The Iranian suspicion of Western mapping systems is getting a little silly.
Iran is apparently fed up with using Google Maps and want something more "Islamic". We are not sure what an Islamic mapping system would look like, as getting from point A to point B rarely requires divine intervention unless you are trying to find a park in Rome.
But according to the Guardian, Iranian authorities think that Google Earth is a tool of the Satanic western spy agencies. They want to launch an "Islamic" competitor.
Iran 's Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Mohammad Hassan Nami, announced that his country was developing an "Islamic Google Earth" to be called Basir which means "spectator" in Farsi.
Nami claims that it will be ready within the next four months as preparations have already been made for its launch.
Iran is creating an appropriate data centre which could be capable of processing this volume of information, he claimed.
Nami is a former deputy chairman of Iran's joint chiefs of staff and the armed forces. He was appointed by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the new technology minister in February.
He also holds a prestigious PhD in "country management" from North Korea's Kim Il-sung University so he is super qualified at making mountains out of molehills.
Islamic Google Earth will be released in the next four months as an Islamic republic's national portal. But Nami wants to launch the service on a global scale.
He believes it will be popular in other countries. After all, while Google Earth was providing a service to users, in reality security and intelligence organisations are behind it in order to obtain information from other countries, Nami said.
Experts, however, have serious doubts about the project. After all, a similar attempt to create a religiously orientated, faith based mapping system failed dismally when Apple Maps failed to even find its own offices.
Quoting an unnamed IT consultant who worked on Iran's national internet project, the Guardian said the announcement was merely an excuse to obtain funds and secure working contracts for the future.
The expert said that claims that Iranian data centre capacity will reach Google's size in three years were just silly.
Nami's time in office will also expire in June when Ahmadinejad steps down as president and new elections are scheduled to take place.