Tehran has blasted French President Emmanuel Macron for using a fictitious name for the Persian Gulf, saying the mistake is as wrong as France’s military presence in those waters.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi tweeted in three languages of Persian, English and French late Saturday, reminding Macron that “the gulf located south of Iran has only one name and that is the #PersianGulf.”
It came two days after the French president said in a tweet that his country had deployed the Jaguar Task Force mission in “the Arabian Peninsula and in the Arab-Persian Gulf,” claiming that the military buildup was meant to strengthen maritime security in the strategic region.
“Your military presence in the Persian Gulf is as wrong as your naming it. Both mistakes are huge but compensable,” Mousavi stressed.
The Persian Gulf — which spans some 251,000 square kilometers — is bounded by the Arvand River in the north, which forms the frontier between Iran and Iraq, and the Strait of Hormuz in the south, which links the Persian Gulf to the Sea of Oman and the Indian Ocean.
The inland sea is an international trade route connecting the Middle East to Africa, India and China.
It has been referred to by historians and ancient texts as “Persian” since the Achaemenid Empire was established in what is now modern day Iran.
Every year, Iranians observe the Persian Gulf Day on the 10th of Ordibehesht, the second month on the Persian calendar, which usually falls on April 30.
The date coincides with the anniversary of a successful military campaign by Shah Abbas I of Persia in 1622, which drove the Portuguese navy out of the Strait of Hormuz.