January 20th 2014

John Baird
Minister of Foreign Affairs
2249 Carling Ave.
Suite 418
Ottawa Ontario
K2B 7E9


Dear Minister Baird,

On January 16th 2014 during your address at the US Chamber of Commerce, you referred to the Persian Gulf as the Arabian Gulf.

As you are aware, for more than two millennia the location which you referred to as the “Arabian Gulf” has been referred to as the Persian Gulf. The Persian Gulf is the term officially recognized by the United Nations and the International Community.

While some Arab States have referred to the Persian Gulf as the “Arabian Gulf”, this term is historically incorrect and not recognized by the international community. It is unfortunate that by using the term “Arabian Gulf” you have chosen to give legitimacy to this historically and factually incorrect term.

The Islamic Regime in Iran has tried for many years to destroy the heritage, history and the culture of Iran and the Iranian people. The Regime changed the name of Iran to “Islamic Republic of Iran”, while changing the ancient Iranian “Lion and Sun” flag and replacing it with a non-Iranian flag, in an unsuccessful attempt to erase the history and legacy of Iran.

The Islamic Regime in Iran has failed at its attempts, as people of Iran have always been proud of their history, legacy and culture. As part of keeping the Iranian history and heritage alive, Iranians have organized numerous successful international campaigns to protect the term Persian Gulf over the recent years.

As an Iranian-Canadian pro-democracy activist I am extremely disappointed to see that Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs has chosen to use the incorrect term “Arabian Gulf” which not only gives legitimacy to this term, but is also seen as a sign of insult and great disrespect to the people of Iran.

While as an Iranian-Canadian I appreciate the tough stand Canada has taken against the Islamic Regime in Iran, I am extremely disappointed in your disregard for the rich history and culture of Iran which so many of us Iranians are proud of and are fighting to protect.

Yours truly,

Sayeh Hassan

Iranian Canadian Criminal Defence Lawyer, Pro-Democracy Activist and Blogger


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