Persian Gulf

The Persian Gulf (Persian: خلیج فارس‎, translit. Xalij-e Fârs, lit. 'Gulf of Fars') is a mediterranean sea in Western Asia. The body of water is an extension of the Indian Ocean (Gulf of Oman) through the Strait of Hormuz and lies between Iran to the northeast and the Arabian Peninsula to the southwest.[1] The Shatt al-Arab river delta forms the northwest shoreline.

The body of water is historically and internationally known as the "Persian Gulf".[2][3][4] Some Arab governments refer to it as the "Arabian Gulf" (Arabic: الخليج العربي‎, translit. Al-Khalīj al-ˁArabī) or "The Gulf",[5] but neither term is recognized internationally. The name "Gulf of Iran (Persian Gulf)" is used by the International Hydrographic Organization.[6]

The Persian Gulf was a battlefield of the 1980–1988 Iran–Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers. It is the namesake of the 1991 Gulf War, the largely air- and land-based conflict that followed Iraq's invasion of Kuwait.

The gulf has many fishing grounds, extensive reefs (mostly rocky, but also coral), and abundant pearl oysters, but its ecology has been damaged by industrialization and oil spills.

The Persian Gulf resides in the Persian Gulf Basin, which is of Cenozoic origin and related to the subduction of the Arabian Plate under the Zagros Mountains.[7] The current flooding of the basin started 15,000 years ago due to rising sea levels of the Holocene glacial retreat.[8]

Persian Gulf
PersianGulf vue satellite du golfe persique
Persian Gulf from space
LocationWestern Asia
CoordinatesCoordinates: 26°N 52°E / 26°N 52°E
TypeGulf
Native nameخلیج فارس (Persian)
Primary inflowsGulf of Oman
Basin countriesIran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and Oman (exclave of Musandam)
Max. length989 km (615 mi)
Surface area251,000 km2 (97,000 sq mi)
Average depth50 m (160 ft)
Max. depth90 m (300 ft)

Geography

This inland sea of some 251,000 square kilometres (96,912 sq mi) is connected to the Gulf of Oman in the east by the Strait of Hormuz; and its western end is marked by the major river delta of the Shatt al-Arab, which carries the waters of the Euphrates and the Tigris. In Iran this is called "Arvand Rood", where "Rood" means "river". Its length is 989 kilometres (615 miles), with Iran covering most of the northern coast and Saudi Arabia most of the southern coast. The Persian Gulf is about 56 km (35 mi) wide at its narrowest, in the Strait of Hormuz. The waters are overall very shallow, with a maximum depth of 90 metres (295 feet) and an average depth of 50 metres (164 feet).

Countries with a coastline on the Persian Gulf are (clockwise, from the north): Iran; Oman's Musandam exclave; the United Arab Emirates; Saudi Arabia Qatar, on a peninsula off the Saudi coast; Bahrain, on an island; Kuwait; and Iraq in the northwest. Various small islands also lie within the Persian Gulf, some of which are the subject of territorial disputes between the states of the region.

Extent

The International Hydrographic Organization defines the Persian Gulf's southern limit as "The Northwestern limit of Gulf of Oman". This limit is defined as "A line joining Ràs Limah (25°57'N) on the coast of Arabia and Ràs al Kuh (25°48'N) on the coast of Iran (Persia)".[6]

Oceanography

The gulf is connected to Indian Ocean through Strait of Hormuz. Writing the water balance budget for the Persian Gulf, the inputs are river discharges from Iran and Iraq (estimated to be 2000 cubic meters per second), as well as precipitation over the sea which is around 180mm/year in Qeshm Island. The evaporation of the sea is high, so that after considering river discharge and rain contributions, there is still a deficit of 416 cubic kilometers per year.[9] This difference is supplied by currents at the Strait of Hormuz. The water from the Gulf has a higher salinity, and therefore exits from the bottom of the Strait, while ocean water with less salinity flows in through the top. Another study revealed the following numbers for water exchanges for the Gulf: evaporation = -1.84m/year, precipitation = 0.08m/year, inflow from the Strait = 33.66m/year, outflow from the Strait = -32.11m/year, and the balance is 0m/year.[10] Data from different 3D computational fluid mechanics models, typically with spatial resolution of 3 kilometers and depth each element equal to 1–10 meters are predominantly used in computer models.

Oil and gas

Oil and Gas Infrastructure Persian Gulf (large)
Oil and gas pipelines and fields

The Persian Gulf and its coastal areas are the world's largest single source of crude oil, and related industries dominate the region. Safaniya Oil Field, the world's largest offshore oilfield, is located in the Persian Gulf. Large gas finds have also been made, with Qatar and Iran sharing a giant field across the territorial median line (North Field in the Qatari sector; South Pars Field in the Iranian sector). Using this gas, Qatar has built up a substantial liquefied natural gas (LNG) and petrochemical industry.

