Iran to sue Google in map naming dispute

Iran to sue Google in map naming dispute

Summary: Google has removed the tag identifying the Persian Gulf from its popular mapping service, angering the Iranian government. Tehran says it will sue the search giant.


The Iranian government said it will sue Google after it removed the name of the Persian Gulf from its mapping service.

The body of water between Iran, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Qatar was left nameless after the search giant removed the tag from Google Maps.

It is not clear why Google decided to remove the name, widely referred to as the Persian Gulf, or if it was caused by a bug in the system.

It does not explain why Google Earth keeps the name tag in place.

Iran's foreign ministry spokesperson Ramin Mehmanparast warned Google could face "serious damages" if it did not return the water's name, reports the Associated Press.

Iran is culturally sensitive about the name of the Persian Gulf, which has stirred tensions between Iranians and Arabs for years. The name has been disputed since the 1960s. Some Arab states call the stretch of water the Arabian Gulf.

Both the U.K. and U.S. governments among others, including the United Nations, continue to call the water the Persian Gulf.

Tehran had previously threatened Google with legal action over removing the name. Errors in Google Maps have seen names of even highly-populated areas disappear before. In 2010, Google noted a "technical error" which left a Florida city off its map.

But Google is also proactive in changing the name of areas, places and cities for accuracy.

During the Libyan revolution, once rebel forces had reclaimed the capital city, Google was quick to accept the change of name from Green Square to "Martyrs' Square" to disassociate the name from the Gaddafi regime.

A Google spokesperson declined to comment.

Image credit: Google/ZDNet.


Topics: Google, Government, Government US

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  • So how long since the name tag disappeared?

    Has there been time for the "asking nicely" approach to fail, or has [b][i]"I'LL SUE YOU!!!!!"[/i][/b] become the knee-jerk response now?
    • Pretty Soon...

      Pretty Soon it's going to change to "I'LL NUKE YOU!!!!" towards anyone they choose.
    • Raving Nut-Jobs

      No more Mr. Nice Guy, huh?
      rocket ride
  • Tempest in a teacup!

    Google maps STILL lists the Persian Gulf, but NOT the Arabian Gulf!
    I don't know what else they want!
  • Who gives a crap if a bunch of wackjobs who happen to be running a country

    sue google over a missing map label? Please iranian people come to your senses and throw these guys out. Theyre still living in the 1400s. Once obama is gone the US will back you. 2013 is the time for freedom in iran, a new persian spring.
    Johnny Vegas
    • Freedom?

      Freedom? You mean freedom of oil from the hands of Iranian? Because I don't see how the US brought so called freedom has been good for Iraq and Afghanistan. Unless you mean freedom of 1-1.5 millions of Iraqi and Afghans from their lives.

      You better care about freedom in your own country than others.
    • If ask them

      If you ask the iranian people, they would support this action. Just like they support nuclear programme.

      An the reason why they would support it, is down to national pride, probably one of the few areas that US and Iranian people have in common.
    • Soon it,ll be all over for `w´everyone Pretty soon, you included..

      (Get a job while you can)
  • ROTFLMAO.......

    "Irans foreign ministry spokesperson Ramin Mehmanparast warned Google could face serious damages if it did not return the waters name, reports the Associated Press."

    How hysterical! :D I'm sure Google are shaking in their collective boots...NOT.
    • Hmmm.

      What will Iran do? A fatwah [sic?] on Google's management? Maybe get some of their [usual] thugs/mercanaries and bomb Google's offices worldwide.
    • Huuum

      You know what they say; Never say NEVER..
  • Who Is the Authoritative Source?

    I understand how Google can be caught in naming disputes, but they should not be the final decision maker. The question is: who is the authoritative source? I have absolutely no use for the Iranian government, but in this case, I think they are right. The "Persian Gulf" is the traditional name, and it should remain on the maps, just like the names of the other gulfs in the area, until some other official source says otherwise.
    • That is the major question here, isn't it?

      The Iranians call it the Persian Gulf, Some Arabian states call it the Arabian Gulf. Perhaps the real problem here is that Google is getting threatened from both sides. True sometimes you have to take a stand and tick someone off, but when a group on one side is threatening to block your revenue stream and a single party on the other that may represent an equal revenue stream is threatening the same, the best thing to do may be to simply not take a stand, in which case the name of a body of water may simply not be listed.
      • Major question ha ha ...

        Please just go to the library and READ OLD HISTORY AND DONT EVEN THINK ABOUT GOING AGAINST HISTORY .... Because, you,ll be going aginst your self in " what inthe hell will you be doing here in the first"....
    • UN Directives

      The United Nations Secretariat on many occasions has requested its staff to use only "Persian Gulf" as the standard geographical designation for that body of water. Most recently, the UN Secretariat has issued two editorial directives in 1994 and 1999 mentioning that only the term "Persian Gulf" should be used in UN documents.[21][22][23]

      ^ "UN Editorial Directive Regarding the Persian Gulf".
      ^ "Use of the Term 'Persian Gulf'" (PDF).
      ^ "Use of the Terms "Persian Gulf", "Gulf" and "Shatt al-Arab"" (PDF).
  • Thanks for the laugh!

    How silly.
  • We should take a hint from Iran!

    How about that pesky Gulf of Mexico? We want it back - Gulf of Louisiana or Florida or name it after somthing truly American, like "The Big Gulf."

    But seriously folks, we know that it is the Persian Gulf. The thing that gets folks there upset it a race issue. Ask anyone from Iran and they will inform you that they are not Arabs. They may be Islamic, but not all Islamic people are Arabs. They do not trace their lineage back to Abraham. So that is where the dispute with their neighbors come in. The majority of countries bordering the Persian Gulf are Arabic and don't really like the folks in Iran very much, so it irritates them to have this big body of water named after these guys.
  • Maple Leaf to sue Google in map coloring dispute

    The Maple Leaf Reservoir in Seattle has been covered over, but it's still shown as blue (uncovered), I'm gonna sue!!

    Yes, I'm sure Google is shaking in their boots!
    • So f sertaine!!!!!

      Were you there in their boots too!! OR how in the hell would you know that; If they weren't
  • I can fix this

    Let's call it the American Gulf.