Iran views itself as a regional superpower. It clings fast to the legacy of the grand Persian empire that once covered such a large portion of the “known world.”
It is a point of pride in that regard that the entire world refers to the main body of water in the region as the PERSIAN Gulf.
Well, President Trump just went and changed that, and the Iranians are none-too-happy.
During his speech, the US president referred to the body of water separating Iran from its southern neighbors as the Arabian Gulf; an unacceptable mistake as far as virtually all Iranian social and political groups are concerned.
As a result, Iranian users started posting historical documents testifying to the accuracy of the Persian Gulf as the proper name for the body of water. These documents ranged from a handwritten text by Abdulaziz Ibn Saud, in which the term Persian Gulf was used, to videos of speeches made by former US presidents — Obama, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush — in which they all referred to the Persian Gulf.
President Hassan Rouhani was quick to address this issue in his speech shortly after Trump’s address was over, while Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accused Trump of selling geographical accuracy for political gains in a series of tweets posted on the same day. Former Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander Mohsen Rezaie also addressed the US president in a tweet, writing, “Mr. Trump, you had no right to call it Arabian Gulf instead of the Persian Gulf.”