..

    This 'Persian', 'Iran' naming thing... a lot of countries are not called by their English names in their own country, Germany:Deutschland, Japan: 'Nihon', etc. Iran is called 'Faris' in the Middle East and South Asia, 'Iranian' (the language) being Farsi in that context, though 'Pakistani' being 'Urdu' doesn't work in reverse. Not forgetting the French though who call Wales 'le Pays de Galles' for whatever historical reason.

    "Bahrain" is a good one, English speakers calling it 'Bah-rain' almost sounds rude. The French got that one right, or better at least, 'Bahreïn'. Then again, say the Arabic/French version, and you will not be understood by many an English speaker.

    Anyway isn't the Red Sea also often called the Arabian Gulf? Aren't they being a bit greedy in wanting two?

  38. Local Group
    Happy

    Whose map is it anyway?

    If you don't like google's names for seas, oceans and countries go to Yahoo or Microsoft.

    Google is getting ready to sell naming rights on its maps, as long as they are not obscene or insulting. These fees will go right to the bottom line.

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