As many of you may be aware, the stylebook and guidelines for Thomson Reuters stipulates that all articles pertaining to the Persian Gulf region be redacted to use the term “Gulf,” regardless of what the original journalist may have written or what the universally accepted name is for this body of water. As this region is often in the news, this is a persistent and readily apparent change that appears before millions of readers worldwide. There are several issues with this style change which the American Iranian Council would like to raise with the leadership of Thomson Reuters and encourage a change in policy.
First, Thomson Reuters has suggested that the term “Gulf” is used due to a naming dispute over the body of water in question. There is in fact no naming dispute at present, nor is it being challenged in any court, at the United Nations or other relevant international bodies. There are, certainly, several Arab governments who seek to abandon the historic term for political gains but it is incorrect for an internationally celebrated organization such as yours to claim that there is an international dispute. Previous disputes raised at the UN, found in favor of using the historic Persian Gulf name exclusively.
Our latest Iran Chat is with Dr. James Miller, Managing Director of the Oxford International Development Group, a health research and project management consulting company in Oxford, Mississippi.
Dr. Miller began working in the area of health diplomacy in 2004 while seeking ways to improve health outcomes and access to medical care for people in the impoverished rural Mississippi Delta region. For this, he turned to Iran’s primary health care model, which is known for its system of health houses staffed by citizen health workers who provide health education and preventative health services to their local communities. Recognized by the World Health Organization for its success in improving medical outcomes for rural communities in Iran, Dr. James Miller began working with the architects of this system to develop and adapt the Iranian model in ways that could address the health disparity challenges in the impoverished Delta regions.
When most people hear the terms “Iranian women” and “soccer,” they are reminded of Iran’s recently lifted ban on women entering sports stadiums.
A few months ago however, I discovered this hilarious and ironic 2015 news story about the Iranian women’s soccer team actually being comprised of a number of male players. The photos made for great laughs, but also sparked an interesting series of discussions and thoughts. Apparently, upon being caught using male players, the team manager defended the decision by stating the players were transgender. Unfortunately, this attempt to deflect the blatant cheating scandal by sparking dialogue on transgender rights was largely ignored, mostly due to the fact that the team had only won a single game that season.
MYTH: Iran, like many other countries in the Middle East is primarily made up of arid, lifeless desert.
FACT: Iran’s geography is very different from those of surrounding nations. Compared with nearby Saudi Arabia (95% desert), Turkmenistan (80% desert) and Iraq (40% desert), only about 22% of its land area is desert. The majority of Iran’s territory consists of incredibly diverse landscapes, most of which teem with life. These include rangelands, forests, wetlands and even glaciers home to at least 8,000 different plant species, 293 species of bird, 219 species of reptile, 112 species of fish and nearly 300 other mammalian species.