AN IRANIAN OFFICIAL has accused search giant Google of “fabricating lies” over its mapping of the Middle East.
The dispute has arisen over the naming of the body of water between Iran, Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
Iran has long maintained that it should be called the Persian Gulf, but Arab states in the region refer to it as the Arabian Gulf. Google has dodged the dispute by avoiding naming the area at all on its Maps service.
“Google fabricating lies… will not have any outcome but for its users to lose trust in the data the company provides,” Deputy Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Bahman Dorri said, according to the semi-official Fars News Agency.
The enemies cannot hide facts and evidence about the Persian Gulf. Documents in the UN and the UNESCO show the name of this body of water has always been ‘Persian Gulf’ since a long time ago.
Iran says that the area has always been the Persian Gulf until recently, when Arab states mounted a push to rename it.
Google appears reluctant to engage in the controversy, with a spokesperson telling BBC News simply that it did not name every place in the world.
An online petition demanding that Google change its map and asking for an “apology from Google to interfere in political affairs of the world” has so far gathered 1,764 signatures.