Is it Persian Gulf, or Arabian Gulf?

Published January 10th, 2023 - 09:57 GMT
Arabian Gulf Cup
A man walks past a poster announcing the 25th Arabian Gulf Cup football championship, in the Al-Ashar district of Iraq's southern city of Basra, on January 5, 2023. (Photo by AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP)

ALBAWABA - The internet is flooded with debates on the terms "Arabian Gulf" and "Persian Gulf" since the start of the 25th Arabian Gulf Cup in Iraq.

Iran officially complained to the world football federation FIFA about using the term "Arab, or Arabian Gulf" when referring to the football tournament, which opened in the southern Iraqi port city of Basra on Jan. 9 and will end Jan. 16.

Basra is situated near the Persian Gulf, which is also known as the "Arabian Gulf," especially among Arabs who refrain from using the term "Persian" because it points to Iran.

Iran's Foreign Ministry's spokesperson Naser Kanaani's decried using the Arabian Gulf term, urging Iraqi authorities to take necessary measures to correct it. But Iraq ignored Iran's complaint, failing to deliver an apology, or change the name.

Some social media users allegedly said that Google Maps also changed the term "Persian Gulf" on its maps to the "Arabian Gulf."

An unidentified user commented: "The Persian Gulf will remain Persian forever."

Before being given its present name, the Persian Gulf was called various other names. In Babylonian texts, it was known as "the sea above Akkad." The Assyrians called it the "Bitter Sea." 

Until this point, the name of the sea remains disputed among people nowadays, with some calling it the Arabian Gulf, while others, especially Iranians, stick to its old name the "Persian Gulf."


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