THE PERSIAN GULF IS THE PERSIAN GULF
From Focus on
publication By Dr. Assad Homayoun
“…When the American, like the British before them, grow weary of
their imperial duties and sail away,
will dominate the
. It is ordained. No nation in the region can
’s size, population or power…The question is:
what kind of
shall it be? “ Patrick
Buchanan- The Washington Times , Commentary,
January 14, 1998
Historical facts are known and self-evident. Throughout the
years, a few of
's neighbouring countries have claimed many
's men of sciences and letters as their own.
Sadly enough, now there is yet a new vain attempt to re-name
that body of water which for several millennia has been
universally known as the "
' to the "
There are those who are unaware of the historical truths and
while they do not bother to study the history of the region,
they unintentionally contribute to a psychological warfare
against the Iranian people.
Among them, are certain elements in the
Defense Department, especially those who serve in
. In order to appease local sensitivities,
"they" use "
" instead of the "
' simply to please their hosts, unaware that they are
refusing to accept historical facts and international usage.
Indeed they are offending the national feelings of the Iranian
The ancient Greek geographers and historians called this body of
water "Sinus Persicus". It is interesting that since before the
time of Christ until as late as the 17" century, the world
greatest historians and cartographer s from Strabon and Ptolemy
to famous Flemish geographer, Mercator, along with Arab
historians referred to the Gulf south of Iran as either "Sinus
Persicus" or " Mare Persicum", as distinct from "Arabicus
the name they used to refer to what is known as the Red Sea.
' was the ancient name of the
, actually a gulf prior to being connected with the
via the opening of the
. For the last two millennia the term "
' has been used universally by historians,
geographers, scholars, strategists and politicians. Also Arab
historians and geographers from Ibn al-Mujawir to Yusuf Kamal,
author of "Monumenta Cartographica", used "AlKhalij al-Fars", or
. The late president Sadat of Egypt, in his
book, "Revolt on the
", correctly identified the Gulf by its historical and
original name. Anyone who has troubled himself to look at
antique maps, contemporary writings and research documents,
historical accounts of the region and encyclopedias written
either by western or eastern observers and scholars would
conclude that there is but one single name that is applicable to
. It is the practice of the White House, the
State Department, the U.S. government agencies and also the
United Nations Secretariat, and National Geographic Society, to
use in the document and maps the term "Persian Gulf" to indicate
the body of water between Iran to the north and east and a
number of other states to the south and west. It is a long
established usage that is followed by publishers of atlases and
was in the 1950s that and in order to manipulate the simple yet
vital nationalistic sentiment of its people, that the then Iraqi
president Colonel Abdol Karim Ghasem, ventured to refer to the "
', as the "
'. His intention was to create a new common
enemy for the Arab world which were busy fighting
under the guidance of Egyptian Colonel, Gamal
Abdol Nasser, and to divert the attention of Arab world from
's leadership in
to his own in
. This strategy back-fired in the true sense
of the word The scholastic community in Baghdad as a whole, and
the faculty in the Baghdad University, especially due to
overwhelming amount of historic and geographical evidence,
reaching back to records as ancient as 2.5 millennia, refrained
from supporting the belligerent and the unfounded claim of
Colonel Abdol Karim Ghasem.
Even later, when President Gamal Abdol Nasser under the pretext
of enhancing his Pan-Arabist ideology proceeded to use Ghasem's
self-invented term for the "Persian Gulf', he was instantly
reminded of his own earlier comments wherein he had emphatically
described the boundaries of the Arab World as: "Menal Moheet al-Atlasi
elal Khalij-ol Farsi " (from Atlantic Ocean to the Persian Gulf)
mentioned before, throughout history, educators, historians,
travelers and geographers have always referred to this region as
the "Persian Gulf"not only because of the vast coastal lines of
various Persian Empire or the number of its Persian/Iranian
inhabitants, but simply, and in their own words, to recognize
the noble notion that, "The Persians were the first to have
developed and greatly improved this part of the earth"
Therefore, to apply the term "Arabian Gulf' or any other name to
the Persian Gulf is an error, and indeed is to become a party to
the psychological warfare mainly aimed against the Iranian
people. Thus, this change of historical name, especially by some
in the service of the
government who are serving in the region is
entirely absurd, counterproductive, and does not serve the
interests of the
can hope that sooner or later, the rule of reason and
rationalism will triumph in
and liberty and democracy will replace the
Theocratic regime in
. Iranians and Arab must live together in
and the Arab nations of the region need to
deal with the people of
, in a just and equitable manner, just as the
Iranians need to deal similarly with their neighbours.
must re-establish friendly relationship with
on the basis of mutual trust and equality.
The U.S. Department of Defense and especially the Navy which
always take geo-strategic factors into consideration, must also
take seriously the historic sensitivity and the rightful
concerns of the Iranian people.
It should be remembered that for three decades prior to the
, the Pentagon trained close to 30,000
members of Iranian Armed Forces and considered
a principal element of the regions stability.
It ought not forget the past and close the door to future
friendly relationships that will indeed be essential for
stability and peace in the
. It should be remembered also that the
Iranian Navy played a crucial role as the stabilizer for two
decades following the British withdrawal from the Persian Gulf
in 1971. Indeed it was the Iranian Armed Forces which defended
both north and south of the Strait of Homuz against Marxist
subversion. On one hand it prevented the fall of Oman, and on
the other hand thwarted the Yemeni inspired guerrillas to
undermine the Persian Gulf Sheikdoms.
Iran is a land bridge between two centers of the world's most
important energy zones, and the only power among the Persian
Gulf states that has the capability to undertake military
operation beyond its own frontiers. Iran is in the heart of the
Eurasian Corridor. Because of its geo-strategic location,
population, resources and cultural identity it can play a
decisive role in the security of the
.. Iran was once a moderating force and it
could, once again become a moderate regional force, friendly to
the United States.
information and clarification we would like to refer the readers
to following publications mostly written by historians,
geographers and scholars regarding the
. We are certain that only through rational
channels we can shed light on and sort historical facts from
baseless propaganda, which were at one time aimed to toy with
the territorial integrity of
, albeit currently being directed in reaction
to the short-sighted policies and irresponsible political
behaviour of the ruling clerical regime of
1) Revolt On The Nile, Anwar Sadat, John Day Inc.
Cartographica et Aegypti ( Le Caire), Yusuf Kamal, 1926-51.
3) Geographie, De
Strabon, Paris, 1805
4) Historical Geography
, Mohammad Rashid,
5) Science and
, J. Needham,
6) The Past History of
Arabs and Islam, Omar Abdol-Nasr,
7)Political History of
Islam, Dr. Hassan Ibrahim Hassan.