British Council distorting name of Persian Gulf

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LONDON, March 4 (IranMania) – The British Council has been reprimanded by Iran for distorting the name of the Persian Gulf in a publication on the position of English as a global language, IRNA reported.

“It is expected that British Council Publications observe a high standard of scientific authenticity and accuracy and therefore it would be regrettable if such high professional position were to be compromised,” the Iranian Embassy in London said.

It said “such a blatant oversight coming from a reputable publisher which is respected the world over, is all the more astonishing” in using the fictitious name of Arabian Gulf for the Persian Gulf.

In a letter to the British Council, which acts as the cultural arm of the UK’s Foreign Office, the embassy also said that it wanted to drawn attention to the incorrect use of the “forged name.” “It is very surprising to see that the time-honored name Persian Gulf which was used in ancient Admiralty charts, among other documents, is now being distorted, apparently for lack of proper attention to this historic fact.”

The distorted name was used in English Next, published last year, authored by David Graddon, described as “a British applied linguist, well known as a writer, broadcaster, researcher and consultant on issues relating to global English.”

The embassy’s letter told the Council’s director general Sir David Green that surely he was aware of the “vast quantity of historical documents as well as United Nations directives, which testify to the authentic name Persian Gulf.”

To prevent any repetition of distorting the geographical facts, the director general was advised of a sample of the documentary evidence that has led the United Nations Organisation and all the specialized international bodies and agencies to observe.

“It is hoped that you will take into account the long-established political and historical facts and reflect the authentic historical form: Persian Gulf.”

In September 2004, the British Council was forced to sack its press officer Harry Cummins after it was revealed that he had been writing a series of Islamophobic articles under a pseudo name for the Sunday Telegraph.

Last week, it announced that it was cutting its budget for Europe to spend Pnds 20 mln $39 m) in a switch of focus to Muslim countries for what it said was aimed to bridge a “widening gap of trust” in the Middle East.


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