Iran anger after Russian 'Arabian Gulf' tweet

Tehran anger after Russian 'Arabian Gulf' tweet, as Putin 'snubs' message from Iran Supreme Leader
2 min read
09 February, 2021
The tweet has sparked anger in Iran, where the waterway is referred to as the Persian Gulf.
Qalibaf visited Moscow with a message from Iran's Supreme Leader [Getty-file photo]
Tehran has lodged an official complaint to Moscow after Russia's foreign ministry referred to its southern waterway as the Arabian Gulf, a highly contentious issue in Iran.

Iran refers to the waters as the Persian Gulf, while in the Arab World it is generally known as the Arabian Gulf.

It comes after a tweet from a Russian government account noting the meeting between its deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov and Iraq's ambassador to Moscow Abdulrahman Hamid Al-Husseini.

"Russia's deputy foreign minister Bogdanov Mikhail meeting with Iraq's ambassador to Moscow, Abdul Rahman Hamid Al-Husseini," Russia's Arabic-language foreign ministry tweet read.

"The two exchanged views on various regional, including finding a settlement to the Palestinian issue, the ongoing situation in Syria and developments in the Arab Gulf region."

Iran's foreign ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh made a formal complaint to Russia about the tweet while its ambassador in Moscow also raised the issue.

"Through our embassy in Moscow, a protest note has been submitted to the Russian Foreign Ministry," he said according to the IRNA, noting that he had also raised the issue.

Iran insists on the waterway being referred to as the Persian Gulf, while the UN and many other third-parties also use this term.

In another apparent snub of Tehran, President Vladimir Putin reportedly refused to meet Iranian Parliament Speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, who was carrying a letter from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei.

"On my first official visit, I am carrying the Leader's message to Putin," Qalibaf said according to Press TV when arriving in Moscow on Sunday.

"Relations between the Islamic Republic and the Russian Federation are based on a long-term strategic approach, and accordingly, the parliaments of the two countries will negotiate and cooperate to deepen, direct and lay the groundwork for bilateral ties."

Press TV did not mention the apparent snub, as reported in other media, saying that Qalibaf delivered the letter to Putin to Russia's parliamentary speaker.

Qalibaf also brought up US sanctions on Iran and other areas of Tehran-Moscow cooperation.

The message comes as US President Joe Biden said he would not lift sanctions on Iran prior to talks being held on Tehran's nuclear programme.

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