In 2002, the Persian Gulf nations of Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE produced about 25% of the world's oil, held nearly two-thirds of the world's crude oil reserves, and about 35% of the world's natural gas reserves.[11][12] The oil-rich countries (excluding Iraq) that have a coastline on the Persian Gulf are referred to as the Persian Gulf States. Iraq's egress to the gulf is narrow and easily blockaded consisting of the marshy river delta of the Shatt al-Arab, which carries the waters of the Euphrates and the Tigris rivers, where the east bank is held by Iran.

Name

Persian Gulf map
Map of the Persian Gulf. The Gulf of Oman leads to the Arabian Sea. Detail from larger map of the Middle East.

In 550 BC, the Achaemenid Empire established the first ancient empire in Persis (Pars, or modern Fars), in the southwestern region of the Iranian plateau. Consequently, in the Greek sources, the body of water that bordered this province came to be known as the "Persian Gulf".[13]

During the years 550 to 330 BC, coinciding with the sovereignty of the Achaemenid Persian Empire over the Middle East area, especially the whole part of the Persian Gulf and some parts of the Arabian Peninsula, the name of "Pars Sea" is widely found in the compiled written texts.[1]

In the travel account of Pythagoras, several chapters are related to description of his travels accompanied by the Achaemenid king Darius the Great, to Susa and Persepolis, and the area is described. From among the writings of others in the same period, there is the inscription and engraving of Darius the Great, installed at junction of waters of Red Sea and the Nile river and the Rome river (current Mediterranean) which belongs to the 5th century BC where Darius the Great has named the Persian Gulf Water Channel: "Pars Sea" ("Persian Sea").[1]

Considering the historical background of the name Persian Gulf, Sir Arnold Wilson mentions in a book published in 1928 that "no water channel has been so significant as Persian Gulf to the geologists, archaeologists, geographers, merchants, politicians, excursionists, and scholars whether in past or in present. This water channel which separates the Iran Plateau from the Arabia Plate, has enjoyed an Iranian Identity since at least 2200 years ago."[1]

Before being given its present name, the Persian Gulf was called many different names. The classical Greek writers, like Herodotus, called it "the Red Sea". In Babylonian texts, it was known as "the sea above Akkad".

Naming dispute

Persian-gulf-dubai-mus
A historical map of the Persian Gulf in a Dubai museum with the word Persian removed[14][15]

The name of the gulf, historically and internationally known as the Persian Gulf after the land of Persia (Iran), has been disputed by some Arab countries since the 1960s.[16] Rivalry between Iran and some Arab states, along with the emergence of pan-Arabism and Arab nationalism, has seen the name Arabian Gulf become predominant in most Arab countries.[17][18] Names beyond these two have also been applied to or proposed for this body of water.

History

Ancient history

NE 565ad
Picture depicting extent of early civilizations around the Persian Gulf, including Lackhmids, and Sassanids.
Map of the Achaemenid Empire
Picture depicting the Achaemenid Persian empire in relation to the Persian Gulf.
PersianGulfCommand
Picture depicting "Persian Corridor" through which the Allies provided supplies to the USSR.
Qeshm Museum-Iran 2018
Paleolithic hunter-gatherers at Qeshm Island

Earliest evidence of human presence on Persian Gulf islands dates back to Middle Paleolithic and consist of stone tools discovered at Qeshm Island[19].The world's oldest known civilization (Sumer) developed along the Persian Gulf and southern Mesopotamia. The shallow basin that now underlies the Gulf was an extensive region of river valley and wetlands during the transition between the end of the Last Glacial Maximum and the start of the Holocene, which, according to University of Birmingham archaeologist Jeffrey Rose, served as an environmental refuge for early humans during periodic hyperarid climate oscillations, laying the foundations for the legend of Dilmun.[20]

For most of the early history of the settlements in the Persian Gulf, the southern shores were ruled by a series of nomadic tribes. During the end of the fourth millennium BC, the southern part of the Persian Gulf was dominated by the Dilmun civilization. For a long time the most important settlement on the southern coast of the Persian Gulf was Gerrha. In the 2nd century the Lakhum tribe, who lived in what is now Yemen, migrated north and founded the Lakhmid Kingdom along the southern coast. Occasional ancient battles took place along the Persian Gulf coastlines, between the Sassanid Persian empire and the Lakhmid Kingdom, the most prominent of which was the invasion led by Shapur II against the Lakhmids, leading to Lakhmids' defeat, and advancement into Arabia, along the southern shore lines.[21] During the 7th century the Sassanid Persian empire conquered the whole of the Persian Gulf, including southern and northern shores.

