The news of an Iranian professor’s brave and praiseworthy defence of the original identity of the Persian Gulf in a conference in the UAE has gone viral in the social media.
Maryam Razzaqi-Azar, an Iranian researcher and specialist in Diabetes and Metabolism, recently addressed a symposium in Dubai, where an Arab researcher used the false title of Arabian Gulf to refer to Persian Gulf.
Razzaqi-Azar immediately corrected the researcher and said the body of water has been named as the Persian Gulf since ancient times and will remain so forever.
According to a Farsi report by Mizan News Agency, the remarks by the Iranian professor sparked mixed reactions in the conference.
Razzaqi-Azar had travelled to Dubai at the invitation of the French Ipsen Company to attend the scientific conference.
Her remarks were welcomed by the audience, but the representatives of Ipsen and Dubai urged her to admit she had made the issue political and should apologize. But Razzaqi-Azar responded during her second presentation: “My word was not political, we are friends but it was true.”
After saying this, her microphone was turned off and she was not allowed to finish her presentation. So, the Iranians attending the seminar decided to leave the conference hall.
When Razzaqi-Azar returned to her hotel, she found out that her door was locked. Then, the Dubai police arrived without an ID card, and asked her to either apologise in writing for using the term “Persian Gulf” at the conference or leave Dubai immediately.
Professor Razzaqi-Azar announced frankly she would prefer to leave the country in less than 24 hours. The professor also announced defiantly that “Although I’m too busy tomorrow, I prefer to pass through other countries than Dubai. And I will never sign the letter worded by you.”
The move by the Iranian professor has also been warmly welcomed by the Iranian politicians. In a message, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif thanked Professor Razzaqi-Azar for her right move in defending the national and historical identity of the Persian Gulf.
Over the past years concerted efforts have been underway by some circles in the region and the world to change the original identity of Persian Gulf.
Iran has designated April 30 as National Persian Gulf Day to highlight the fact that the waterway has been referred to by historians and ancient texts as “Persian” since the Achaemenid Empire was established in what is now modern day Iran.
While historical documents show that the waterway has always been referred to as the “Persian Gulf,” certain Arab states and their allies have recently mounted efforts to remove “Persian” from the name of the waterway.