(Extract from an article by Sheikh Abdur Rahmaan al-Baluchy)
“It is an established fact that Iran was a Sunni nation until the Tenth century of the Hijri calendar. During this period, Iran produced thousands of scholars in every discipline; the most salient of these facts is that the six Hadeeth books (i.e Bukhaari, Muslim, Abu Dawood, etc) were written by scholars from Iran. However, when the Safawi Shi’ites took control, they established their government on the skulls of the Sunni scholars and
jurists. This was one of the reasons of the evacuation of the largest cities that were at the foremost centres of religious sciences, such as Tibriz, Isfahan, Ray, Tus. There were many Sunni Muslims that were killed, forced into Shi’ism, or compelled to flee to the mountains, leaving Iran as a centre for conspiracies against Islam and the Muslims. Fredinand, the ambassador to the Austrian king, remarked, “had it not been for the Safawids in Iran, we would have been reading the Qur’aan this day like the Algerians,” meaning that his nation would have been conquered by the Ottoman Muslims. However, the Safawids conspired with the crusaders and the imperialists to halt the Islamic expansion in France and Vienna.
The Sunni Muslims in Iran number about 15 to 29 million, living mainly in the mountainous and border regions. They are mainly Kurds, Turks, Baluchis and Arabs. There is also a good number living in the cities.”