Between 625 BC and 226 AD, the northern side was dominated by a succession of Persian empires including the Median, Achaemenid, Seleucid and Parthian empires. Under the leadership of the Achaemenid king Darius the Great (Darius I), Persian ships found their way to the Persian Gulf.[22] Persian naval forces laid the foundation for a strong Persian maritime presence in Persian Gulf, that started with Darius I and existed until the arrival of the British East India Company, and the Royal Navy by mid-19th century AD. Persians were not only stationed on islands of the Persian Gulf, but also had ships often of 100 to 200 capacity patrolling empire's various rivers including Shatt-al-Arab, Tigris, and the Nile in the west, as well as Sind waterway, in India.[22]

The Achaemenid high naval command had established major naval bases located along Shatt al-Arab river, Bahrain, Oman, and Yemen. The Persian fleet would soon not only be used for peacekeeping purposes along the Shatt al-Arab but would also open the door to trade with India via Persian Gulf.[22][23]

Following the fall of Achaemenid Empire, and after the fall of the Parthian Empire, the Sassanid empire ruled the northern half and at times the southern half of the Persian Gulf. The Persian Gulf, along with the Silk Road, were important trade routes in the Sassanid empire. Many of the trading ports of the Persian empires were located in or around Persian Gulf. Siraf, an ancient Sassanid port that was located on the northern shore of the gulf, located in what is now the Iranian province of Bushehr, is an example of such commercial port. Siraf, was also significant in that it had a flourishing commercial trade with China by the 4th century, having first established connection with the far east in 185 AD.[24]

Colonial era

Hormuz fort-Correia
The Portuguese Castle on Hormuz Island (Gaspar Correia. "Lendas da Índia", c. 1556)

Portuguese expansion into the Indian Ocean in the early 16th century following Vasco da Gama's voyages of exploration saw them battle the Ottomans up the coast of the Persian Gulf. In 1521, a Portuguese force led by commander Antonio Correia invaded Bahrain to take control of the wealth created by its pearl industry. On April 29, 1602, Shāh Abbās, the Persian emperor of the Safavid Persian Empire expelled the Portuguese from Bahrain,[25] and that date is commemorated as National Persian Gulf day in Iran.[26] With the support of the British fleet, in 1622 'Abbās took the island of Hormuz from the Portuguese; much of the trade was diverted to the town of Bandar 'Abbās, which he had taken from the Portuguese in 1615 and had named after himself. The Persian Gulf was therefore opened by Persians to a flourishing commerce with the Portuguese, Dutch, French, Spanish and the British merchants, who were granted particular privileges. The Ottoman Empire reasserted itself into Eastern Arabia in 1871.[27] Under military and political pressure from the governor of the Ottoman Vilayet of Baghdad, Midhat Pasha, the ruling Al Thani tribe submitted peacefully to Ottoman rule.[28] The Ottomans were forced to withdraw from the area with the start of World War I and the need for troops in various other frontiers.[29]

In World War II, the Western Allies used Iran as a conduit to transport military and industrial supply to the USSR, through a pathway known historically as the "Persian Corridor". Britain utilized the Persian Gulf as the entry point for the supply chain in order to make use of the Trans-Iranian Railway.[30] The Persian Gulf therefore became a critical maritime path through which the Allies transported equipment to Russia against the Nazi invasion.[31]

From 1763 until 1971, the British Empire maintained varying degrees of political control over some of the Persian Gulf states, including the United Arab Emirates (originally called the Trucial States)[32][33] and at various times Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar through the British Residency of the Persian Gulf.

The United Kingdom maintains a high profile in the region to date; in 2006 alone, over 1 million British nationals visited Dubai.[34][35] In 2014, the UK announced it will reestablish a permanent military base, HMS Jufair, in the Persian Gulf, the first since it withdrew from East of Suez in 1971.[36][37][38]

Islands

The Persian Gulf is home to many islands such as Bahrain, an Arab state. Geographically the biggest island in the Persian Gulf is Qeshm island located in the Strait of Hormuz and belongs to Iran. Other significant islands in the Persian Gulf include Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Kish administered by Iran, Bubiyan administered by Kuwait, Tarout administered by Saudi Arabia, and Dalma administered by UAE. In recent years, there has also been addition of artificial islands for tourist attractions, such as The World Islands in Dubai and The Pearl-Qatar in Doha. Persian Gulf islands are often also historically significant, having been used in the past by colonial powers such as the Portuguese and the British in their trade or as acquisitions for their empires.[39]

Cities and population

Eight nations have coasts along the Persian Gulf: Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The gulf's strategic location has made it an ideal place for human development over time. Today, many major cities of the Middle East are located in this region.

