Iran's Mousavi slams France's Macron for 'Arabian Gulf' blunder

Iran's Mousavi slams France's Macron for 'Arabian Gulf' blunder
Just as global nerves appeared to be calming, French President Emmanuel Macron reignited old flames by referring to the body of water using a term deemed highly-sensitive to Iranians.
2 min read
19 January, 2020
Mousavi responded to the French leader on Twitter [Getty]
Following the latest trend among senior Islamic Republic officials, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi handed French President Emmanuel Macron a proverbial slap - this time on the wrist - on Sunday, where he corrected the latter's misidentification of the Persian Gulf on Twitter.

"I remind Monsieur Macron that the gulf located south of Iran has only one name and that is the #PersianGulf. Your military presence in the Persian Gulf is as wrong as your naming it. Both mistakes are huge but compensable."

Mousavi's three tweets - posted in Persian, French and English respectively - came in reponse to a tweet by the French leader pointing to the deployment of the Jaguar Task force, aimed at boosting maritime defence capabillities in the region.

"In the Arabian Peninsula and in the Arab-Persian Gulf, we deployed the Jaguar Task Force in record time, and through initiatives with our European partners, we are strengthening maritime security in this region, which is so strategic for us," Macron wrote on Twitter.

The name of the vast body of water separating the Iranian plateau from the Arabian Peninsula is known historically and internationally as the Persian Gulf. 

With the rise of pan-Arabism and Arab nationalism in the 1960s, the name has been contested by Arab countries.

Macron's ostensible blunder has provoked the ire of Iranians on social media, with a variety of impassioned responses, including historic maps:

UN definitions:

And decisive one-line ripostes: 

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