‘Arabian Gulf’ ruckus rallies Iranians around the flag

Al-Monitor | : US President Donald Trump’s Oct. 13 address unveiling his administration’s new strategy toward Iran predictably sparked widespread reactions in Tehran. Unlike when Barack Obama was in office, Iranians were this time around more unified in their reaction to the tone and language of the president of the United States.

After weeks of back and forth, Trump in his speech accused the Iranian government of “not living up to the spirit” of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and declared that he would not certify to Congress the Islamic Republic’s compliance with the accord.

The reactions were quick to follow.

Even before the president’s speech was over, Iranian users on social networks, and especially Twitter, responded to what they believed was Trump’s violation of the nuclear deal, using the hashtag #NeverTrustUSA.

This wasn’t all. The US president managed to also touch on an issue that is considered a point of dignity by all Iranians, enough to trigger a wave of outrage in cyberspace. 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 As a result, Iranian users started posting historical documents testifying to the accuracy of the Persian Gulf as the proper name for the body of water.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.

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