TEHRAN, Iran (GlossyNews) — Airlines refusing to call the waterway between Iran and the Arabian peninsula the ‘Persian Gulf’ will be banned from Iranian airspace, the transport minister told local media.
The warning was directed toward air carriers in neighboring Gulf Arab countries, who have a history of referring to the body of water as the ‘Arabian Gulf’.
Airlines ignoring the warning could be banned from Iranian airspace. Repeat offenders could find their planes grounded by Iranian forces, with their flight permits permanently canceled.
Although Iranians have a long tradition of sensitivity over the name of the waterway, experts assert that they have a legitimate right. Until the 1960s, Arab scholars referred to the disputed area by its correct name, ‘Kahleej-ol-Faris’ (Persian Gulf). The United Nations has twice recognized the legality of the term, once in 1971 and then again in 1984. All Arab nations signed the UN documents acknowledging the name.
The term ‘Arabian Gulf’ was brought back into prominence during former Governor General of Canada Adrienne Clarkson’s New Year address at Kabul, Afghanistan, in December 2004. Authorities and academics around the world state that Clarkson’s label is legally and historically incorrect.
Before the era of the oil barons, states in the Persian Gulf made little effort to distinguish the territory. That all changed after the signing of the first oil concessions in 1930, which led to the delineation of the borders by the British. Since that time, relations between Persian and Arabian states have been contentious and sometimes violent.
But Iran’s Arab neighbors claim that they have equal sovereignty over the waterway, and Iran’s threats to restrict airspace have escalated into a new conflict between old rivals. The issue has become an increasingly heated, and childish, war of words.
Arab nations such as Qatar, Iraq, UAE, Oman and Saudi Arabia have told Iran that they will impose an embargo on all Persian cats and Persian rugs unless Iran changes the names to Arabian cats and Arabian rugs. Additionally, all video game sales of Unbisoft’s immensely popular “Prince of Persia” video game will be banned, along with distribution of the upcoming film.
Iran immediately responded by removing 1001 Arabian Nights from bookstores and online distributors, whose sites are filtered by the authorities. Arab countries must also agree to change the name of Arabian horses to Persian horses, or all such animals will be put to death in public beheadings. Several legislators belonging to the Majlis of Iran also threatened to issue a fatwa against Irish actor Peter O’Toole.
Flaring tensions reached critical mass and drew international attention when Ayatollah Ali Khamenei cornered the Amir of Qatar and demanded his lunch money. Later, the Amir placed a series of fudge bags around Iran’s developing nuclear facilities. Leaders of both nations have agreed to meet by the bike racks in Yemen at 3:00 p.m. to settle their differences.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been ordered back to the region from Chile to mediate.
In a related story, Germany rattled its saber a bit today by telling Lithuania it must once again refer to its people as Prussian, or face what Chancellor Andrea Merkel called a “very public and humiliating wedgie.” In response, Lithuania signed a discriminatory anti-gay order into law, which effectively shutters nearly every German nightclub in the country. Poland, whose territories were once assimilated into the Prussian Empire, briefly entered the fray until Merkel pointedly asked ministry spokesman Janusz Sejmej how many Polish missiles it takes to protect the United States from Iran. Stumped, Poland removed itself from further involvement.