Navy Facebook page gets pro-Iranian posts

Dec. 6, 2010 at 9:59 PM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy's use of the term "Arabian Gulf" instead of "Persian Gulf" has produced a burst of pro-Iranian posts on its Facebook page, Navy officials say.

CNN reported Monday about 4,000 messages had been registered on the site since Thursday in a coordinated, worldwide effort to get the Navy to revert to calling the waters off the coast of Iran the Persian Gulf. More messages were still arriving but because of the heavy influx, many were being designated spam and were not being posted, Rear Adm. Dennis Moynihan, chief spokesman for the Navy, told CNN.

Older postings could still be viewed by scrolling through the site.

Among them were the following posts (with spellings and wordings verbatim):

-- "From thousands years ago this gulf had been persian gulf and it will be forever persian...sorry for americans."

-- "How can world trust you when you easily change the history ? It's persian Gulf forever."

-- "Is anybody in US Navy who has studied the geography? ... My question is can anybody change the name of America? that's crazy."

The Navy said it would continue to remove the postings that were clogging up the page and preventing its use by its regular users, service members and those who follow news concerning the military branch.

"As for the primary points raised, we are aware of the long and proud history of the Persian people," the Navy said in a statement. "We are also well aware of the long history behind the origin of the name of the Persian Gulf. While sharing tasteful content that supports this has been permitted, out of deference to the fans here who expect more from us, we won't support inappropriate behavior and commentary. We encourage you to post your opinions to other forums better suited for this conversation."

The statement went on to explain the Navy and its "regional partners" have used Arabian Gulf "for years" in news releases but Persian Gulf is generally used in nautical charts and publications.

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