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Call It Persian Gulf or Else, Iranians Warn

January 23, 1991| Associated Press

NICOSIA, Cyprus — Iran threatened legal action Tuesday against foreign journalists who refer to the Persian Gulf in their dispatches as anything other than the Persian Gulf.

An Iranian newspaper also expressed anger at references by a U.S. military spokesman to the "Arabian gulf" rather than the Persian Gulf, saying this showed that the United States planned a "political and geographical restructuring of the region."

The name has long been a sensitive subject in the region. Iran--which used to be Persia--insists that it be called the Persian Gulf, but other Arab gulf countries refer to it as the Arabian gulf.

The official Islamic Republic News Agency quoted Iran's Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance as saying that "journalists should avoid using fictitious names such as 'gulf' instead of the authentic and internationally recognized 'Persian Gulf.' Those who fail to do so will be treated according to the law."

It did not specify what action would be taken.

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