• The Hollywood Reporter on LinkedIn
  • Follow THR on Pinterest

Iran Threatens to Sue Google Maps

Iran Google Map - H 2012

The country is upset over a lack of recognition for the Persian Gulf.

This sounds like a surreal Onion headline, but it also happens to be true: Iran has threatened to sue Google Maps over not labeling the Persian Gulf, CNN reports.

The name is a sore subject for the country, which has also slammed the United States military for referring to the body of water as the Arabian Gulf. Now Iran accuses Google of purposely omitting the Persian Gulf label. View the map here.

"Toying with modern technologies in political issues is among the new measures by the enemies against Iran, (and) in this regard, Google has been treated as a plaything," declared Ramin Mehmanparast, Iran's foreign ministry spokesman, according to state-run Press TV.

PHOTOS: 2012 Digital Power 50

He said "omitting the name Persian Gulf is (like) playing with the feelings and realities of the Iranian nation." (The National Iranian American Council has complained that Saddam Hussein encouraged and exploited ethnic feuding with his use of "Arabian Gulf.")

Weighing in Thursday with a response, Google told CNN that was not the issue.

"It's just simply the case that we don't have a label for every body of water," said a rep for the tech giant, declining to name similar geographical omissions.

This isn't the first time the company has found itself in murky, Maps-related territory. Two years ago, a Nicaraguan general singled out the site's map of the Nicaragua-Costa Rica border in an effort to support a raid in a contested area.