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Iran reiterates its protest over Iraq's use of misnomer for Persian Gulf

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
An illustrative image of the Persian Gulf, southern Iran

Iran once again protests Iraqi authorities' use of a misnomer for the Persian Gulf, saying misnaming the body of water contradicts the principle of good neighborliness and the friendly nature of the countries' bilateral ties. 

The Iranian Foreign Ministry's spokesman Nasser Kan'ani made the remarks on Thursday, urging Baghdad against using the wrongful title for the body of water in order to fraternize third countries.

"In order to attract others' friendship, one should not capitalize on such a rich asset as the regional countries' historical solidarity," the official stated.

The error occurred earlier in the month as the southern Iraqi city of Basra was hosting the premier regional soccer competition, with local officials setting up billboards to welcome foreign teams to the "25th Arabian Gulf Cup."

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ al-Sudani also recently used the distorted name for the Persian Gulf and defended his misnaming the body of water during a later interview with Germany’s DW channel. 

Kan'ani noted that the Iranian embassy in Baghdad had conveyed the Islamic Republic's protest over the matter to Iraqi officials calling Iraq's misnaming of the Persian Gulf "unacceptable," and urging Baghdad "to respect international titles" such as that of the Persian Gulf.

As endorsed by the United Nations, the Persian Gulf's name "has stayed the same over thousands of years across [various] documents, maps, itineraries, and ancient texts," the official said. "Concocting baseless titles [for it, therefore] does not serve to change this reality," he added.

This is not the first time when the Islamic Republic decries the wrongful practice on the part of Iraq's officials.

Last week, Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian likewise noted that the Islamic Republic had summoned the Iraqi ambassador to Tehran over the issue.

"Despite enjoying strategic, brotherly, and deep relations with Iraq, we have clearly announced our protest [at the matter]...and have conveyed the great Iranian nation's sensitivity concerning the application of the exact and complete title for the Persian Gulf," the top diplomat said at the time.

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