Map of Persian Gulf on Google Maps
Iran is threatening to start legal action agaisnt internet giant Google over its use of alternative words for the Persian Gulf

Iran is threatening to take legal action against internet giant Google over its use of alternative words for the Persian Gulf.

Tehran is angry over the US-based company dropping the name of the Persian Gulf on Google maps.

"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," the state-run Press TV quoted Iran's foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast saying.

"Omitting the name Persian Gulf is [like] playing with the feelings and realities of the Iranian nation," the spokesperson pointed out.

Mehmanparast's warning came following the search engine's failure to show a name for the stretch of water between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula on its online map service.

Tehran is very sensitive about the name of this stretch of water, which has historically been known as the Persian Gulf.

Press TV noted in its report that "certain Arab states have recently made additional attempts to remove the word 'Persian' from the waterway's ancient appellation."

The comments came as tensions between the Gulf states and Iran refuse to die down after Bahrain issued a new warning to Iran about meddling in internal affairs.

Tensions rose this week after Iran's Islamic propagation coordination council, which organises state-backed protests, called on citizens to demonstrate against what they say is "the American plan to annex Bahrain to Saudi Arabia and express their anger against the lackey regimes of al-Khalifa and al-Saud".

The council was referring to the news of a possible union between the six nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

"The union... is a demand by the people of the GCC," Bahraini foreign minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmad al-Khalifa said according to the official Bahrain News Agency, adding that Bahrain "rejects Iranian interference in the affairs of the kingdom".

Al-Khalifa said that "every once in a while, we hear Iranian claims that Bahrain is the 14th governorate" of the Islamic republic and that Bahrainis want to "return to the motherland".

Disputing this notion, he said: "This meddling and this Iranian stance is not just directed against Bahrain, but against everybody [in the Gulf bloc]."