Wildlife

The wildlife of the Persian Gulf is diverse, and entirely unique due to the gulf's geographic distribution and its isolation from the international waters only breached by the narrow Strait of Hormuz. The Persian Gulf has hosted some of the most magnificent marine fauna and flora, some of which are near extirpation or at serious environmental risk. From corals, to dugongs, Persian Gulf is a diverse cradle for many species who depend on each other for survival. However, the gulf is not as biologically diverse as the Red Sea.[40]

Overall, the wild life of the Persian Gulf is endangered from both global factors, and regional, local negligence. Most pollution is from ships; land generated pollution counts as the second most common source of pollution.[41]

Aquatic mammals

Along the mediterranean regions of the Arabian Sea, including the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, the Gulf of Kutch, the Gulf of Suez, the Gulf of Aqaba, the Gulf of Aden, and the Gulf of Oman, dolphins and finless porpoises are the most common marine mammals in the waters, while larger whales and orcas are rarer today.[42] Historically, whales had been abundant in the gulf before commercial hunts wiped them out.[43][44] Whales were reduced even further by illegal mass hunts by the Soviet Union and Japan in the 1960s and 1970s.[45] Along with Bryde's whales,[46][47][48][49] these once common residents can still can be seen in deeper marginal seas such as Gulf of Aden,[50] Israel coasts,[51] and in the Strait of Hormuz.[52] Other species such as the critically endangered Arabian humpback whale,[53] (also historically common in Gulf of Aden[54] and increasingly sighted in the Red Sea since 2006, including in the Gulf of Aqaba),[51] omura's whale,[55][56] minke whale, and orca also swim into the gulf, while many other large species such as blue whale,[57] sei,[58] and sperm whales were once migrants into the Gulf of Oman and off the coasts in deeper waters,[59] and still migrate into the Red Sea,[60] but mainly in deeper waters of outer seas. In 2017, waters of the Persian Gulf along Abu Dhabi were revealed to hold the world's largest population of Indo-Pacific humpbacked dolphins.[61][62][63]

One of the more unusual marine mammals living in the Persian Gulf is the dugong (Dugong dugon). Also called "sea cows", for their grazing habits and mild manner resembling livestock, dugongs have a life expectancy similar to that of humans and they can grow up to 3 metres (9.8 feet) in length. These gentle mammals feed on sea grass and are closer relatives of certain land mammals than are dolphins and whales.[64] Their simple grass diet is negatively affected by new developments along the Persian Gulf coastline, particularly the construction of artificial islands by Arab states and pollution from oil spills caused during the "Persian Gulf war" and various other natural and artificial causes. Uncontrolled hunting has also had a negative impact on the survival of dugongs.[64] After Australian waters, which are estimated to contain some 80,000 dugong inhabitants, the waters off Qatar, Bahrain, UAE, and Saudi Arabia make the Persian Gulf the second most important habitat for the species, hosting some 7,500 remaining dugongs. However, the current number of dugongs is dwindling and it is not clear how many are currently alive or what their reproductive trend is.[64][65] Unfortunately, ambitious and uncalculated construction schemes, political unrest, ever-present international conflict, the most lucrative world supply of oil, and the lack of cooperation between Arab states and Iran, have had a negative impact on the survival of many marine species, including dugongs.

Birds

The Persian Gulf is also home to many migratory and local birds. There is great variation in color, size, and type of the bird species that call the gulf home. Concerns regarding the endangerment of the kalbaensis subspecies of the collared kingfishers were raised by conservationists due to real state development by the United Arab Emirates and Oman.[66] Estimates from 2006 showed that only three viable nesting sites were available for this ancient bird, one located 80 miles (129 km) from Dubai, and two smaller sites in Oman.[66] Such real estate expansion could prove devastating to this subspecies. A UN plan to protect the mangroves as a biological reserve was ignored by the emirate of Sharjah, which allowed the dredging of a channel that bisects the wetland and construction of an adjacent concrete walkway.[66] Environmental watchdogs in Arabia are few, and those that do advocate the wildlife are often silenced or ignored by developers of real estate many of whom have governmental connections.[66]

