THE PERSIAN GULF IS THE PERSIAN GULF
by: Dr. Assad Homayoun, former career diplomat, now President of Azadegan Foundation, Senior Fellow of the International Strategic Studies Association, and Member of the Board of Directors and Advisors of the World Tribune
- Mirza Malkum Khan Nazem Od-Dowleh (1860's)
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 U.S.
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 c artographer 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 Sinus", the name they used to refer to what is known as the Red Sea.
The "Arabian Gulf' was the ancient name of the Red Sea, actually
a gulf prior to being connected with the Mediterranean via the opening
of the Suez Canal. For the last two millennia the term "Persian
Gulf' 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 Persian Gulf. The late president
Sadat of Egypt, in his book, "Revolt on the Nile", 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 the Persian
Gulf. 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 geographical dictionaries.
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)
As 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"
We can hope that sooner or later, the rule of reason and rationalism
will triumph in Iran and liberty and democracy will replace the Theocratic
regime in Tehran. Iranians and Arab must live together in peace. The
Untied States and the Arab nations of the region need to deal with the
people of Iran, in a just and equitable manner, just as the Iranians
need to deal similarly with their neighbors. Furthermore Iran must reestablish
friendly relationship with the United States 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.
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 Persian Gulf.. Iran was once a moderating force and it could, once again become a moderate regional force, friendly to the United States.
For more information and clarification we would like to refer the readers to following publications mostly written by historians, geographers and scholars regarding the Persian Gulf. 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 Iran, albeit currently being directed in reaction to the short-sighted policies and irresponsible political behavior of the ruling clerical regime of Tehran.
1) Revolt On The Nile, Anwar Sadat, John Day Inc. New York, 1957
2) Monumenta Cartographica et Aegypti ( Le Caire), Yusuf Kamal, 1926-51.
3) Geographie, De Strabon, Paris, 1805
4) Historical Geography of Iraq, Mohammad Rashid, Baghdad University, 1965
5) Science and Civilization of China, J. Needham, Cambridge University Press, 1959
6) The Past History of Arabs and Islam, Omar Abdol-Nasr, Beirut, 1962
7)Political History of Islam, Dr. Hassan Ibrahim Hassan. Cairo, 1935