|Gulf of 'omit': Google Maps does not name the Persian Gulf, the body of water between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula. But the Gulf of Oman is labelled
Iran has threatened to sue search engine Google over omitting the name 'Persian Gulf' on its Google Maps service.
Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said that, if Google did not restore the name of the Persian Gulf - the body of water between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula - it would face 'serious damages'.
Mr Mehmanparast told the semi-official Mehr news agency today that Tehran had already warned Google of possible legal action.
He said: 'Toying with modern technologies in political issues is among the new measures by the enemies against Iran, [and] in this regard, Google has been treated as a plaything.'
But Google reacted to the comments, saying that its maps service had never labelled the Persian Gulf.
When asked by MailOnline if Google planned to include the title in the wake of Iranian threats, a spokesman said there were no plans to include the title on any amended map.
A separate company insider told Mail Online that it was 'definitely not' a political decision not to have Persian Gulf on Google maps, and Iran's assertion that Google had the label removed was 'simply wrong'.
He added that, even in the wake of the Iranian threats, there were no plans to include the Persian Gulf label on Google maps.
And he said that the label Persian Gulf AND Arabian Gulf were included in the more detailed Google Earth app.
Iranians are highly sensitive about the name of the body of water, which has historically and internationally been known as the Persian Gulf.
Some Arab states insist on calling it the Arabian Gulf. The issue has stirred up tensions between Iranians and Arabs.
While Google Maps annotates the nearby Gulf of Oman, it also omits the name of the Strait of Hormuz - the narrow body of water that separates the two gulfs.
Typing Persian Gulf into Google Maps takes users to the body of water in question, and clicking on the red 'A' marker shows 'Persian Gulf' as the address.
The Persian Gulf has been so known since the 5th century BC, when Darius the Great of the Achaemenid dynasty called the body of water 'The sea which goes from Persian'.
Around the same time, Greek writers also called it 'Persikonkaitas', meaning Persian Gulf. Other names have included 'Persicus Sinus', 'Aquarius Persico', 'Bahr-i-Fars', 'Daryaye-i-Fars', 'Khalij al-'Ajami' and 'Khalij-i Fars' - all translating into Persian Gulf or Persian Sea.
During the time of the Ottoman Empire, it was sometimes referred to as 'Basra Kurfuzi', meaning the Gulf of Basra - but it was only during the rise of Arab nationalism in the 1960s that the name become disputed.
The United Nations has requested that only the term Persian Gulf be used to describe or name the body of water, confirmed most recently as the official title of the body of water at the 23rd session of the UN in 2006.
© Daily Mail, London