Real estate development in the Persian Gulf by the United Arab Emirates and Oman also raised concerns that habitats of species such as the hawksbill turtle, greater flamingo, and booted warbler may be destroyed.[66][67] The dolphins that frequent the gulf in northern waters around Iran are also at risk. Recent statistics and observations show that dolphins are at danger of entrapment in purse seine fishing nets and exposure to chemical pollutants; perhaps the most alarming sign is the "mass suicides" committed by dolphins off Iran's Hormozgan province, which are not well understood, but are suspected to be linked with a deteriorating marine environment from water pollution from oil, sewage, and industrial run offs.[68][69]

Fish and reefs

The Persian Gulf is home to over 700 species of fish, most of which are native.[70] Of these 700 species, more than 80% are reef associated.[70] These reefs are primarily rocky, but there are also a few coral reefs. Compared to the Red Sea, the coral reefs in the Persian Gulf are relatively few and far between.[71][72][73] This is primarily connected to the influx of major rivers, especially the Shatt al-Arab (Euphrates and Tigris), which carry large amounts of sediment (most reef-building corals require strong light) and causes relatively large variations in temperature and salinity (corals in general are poorly suited to large variations).[71][72][73] Nevertheless, coral reefs have been found along sections of coast of all countries in the Gulf.[73] Corals are vital ecosystems that support multitude of marine species, and whose health directly reflects the health of the gulf. Recent years have seen a drastic decline in the coral population in the gulf, partially owing to global warming but majorly due to irresponsible dumping by Arab states like the UAE and Bahrain.[74] Construction garbage such as tires, cement, and chemical by products have found their way to the Persian Gulf in recent years. Aside from direct damage to the coral, the construction waste creates "traps" for marine life in which they are trapped and die.[74] The end result has been a dwindling population of the coral, and as a result a decrease in number of species that rely on the corals for their survival.

Flora

A great example of this symbiosis are the mangroves in the gulf, which require tidal flow and a combination of fresh and salt water for growth, and act as nurseries for many crabs, small fish, and insects; these fish and insects are the source of food for many of the marine birds that feed on them.[66] Mangroves are a diverse group of shrubs and trees belonging to the genus Avicennia or Rhizophora that flourish in the salt water shallows of the gulf, and are the most important habitats for small crustaceans that dwell in them. They are as crucial an indicator of biological health on the surface of the water, as the corals are to biological health of the gulf in deeper waters. Mangroves' ability to survive the salt water through intricate molecular mechanisms, their unique reproductive cycle, and their ability to grow in the most oxygen-deprived waters have allowed them extensive growth in hostile areas of the gulf.[75][76] However, with the advent of artificial island development, most of their habitat is destroyed, or occupied by man-made structures. This has had a negative impact on the crustaceans that rely on the mangrove, and in turn on the species that feed on them.

Gallery

Dugong

Dugong mother and her offspring in shallow water.

HengamDolphins

Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins off the southern shore of Iran, around Hengam Island.

Dolphins Oman

Spinner dolphins leaping in the gulf.

The-Worlds-Most-Isolated-and-Distinct-Whale-Population-Humpback-Whales-of-the-Arabian-Sea-pone.0114162.s001

Critically endangered Arabian humpback whales (being the most isolated, and the only resident population in the world) off Dhofar.

Nakhl-Minoo

Palm and sunset in Minoo Island (Persian Gulf).

See also

References

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External links

Videos

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2006–07 Persian Gulf Cup

The 2006–07 Persian Gulf Cup (also known as Iran Pro League) was the 24th season of Iran's Football League and sixth as Iran Pro League since its establishment in 2001. Esteghlal were the defending champions. The season featured 14 teams from the 2005–06 Iran Pro League and two new teams promoted from the 2005–06 Azadegan League: Mes Kerman as champions and Paykan as runner-up. The league started on 9 September 2006 and ended on 28 May 2007. Saipa won the Pro League title for the first time in their history (total third Iranian title).

2007–08 Persian Gulf Cup

The 2007–08 Persian Gulf Cup (also known as Iran Pro League) was the 25th season of Iran's Football League and seventh as Iran Pro League since its establishment in 2001. Saipa were the defending champions. The season featured 13 teams from the 2006–07 Persian Gulf Cup and three new teams promoted from the 2006–07 Azadegan League: Shirin Faraz as champions, Pegah and Sanat Naft. PAS Hamedan replaced PAS Tehran. The league started on 16 August 2007 and ended on 17 May 2008. Persepolis won the Pro League title for the first time in their history (total ninth Iranian title).

