TEHRAN – Iran on Dec. 1 summoned the Swiss ambassador to Tehran in protest after the U.S. Navy used the term “Arabian Gulf” instead of “Persian Gulf” in a directive, ISNA news agency reported.
The Islamic republic expressed “strong opposition and dismay” over the “unwise act” by the U.S. forces in a protest note delivered to Ambassador Livia Leu Agosti in a meeting, the report said.
The Swiss embassy manages U.S. interests in Iran, with Washington and Tehran having no diplomatic relations since the aftermath of the 1979 Islamic revolution.”It is surprising that the country which does not date back to more than a few hundred years attempts to forge the name of a waterway that is a several thousand years old because of animosity toward the Islamic Republic of Iran,” read the note, according to ISNA.
Leu Agosti promised to “convey” the protest, the report said.
The U.S. Navy’s website obliges its personnel, in an undated directive, that the term “Arabian Gulf” should be used to refer to the stretch of water separating Iran from the Arabian Peninsula “instead of Persian Gulf.”
Tehran insists on calling the waterway the “Persian Gulf” while the Arab countries of the oil-rich region insist on the term “Arabian Gulf” or simply the “Gulf.”
Iran considers the United States as its main enemy, along with Israel.
The protest is the latest action taken by the Islamic republic over the “Persian Gulf” tag.
In November, Iran summoned China’s ambassador Xie Xiaoyan to protest after organizers of the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou used the term “Arabian Gulf” at the event’s opening ceremony. Beijing is Tehran’s largest trade partner.
Earlier this year, Tehran warned that airlines using the term “Arabian Gulf” or “the Gulf” on in-flight monitors would be barred from using Iranian air space.
In January, the Riyadh-based Islamic Solidarity Sports Federation called off athletics games planned for Tehran in April because of Iran’s use of the term “Persian Gulf” on winners’ medals.