April 5, 2018
Iran's Sunnis Resist Extremism, but for How Long?
By Scheherezade Faramarzi
A predominantly Shia nation, the Islamic Republic of Iran has a substantial Sunni population that receives little attention compared to the country's other minorities. Last year's attacks by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) in the capital Tehran have raised fears that disgruntled Iranian Sunnis, who have until now largely escaped extremist influences, could become targets of radicalization by regional jihadist groups. Our latest issue brief, "Iran's Sunnis Resist Extremism, but for How Long?" authored by veteran journalist Scheherezade Faramarzi lays bare Iran's religious makeup, the history of the Sunni population, the influence of regional actors like Saudi Arabia, and efforts by the Iranian government to support Iranian Sunni leaders who advocate peaceful coexistence with Tehran. This comprehensive analysis deepens understanding of what the future may hold for Iran's Sunnis in the context of domestic discontent in Iran and growing rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
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