2008–09 Persian Gulf Cup

The 2008–09 Persian Gulf Cup (also known as Iran Pro League) was the 26th season of Iran's Football League and eighth as Iran Pro League since its establishment in 2001. Persepolis were the defending champions. The season featured 15 teams from the 2007–08 Persian Gulf Cup and two new teams promoted from the 2007–08 Azadegan League: Payam Mashhad as champions and Foolad. Damash replaced Pegah. The league started on 4 August 2008 and ended on 26 April 2009. Esteghlal won the Pro League title for the second time in their history (total seventh Iranian title).

2009–10 Persian Gulf Cup

The 2009–10 Persian Gulf Cup (also known as Iran Pro League) was the 27th season of Iran's Football League and ninth as Iran Pro League since its establishment in 2001. Esteghlal were the defending champions. The season featured 15 teams from the 2008–09 Persian Gulf Cup and three new teams promoted from the 2008–09 Azadegan League: Steel Azin and Tractor Sazi both as champions and Shahin Bushehr. The league started on 6 August 2009 and ended on 19 May 2010. Sepahan won the Pro League title for the second time in their history (total second Iranian title).

2010–11 Persian Gulf Cup

The 2010–11 Persian Gulf Cup (also known as Iran Pro League) was the 28th season of Iran's Football League and tenth as Iran Pro League since its establishment in 2001. Sepahan were the defending champions. The season featured 15 teams from the 2009–10 Persian Gulf Cup and three new teams promoted from the 2009–10 Azadegan League: Shahrdari Tabriz and Naft Tehran both as champions and Sanat Naft. The league started on 26 July 2010 and ended on 20 May 2011. Sepahan won the Pro League title for the third time in their history (total third Iranian title).

2011–12 Persian Gulf Cup

The 2011–12 Persian Gulf Cup (also known as Iran Pro League) was the 29th season of Iran's Football League and 11th as Iran Pro League since its establishment in 2001. Sepahan were the defending champions. The season featured 15 teams from the 2010–11 Persian Gulf Cup and three new teams promoted from the 2010–11 Azadegan League: Damash as champions, Mes Sarcheshmeh and Fajr Sepasi. The league started on 2 August 2011 and ended on 11 May 2012. Sepahan won the Pro League title for the fourth time in their history (total fourth Iranian title).

2013–14 Persian Gulf Cup

The 2013–14 Persian Gulf Cup (also known as Iran Pro League) was the 31st season of Iran's Football League and 13th as Iran Pro League since its establishment in 2001. Esteghlal were the defending champions. The season featured 14 teams from the 2012–13 Persian Gulf Cup and two new teams promoted from the 2012–13 Azadegan League: Esteghlal Khuzestan and Gostaresh both as champions. The league started on 24 July 2013 and ended on 11 April 2014. Foolad won the Pro League title for the second time in their history (total second Iranian title).

2014–15 Persian Gulf Pro League

The 2014–15 Persian Gulf Pro League (formerly known as Iran Pro League) was the 32nd season of Iran's Football League and 14th as Persian Gulf Pro League since its establishment in 2001. Foolad were the defending champions. The season featured 13 teams from the 2013–14 Persian Gulf Cup and three new teams promoted from the 2013–14 Azadegan League: Padideh as champions, Naft Masjed Soleyman and Paykan. The league started on 1 August and ended on 15 May 2015. Sepahan won the Pro League title for the fifth time in their history (total fifth Iranian title).

2017–18 Persian Gulf Pro League

The 2017–18 Persian Gulf Pro League (formerly known as Iran Pro League) was the 35th season of Iran's Football League and 17th as Persian Gulf Pro League since its establishment in 2001. Persepolis were the defending champions. The season featured 14 teams from the 2016–17 Persian Gulf Pro League and two new teams promoted from the 2016–17 Azadegan League: Pars Jonoubi Jam as champions and Sepidrood. The league started on 27 July 2017 and ended on 27 April 2018. Persepolis won the Pro League title for the fourth time in their history, a total 11th Iranian title.

2018–19 Persian Gulf Pro League

The 2018–19 Persian Gulf Pro League (formerly known as Iran Pro League) is the 36th season of Iran's Football League and 18th as Persian Gulf Pro League since its establishment in 2001. Persepolis were the defending champions. The season featured 13 teams from the 2017–18 Persian Gulf Pro League and two new teams promoted from the 2017–18 Azadegan League: Naft Masjed Soleyman as champions and Nassaji Mazandaran. Machine Sazi replaced Gostaresh. The league started on 26 July 2018 and will end in May 2019.

Arab states of the Persian Gulf

The Arab states of the Persian Gulf are the seven Arab states which border the Persian Gulf, namely Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This excludes the non-Arab state of Iran. All of these nations except Iraq are part of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and prefer to use the term "Arabian Gulf" rather than the official and historical name of the Persian Gulf.

