Iran has strongly criticized (June 25) France for using an inaccurate name for the Persian Gulf in a recent tweet, urging the French government to refrain from making intrusive remarks and leveling unfounded accusations against Iran.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry responded to a tweet from the French Foreign Ministry, which wished Luigi Di Maio (Former Italian Foreign Minister), the new EU Special Representative for the Mediterranean and the Middle East, success in his endeavors. The French tweet also stated that the European Union must be more present in the Gulf region in light of the rapid reconstructions taking place and the continued instability posed by Iran.
Nasser Kan’ani, the spokesperson of Iran's Foreign Ministry, responded to the tweet by the French Foreign Ministry, expressing Iran's dissatisfaction with French accusations of Iran being a "source of instability" in "the Gulf" (Persian omitted) and West Asia.
In a tweet posted in Persian, Kan’ani emphasized the importance of using the correct, historical, and internationally recognized full name for the Persian Gulf. He stated, "If we are discussing the Persian Gulf, then its accurate name must be used."
Kan’ani further highlighted the geographical distance between France and the Persian Gulf region, emphasizing that France is thousands of kilometers away. He urged France to approach the issue accurately and respectfully despite this distance.
For Iran, the body of water's name is not just a matter of semantics. It is also a matter of history, culture, and identity. Iran is very sensitive to the name of the body of water that separates Iran from the Arabian Peninsula.
Iran argues that the name "Persian Gulf" has been used for centuries, and it is the name that is used in most languages around the world. Some Arab countries call the body of water the "Arabian Gulf." This angers Iran, which considers it an attempt to rewrite its history and culture. Iran has confronted countries that use the name "Arabian Gulf" and threatened to ban airlines from using its airspace if they referred to the body of water as the "Arabian Gulf."