Persian Gulf Day

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Iran has designated April 30th as the National Persian Gulf Day.

Persian Gulf, a historical waterway, is part of the natural heritage of Iran.

The day marks the anniversary of the expulsion of Portuguese military forces from the Strait of Hormuz in 1622, during the reign of Safavid king Shah Abbas I (1587-1629).

Based on incontrovertible historical documents, the body of water lying to the south of Iran is and has always been known as the Persian Gulf, Cais-Soas reported.

Certain circles of doubtful reputation have for some time tried to use a distorted name for the Persian Gulf, but no one with even a superficial knowledge of world history or geography can call it by any name other than the Persian Gulf.

On almost all maps printed before 1960 and in most modern international treaties, documents and maps, this body of water is known by the name Persian Gulf.

A permanent exhibition of historical maps, illustrating Persian Gulf in different eras, has been mounted by the Geography and Cartography Institute at Tehran’s Sahebqaranieh Palace.

A collection of 50 maps in French, Latin, Arabic, English, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Chinese, Japanese and Korean languages is displayed at the exhibition.

Historical Documents

The Persian Gulf is a crescent-shaped groove is 900 km long and 240 km wide. It demonstrates the encroachment of Indian Ocean waters in the folds of the southern Zagros mountain range.

The Persian Gulf has been a valuable waterway since the beginning of history and as the crossroad of great civilizations of the ancient East, it has a background of several millennia.

Since centuries, the Elamites used the Bushehr Port and Kharg Island for dwelling, shipping and ruling over the Persian Gulf coasts as well as conducting trade with the West Indies and the Nile Valley.

In the Latin American geography books, the Persian Gulf has been referred to as the Sea of Parsia.

The Latin term “Sinus Persicus” is equivalent to “Persischer Golf” in German, ‘Golf Persique’, in French, ‘Golfo Persico’ in Italian, all of which mean the same.

Prior to the coming of the Aryan Iranians to the Iranian Plateau around 1000 to 1500 BCE, the Assyrians named the sea in their inscriptions as the “bitter sea” and this is the oldest name used for Persian Gulf.

An inscription of Darius the Great found in Suez Canal mentioned ‘Sea of Pars’ that points to the same Persian Gulf.

Greek historian Herodotus in his book has repeatedly referred to the Red Sea as the “Arabian Gulf”, and Straben, the Greek historian of the second half of the first century BCE and the first half of the first century CE, wrote: “Arabs are living between the Arabian Gulf and the Persian Gulf.”

Today, the most common Arabic works refer to the sea in southern Iran as the Persian Gulf, including the world famous Arabic encyclopedia ‘Al-Monjad’, which is the most reliable source in this respect.

There are undeniable legal evidences and documents in confirmation of the genuineness of Persian Gulf.
From 1507 to 1560 in all the agreements that Portuguese, Spanish, British, Dutch, French and Germans concluded with the Iranian government or in any other political event everywhere there is a mention of Persian Gulf.
Khalij-e Fars

Even in agreements with Arabs, there is a mention of “Al-Khalij Al-Farsi” in the Arabic texts and “Persian Gulf” in English texts, such as the document for the independence of Kuwait, which was signed between the emir of Kuwait and representatives of the British government in the Persian Gulf.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, Persian Gulf has been used in geography and history books with less reference to Khalij-e Fars.

Such a change has suggested the idea that Khalij-e Fars was an old name substituted by its English equivalent Persian Gulf.

Attempts to Distort Facts

The beginning of 1930s was a turning point in the history of efforts for changing the name of Persian Gulf when Sir Charles Bellgrave, the British diplomatic envoy on the Iranian island of Mishmahig also known as Bahrain, opened a file for the change in the name of Persian Gulf and proposed the issue to the British Foreign Office.

Even before the response of the British Foreign Office, he used the fake name. This was an attempt to occupy Bahrain, the Greater and Lesser Tunbs, Abu Musa, Sirri, Qeshm, Hengam and other islands belonging to Iran and to disclose and thwart the plot of disintegration of Khuzestan.

Besides all the disputes fabricated over the name of Persian Gulf, the United Nations with its 22 Arab member countries has on two occasions officially declared the unalterable name of the sea between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula as the Persian Gulf.

Although using the fabricated name instead of Persian Gulf has no basis and will not be accepted by any law-abiding entity, it will not diminish our responsibility in expressing the reality and eliminating ambiguities as the main and oldest inhabitants of the region.

Source: Iran Daily

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