Gulf Cooperation Council

The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (Arabic: مجلس التعاون لدول الخليج العربية‎), originally (and still colloquially) known as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC, مجلس التعاون الخليجي), is a regional intergovernmental political and economic union consisting of all Arab states of the Persian Gulf except Iraq. Its member states are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The Charter of the Gulf Cooperation Council was signed on 25 May 1981, formally establishing the institution.All current member states are monarchies, including three constitutional monarchies (Qatar, Kuwait, and Bahrain), two absolute monarchies (Saudi Arabia and Oman), and one federal monarchy (the United Arab Emirates, which is composed of seven member states, each of which is an absolute monarchy with its own emir). There have been discussions regarding the future membership of Jordan, Morocco, and Yemen.A 2011 proposal to transform the GCC into a "Gulf Union" with tighter economic, political and military coordination has been advanced by Saudi Arabia, a move meant to counterbalance the Iranian influence in the region. Objections have been raised against the proposal by other countries. In 2014, Bahrain prime minister Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa said that current events in the region highlighted the importance of the proposal.In order to reduce their future dependence on oil, the GCC states are pursuing unprecedented economic structural reform.

Gulf War

The Gulf War (2 August 1990 – 28 February 1991), codenamed Operation Desert Shield (2 August 1990 – 17 January 1991) for operations leading to the buildup of troops and defense of Saudi Arabia and Operation Desert Storm (17 January 1991 – 28 February 1991) in its combat phase, was a war waged by coalition forces from 35 nations led by the United States against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait arising from oil pricing and production disputes. The war is also known under other names, such as the Persian Gulf War, First Gulf War, Gulf War I, Kuwait War, First Iraq War or Iraq War, before the term "Iraq War" became identified instead with the 2003 Iraq War.

On 2 August 1990 the Iraqi Army invaded and occupied Kuwait, which was met with international condemnation and brought immediate economic sanctions against Iraq by members of the UN Security Council. Together with the UK prime minister Margaret Thatcher—who had resisted the invasion by Argentina of the Falkland Islands a decade earlier—, American President George H. W. Bush deployed US forces into Saudi Arabia, and urged other countries to send their own forces to the scene. An array of nations joined the coalition, forming the largest military alliance since World War II. The great majority of the coalition's military forces were from the US, with Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and Egypt as leading contributors, in that order. Kuwait and Saudi Arabia paid around US$32 billion of the US$60 billion cost.The war marked the introduction of live news broadcasts from the front lines of the battle, principally by the US network CNN. The war has also earned the nickname Video Game War after the daily broadcast of images from cameras on board US bombers during Operation Desert Storm.The initial conflict to expel Iraqi troops from Kuwait began with an aerial and naval bombardment on 17 January 1991, continuing for five weeks. This was followed by a ground assault on 24 February. This was a decisive victory for the coalition forces, who liberated Kuwait and advanced into Iraqi territory. The coalition ceased its advance and declared a ceasefire 100 hours after the ground campaign started. Aerial and ground combat was confined to Iraq, Kuwait, and areas on Saudi Arabia's border. Iraq launched Scud missiles against coalition military targets in Saudi Arabia and against Israel.

Gulf of Oman

The Gulf of Oman or Sea of Oman (Arabic: خَلِيج عُمَان‎ khalīj ʿumān; Persian: دریای عمان‎ daryâ-ye omân) is a strait (and not an actual gulf) that connects the Arabian Sea with the Strait of Hormuz, which then runs to the Persian Gulf. It borders Iran and Pakistan on the north, Oman on the south, and the United Arab Emirates on the west.

Iranian Super Cup

The Iranian Super Cup (Persian: سوپر جام ایران) is an Iranian association football trophy awarded to the winner of a match between the Persian Gulf Pro League's season champion and the winner of the Hazfi Cup. It is similar to numerous other Super Cup tournaments held in other countries.

The tournament was only held once in 2005 when Hazfi Cup champions Saba Battery defeated league champions Foolad 4–0.

The next edition of the Iranian Super Cup was planned to be played on 10 August 2007 between the 2006–07 league champions Saipa and the Hazfi Cup winners Sepahan but the match was cancelled. After Mehdi Taj was elected as Federation president in 2016, the Iranian Super Cup was restarted. Zob Ahan won the first Super Cup after its restart, beating 2015–16 Persian Gulf Pro League winners Esteghlal Khuzestan 4–2 after extra time. Next year Persepolis crowned Super Cup by beating Naft Tehran in Azadi Stadium.

