President Khatami leaned over and told the Environment Minister of Qatar that " Historical documents prove that the Persian Gulf is the correct term, so do UN documents." This was in 1998 when we had a Ministerial Council Meeting of the Regional Organization for the Protection of the Marine Environment (ROPME) in Tehran. The Qatari Minister had made a remark about the reference made by the President to the term "Persian Gulf" and he had received an appropriate reply. I was the revolving head of the Council at that time. We always tried to work together in the Council and to put aside differences for the sake of our nations and the future of our common sea area. Dr. Al Awadi who is still the Kuwaiti, Executive Director,with Iranian origins like many people in that region, was also very conducive to this atmosphere of collaboration and mutual trust. Political issues however sometimes overshadowed this atmosphere.
The Persian Empire is over 2500 years old and most of the Arab states bordering the Persian Gulf are less than a century old. Therefore ,it is natural that this region would be named after its greatest and oldest civilization . There are several international documents and maps that prove this historical fact . I have a replica map in my room in the City Council which dates back to 1840 and the term Persian Gulf is written on that body of water. The systematic attempts made to change the name of this body of water are obviously in contrast with the atmosphere of brotherhood and peace that we need so dearly in this region. Tensions have escalated in the region due to different reasons including the instigation perpetuated continuously by Zionist elements.We need logical and rational diplomacy in this region to protect us in face of common challenges , discord, it seems only serves our enemies now.