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ICAO apologizes for Persian Gulf gaffe

15 May 2010 4:38

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has formally apologized to Iran for altering the nomenclature of the Persian Gulf in one of its publications.

ICAO provoked a storm of criticism in Tehran after it used the term “Arabian Gulf” to refer to the body of water historically known as the Persian Gulf, located in southern Iran.

“As a specialized agency of the United Nations, ICAO is duty-bound to use correct terms in referring to geographical locations, notably the Persian Gulf, which has been internationally recognized as such for centuries,” Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization said in a statement.

ICAO responded to the statement on Thursday, calling the slip-up as a mistake that will never happen in the future, IRIB reported.

The waterway separating Iran from the Arabian Peninsula has been known as the Persian Gulf since the establishment of the first Persian Empire by the Achaemenid dynasty in the sixth century B.C.

Leading international organizations such as the United Nations, the International Maritime Organization, and the World Bank have also recognized the body by its historical name of the Persian Gulf.

A UN manual on the standardization of geographical names has banned any attempt to alter or distort a historically registered name, saying it is “unlawful.”

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