Persian Gulf Pro League

The Persian Gulf Pro League (Persian: لیگ برتر خلیج فارس‎), formerly known as the Iran Pro League (Persian: لیگ برتر فوتبال ایران‎), is the highest division of professional football in Iran. The league was also known as the Persian Gulf Cup (Persian: جام خلیج فارس‎) from 2006. It is the top-level football league in Iran since its foundation in 2 November 2001. Each year, the top finishing team in the Persian Gulf Pro League becomes the Iranian football champion, and the lowest finishing teams are relegated to Azadegan League.

Since 2013, the league comprises 16 teams. The winner and runner-up of the Persian Gulf Pro League and the Hazfi Cup champion are automatically qualified for the AFC Champions League group stage. The third of the Persian Gulf Pro League is qualified for the AFC Champions League Play-off round. The bottom two teams in the league are relegated to Azadegan League. In the past, the format and number of teams were changed for various times. Sepahan is the most successful club, with five titles, while Persepolis is the Iranian record champion, with 11 titles.

Persian Gulf campaign of 1809

The Persian Gulf Campaign, in 1809, was an operation by a British Royal Navy to force the Al Qasimi to cease their raids on British ships in the Persian Gulf, particularly on the Persian and Arab coasts of the Straits of Hormuz. The operation's success was limited as the Royal Navy forces, already heavily involved in the Napoleonic Wars, were unable to permanently suppress the strong fleets of the Al Qasimi of Ras Al Khaimah and Sharjah. The expedition did achieve its short-term goals by destroying three Al Qasimi bases and over 80 vessels, including the largest Al Qasimi ship in the region, the converted merchant ship Minerva. Although operations continued into 1810, the British were unable to destroy every Al Qasimi vessel and by 1811 attacks had resumed, although at a lower intensity than previously.

Although characterised at the time and since as actions against piracy, this charge has been disputed by historians and archivists in the UAE in particular, notably the current Ruler of Sharjah, HH Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi in his book 'The Myth of Arabian Piracy in the Gulf'. The counter-argument is that the Al Qasimi, a strong and independent maritime force, were the subject of British aggression in an attempt to stamp its authority – and that of its Omani allies – on trade routes thought of as important to Iraq and India.The operation against the Al Qasimi was a joint campaign by the Royal Navy and the fleet of the Honourable East India Company (HEIC), with soldiers drawn from the garrison of Bombay. The expeditionary force, led by Captain John Wainwright in the Navy frigate HMS Chiffone, was despatched to the region, following an escalation in attacks on British shipping in the Persian Gulf after the French established diplomatic missions in Muscat and Tehran in 1807. These attacks not only threatened British trade links in the region, but also placed British relations with Oman and Persia in jeopardy at a time when French aspirations against British India were a cause for concern to the British government.

Because the available charts of the Persian Gulf were inaccurate or incomplete at the time, Al Qasimi ships could hide from Wainwright's squadron in the uncharted inlets, a problem Wainwright reported upon his return that resulted in improved British cartography of the area.

Persian Gulf naming dispute

The Persian Gulf naming dispute is concerned with the name of the body of water known historically and internationally as the Persian Gulf (Persian: خلیج فارس‎), after the land of Persia (the traditional name of Iran). This name has become contested by some Arab countries since the 1960s in connection with the emergence of pan-Arabism and Arab nationalism, resulting in the invention of the toponym "Arabian Gulf" (Arabic: الخليج العربي‎) (used in some Arab countries), "the Gulf" and other alternatives such as the "Gulf of Basra", as it was known during the Ottoman rule of the region.

Piracy in the Persian Gulf

Piracy in the Persian Gulf was prevalent until the 19th century. It was perceived as one of the primary threats to global maritime trade routes, particularly those with significance to British India and Iraq. Many of the most notable historical instances of piracy, referred to as 'resistance' by modern Emirati historians, were perpetrated by the Al Qasimi tribe. This led to the British mounting the Persian Gulf campaign of 1809, a major maritime action launched by the British to bombard Ras Al Khaimah, Lingeh and other Al Qasimi ports. The current ruler of Sharjah, Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi argues in his book The Myth of Piracy in the Gulf that the allegations of piracy were simply excuses used by the British to impose imperialism.Piratical activities were common in the Persian Gulf from the late 18th century to the mid 19th century, particularly in the area known as the Pirate Coast which spanned from modern-day Qatar to Oman. Piracy was alleviated from 1820 with the signing of the General Maritime Treaty, cemented in 1853 by the Treaty of Maritime Peace in Perpetuity, after which the Pirate Coast began to be known by the British as the Trucial Coast (present-day United Arab Emirates).

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