The treatment of minorities in Iran is among the country’s thorniest and most controversial issues. The Iranian government always asserts that it does not differentiate among its citizens on the basis of religion, sect or ethnicity. On the contrary, however, some human rights organizations assert the opposite.
Thus, the importance of this study is clear. It focuses on the position of Sunnis in Iran, as an example of a minority group in Shiite majority Iran. Sunnis are the largest minority group in the country.
This study aims to answer some questions related to the status of Sunnis within the Iranian state and their relation to the political system after the 1979 revolution and the extent to which they have obtained their political and minority rights. It also seeks to give an answer to the question of victimization. Is it the dominating political and social reality in Iran, or not? It will also touch on how far Sunnis are affected by fragmentation among themselves along ethnic and cultural lines, as well as their abandonment of a united front. The important and central question that the study seeks to track and answer in this respect is: Are Sunnis marginalized by the ruling elite or are they isolated as they live in the largest Shiite majority country in the world? What are the manifestations of this marginalization? The study also includes a brief historical glimpse to cast light on the position of Sunnis in the political system of Iran within its modern structure. This enables us to discover whether this is a legacy which the government is simply continuing, or if the government has adopted a unique stance in its sectarian policies towards Sunnis. This focus will be given greater emphasis in the post-1979 revolution era.