Iran accused Google Earth of being part of a conspiracy to distort history after it used the word "Arabian" instead of "Persian" as the name of the Gulf between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.
"Forging a name for the Persian Gulf will definitely tarnish the reputation of the website in the eyes of Iranians and other nations worldwide," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohamed Ali Husseini told the Iranian news agency IRNA.
"These are facts supported by historical documents and denying them is illegal," Husseini said, adding that there is a political agenda behind the falsification of history.
Husseini thanked Iranians inside and outside the country who protested "the irrational and opportunist plot of Google" by signing online petitions.
Iran's leading reformist party, the Islamic Iran Participation Front, criticized the designation given to the Gulf and called it "suspicious."
"Those in charge of Google Earth serve the purposes of external powers that aim to wreak havoc in the region," the party said in a declaration issued on Monday.
The row echoes a controversy two years ago when National Geographic magazine was swamped by protests after labeling the sea as the Arabian not the Persian Gulf.
The magazine was banned in Iran and its reporters were barred from the country.
Web surfers launched "Google bombs", causing searches for "Arabian Gulf" to produce a site announcing: "The gulf you are looking for does not exist, try Persian Gulf."
(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid).