Keeping the world's most vital oil exporting waterway named "Persian" is a national touchstone and highly emotive issue for Iranians.
So there was widespread anger in Iran in recent days after internet users spotted that Google Maps now has no name on the body of water that Iran insists must be called the Persian Gulf and nothing else.
The government perceives the omission on the internet giant's online cartographic service as a treacherous and politically-motivated attack on Iran's proud civilisation and long history.
"The efforts of [global] arrogance [America] and its Arab allies to remove the name of Persian Gulf will result in its name becoming more durable," Bahman Dorri, a senior official in Iran's Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, declared on Saturday.
The waterway also touches Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain - the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) that call it the Arabian Gulf.
"Google fabricating lies … will not have any outcome but for its users to lose trust in the data the company provides," Mr Dorri said. "The enemies cannot hide facts and evidence about the Persian Gulf. Documents in the UN and Unesco show the name of this body of water has always been 'Persian Gulf' since a long time ago."
A number of Iranians have posted on Twitter a link to Google Maps demanding "Where's the Persian Gulf?"
The name dispute flares periodically, but the latest spat comes at a time of increasing tension between Iran and its Arab Gulf neighbours.
Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, infuriated the GCC last month by visiting Abu Musa, one of three tiny Gulf islands claimed by both Iran and the UAE.
Iran believes there has been a pan-Arabist campaign since the 1950s, led by the then Egyptian president, Gamal Abdel Nasser, and later by the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, to call the waterway the "Arabian Gulf".
Iran regularly hosts conferences where ancient maps and historical texts are produced that refer to the "Persian Gulf". At the height of the Persian empire of Darius and Xerxes the Great, ancient Greek writers called the stretch of water the Persian Gulf, and the name has stuck ever since.
Today, the UN refers to it as the Persian Gulf, as do Britain and the US State Department, although the US navy, which has extensive dealings with Arab Gulf states, mostly uses the "Arabian Gulf".
"Undoubtedly, the correct geographical term in history is the Persian Gulf," said Sir Richard Dalton, a British former ambassador to Iran and senior fellow at Chatham House, a British think tank, said. "Iran recognises it's largely international waters and they're not laying claim to it as part of their territory in terms of hydrocarbon resources and so on."
But, Sir Richard added in an interview: "The correct terminology is an emotional issue for many Iranians and a matter of respect. The British don't mind the French calling the English channel 'La Manche', but Iran just doesn't see it that way."
In 2010, Iran warned that airlines using the term "Arabian Gulf" on in-flight monitors would be barred from Iranian airspace.
A Google representative told the BBC it did not name every place in the world and that the company did not want to take any political stance in response to the angry Iranian reaction.
Google's hapless attempt to avoid controversy by simply not naming the strategic waterway follows equally unsuccessful efforts at compromise by foreign news organisations and other independent bodies that tried not to ruffle Iranian or Arab feathers.
There was uproar in Iran in 2004 when National Geographic published a world atlas that, while acknowledging the waterway's primary name as the "Persian Gulf" added the words "Arabian Gulf" in brackets. Demanding a "correction", Tehran promptly banned the American-owned magazine and barred its reporters from Iran.
The official outcry was echoed in cyberspace. Iranian bloggers at home and abroad orchestrated an eye-catching web action on the Google search engine. A search for the words "Arabian Gulf" triggered a spoof message: "The Gulf you are looking for does not exist. Try Persian Gulf."
When National Geographic later changed the labelling in its atlas, Tehran hailed the move as a "victory for all Iranians".
The most common attempt at a compromise by disinterested parties is to just call the waterway "the Gulf". But this still offends Iran. In 2006, Iran banned distribution of The Economist, a British news magazine, for publishing an article and map that referred to the "Gulf" instead of the "Persian Gulf".
The Economist stood its ground. A spokeswoman for the magazine said: "We've used the description 'Gulf' for a long time and we have no intention of changing it."
Google Earth, a sister site of Google Maps, retains the "Persian Gulf" name. But that is unlikely to appease Tehran because it also carries the alternative; the Arabian Gulf.