Iran, the world’s worst oppressor of internet freedom, has ironically been complaining about Google’s omission of the Persian Gulf name in its map of the region, and is now reportedly considering a lawsuit.
For a bit of backstory, Iran accused Google of lacking credibility after noticing that the word ‘Persian Gulf’ was omitted from its map of the area. Below is a similar map from 1994, which would likely pass quality control in Iran:
Bahman Dorri, a deputy in Culture and Islamic Guidance Ministry, had said, “Google is fabricating lies – will not have any outcome but for its users to lose trust in the data the company provides.” Other Arab countries in the region typically refer to the body of water as the “Arabian Gulf” or simply “the Gulf.” But Iran likes to say “Persian Gulf.” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast states, “Toying with modern technologies in political issues is among the new measures by the enemies against Iran, (and) in this regard, Google has been treated (us) as a plaything,” adding, “omitting the name Persian Gulf is (like) playing with the feelings and realities of the Iranian nation.”
A spokesperson for Google explained to CNN, “It’s just simply the case that we don’t have a label for every body of water.” The Google map above shows that the Arabian Sea is also missing, as well as the Gulf of Oman.
I assume Mehmanparast meant to convey that Google had “treated Iran like a plaything,” though perhaps the country is being a bit pedantic in its Google map searching habits.