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Iran: ‘Persian Gulf’ or we’ll impound your planes 23, February 2010

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Iran, The Gulf.
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(That’s not a coffee cup, by the way)

As if I haven’t covered this enough recently x x x x, Iran is having another hissy-fit over the Arabian Gulf/Persian Gulf naming controversy. This time around it stems from a Greek steward on a Kish Airlines internal flight who started arguing with a passenger about the ‘real’ name of the Gulf.

The story started on Al Arabiyya but has [why I’m surprised, I just don’t know] ended up splashed across the media with the Iranian Government now *sigh* threatening to make all incoming flights display the phrase Persian Gulf on their in-flight maps, lest their planes are grounded. If you want to read more on this issue, please use the links in the first sentence, I don’t have the will to rewrite the same stuff again…

This kind of reaction is similar to that after the Chinese-Israeli orange importing incident last year, not to mention the Chinese jeans fiasco. If I were in an uncharitable mood, I’d say Iranian politicians were professional overactors.

Iranian Defence Minister to visit Qatar 23, February 2010

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Iran, Qatar.
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Not long after Iranian warships chaperoned Hilary Clinton’s visit to Doha, Iran’s Defence Minister is due to visit Qatar later this week. Cue warm, friendly statements of shared histories, interests and ever-increasing levels of cooperation.

Hat tip: Will Ward

Twitter not instrumental in Green Movement? 23, February 2010

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Al-Jazeera, Iran.
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A recent Al Jazeera study sought to dispel the notion that Twitter was instrumental in the organization and popularization of Iran’s Green Movement. The head of new media at the Doha based news organization concluded that there were less than 60 twitterers in Tehran at the time. This number subsequently fell to only 6 owing to subsequent media restrictions. Such a conclusion would be a blow to those that trumpeted the social networking revolution provoking near revolution in Iran.

However, before any firm conclusions can be drawn, the role of Tor and similar proxy redirecting servers needs to be evaluated. These services reroute ISP addresses redirecting traffic through foreign servers instead. Whilst I am no technological whizz, I don’t quite see how Al Jazeera could have taken this into account. The whole point of Tor is, after all, to keep the original ISP address (ergo its country of origin) a secret. I am willing, however, to be corrected…

Hat tip: Abu Aadrvark