TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran banned National Geographic reporters and sales of the magazine until it corrects an atlas it published using a disputed name for waters off the Islamic Republic's south coast.
Iran insists on calling the waters the "Persian Gulf." However, the saltwater body also touches the shores of eastern Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain. Many people in these other states refer to the waters as the "Arabian Gulf."
Iran's culture ministry said the atlas published by U.S.-based National Geographic labeled the waters as the "Persian Gulf," but also included the "Arabian Gulf" name in parentheses on the map.
"As a reaction, we are banning their journalists from entering Iran and the distribution of their publications until they correct this," the culture ministry's foreign media director Mohammad Hossein Khoshvaght told Reuters.
The ministry also said the atlas labels three islands in the Gulf claimed by the United Arab Emirates as "occupied by Iran." Iran insists Abu Musa and Greater and Lesser Tunb are part of its sovereign territory.
"We consider this a clear violation of U.N. documents and antagonistic toward Iran's national interests," Khoshvaght said. "National Geographic should immediately correct this big mistake and this strange move."
The National Geographic's chief cartographer Allen Carroll defended the use of both names.
"We do, and will continue, to recognize 'Persian Gulf' as the primary name," he said on National Geographic's Web site.
"But we want people searching for "Arabian Gulf" to be able to find what they're looking for and not to confuse it with the nearby Arabian Sea," he added.
The culture ministry has previously also objected to the use of the compromise term "The Gulf" used by some foreign news agencies.
I like the way the US is moving on Iran. You got this IAEA report on the 25th which looks like it'll just be a joke. Regardless, Bush & Powell/Rice will push for sanctions at the Security Council. Unless the same people who opposed regime change in Iraq water it down, it'll likely fail. I like the idea of putting a naval blockade around Iran. But if the Europeans don't cooperate (and I don't expect them to), it might not really work. So what happens then?
Military action could be a nightmare. Not to mention that you get the impression we hardly have any land troops left to spare for an invasion. Although, it would likely happen after the January 30th Iraqi elections (yeah!), so that would free some up. I would then favor sabatoging their electrical grid (to inhibit the operation of at least part of the nuclear fuel cycle) and their money supply. Lastly, send a few thousand US special forces around the country, with a heavier concentration in Tehran for the purposes of:
1) *Supporting* the insurrection against the regime. Ideally, in my view, the common Iranian overthrows their regime, with maybe some help from us.
2) Killing and capturing regime persons of interest, essentially widespread assassinations. There's no good in bombing the country to dust. Just get the thugs.
3) Securing nuclear installations.
As the regimes crumbles, then bring in at least 50,000 ground forces to crush the insurgency. Iran's not going to give up without a fight. Iran's basically the capital of Islamic terrorism. I don't know. Iraq was bad and Iran will be worse. That's why you want to minimize the American face on the regime change.
This isn't going to be easy. Tens of thousands, if not more, will die. Not good. But it's way better than nukes going off in NYC, DC, London, Paris, Tel-Aviv. Baghdad, etc.
:-) And then after Iran falls, I can envision Syria and Lebanon falling shortly thereafter (recovering Saddam's WMD's in the process).
Hey, how about that. Man gets elected president and eight years later, he brings regime change to five Islamic (!) countries, giving them democracy.
We're at two and counting.
I wouldn't count on Bush getting a Nobel Peace Prize like Arafat did :-(
Then maybe regime change in the UN....!
Hey, we're doing regime change everywhere. And proud of it!
BTW, I highly recommend this book on Freedom:
It's very readable and it's very great! Not only that, President Bush just finished reading it only days ago and had a 1-hour meeting with the author. If Bush takes the book's contents to heart....
The term "Arab street" might loose its meaning.
DoctorZIn, keep up the great work!