Iran is harshly criticizing Google for what it feels is a disrespectful omission in Google Maps.
The country's government is angry because Google Maps does not label the body of water known in Iran as the Persian Gulf. Others refer to it as the Arabian Gulf.
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A senior Iranian official blasted Google in a statement on Saturday, threatening that the company risks losing credibility in the Middle East.
"Google fabricating lies... will not have any outcome but for its users to lose trust in the data the company provides," Deputy Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Bahman Dorri said according to Iranian news reports.
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Before Dorri made that official statement on behalf of the Iranian government, resentment about the omission had been brewing among many of the country's citizens, the BBC reported last week. Upset Iranians say that, up until a few days ago, Google Maps labeled the area as the Persian Gulf.
A Google spokesperson told the BBC that Google Maps does not label every place in the world, but could not provide another example of a major location going nameless.
The large body of water in question is connected to the Gulf of Oman and Arabian Sea. It separates Iran, to the north, from Saudia Arabia, the U.A.E. and other Arab countries to the south. It has long been known as the Persian Gulf, but in recent years some Arab states have sought to rebrand the waterway as the Arabian Gulf.
Google's response here so far appears to be one of studied uninvolvement. Do you think Google should leave the gulf nameless, stick with Persian Gulf, or perhaps use both names? Let us know in the comments.
This story originally published on Mashable here.
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