The Sunnah people and Sunnah areas in Iran
“الحمد لله رب العالمين و الصلاة و السلام على سيدنا محمد،المبعوث رحمة للعالمين و على اله و اصحابه و التابعين لهم باحسان الى يوم الدين“اما بعد:” مثل المؤمنين في توادهم و تراحمهم و تعاطفهم كمثل الجسد اذا اشتكى منه عضو تداعى له سائر الجسد بالسهر و الحمى“
Since that time till today, the Shiites in Iran have full authority and hold the reins of power in all aspects of life, political, economical, social and other fields. On other side, the Sunni community does not have any authority they are kept away from the key posts of the country, they can not participate in important decisions, the Sunnis do not have any right inligislativ departments and management of the country, rather they are gifted all kinds of injustice and discrimination.
Because of the lack of precise statistical and no one is allowed to carry out the precise number of minorities whose belong to differnet sectarianism and nationalism in Iran, it is very difficult to determine the number of those who belong to the Sunni community. But despite all that we can affirm that the number is estimated at more than 18 million people of the total population of Iran that is around 70 million. This number is equivalent to more than 25 percent of the population of Iran.
2- Western Azerbaijan province: which is located in the northwest of Iran, here, the Kurdish Sunnis are majority of the province.
3- Kermanshah province: that is located in the southeast of Iran, Overthere, also the Kurdish people recognized the largest proportion of its population and the capital city of this provice is Kermanshah. (they are Sunni and Shia Kurds).
4- Turkmen Sahra: which is located in the northern Iran around of the coast of the Caspian Sea to the southern border of Turkmenistan. Turkmens are virtually all Sunnis and the population of the province is at least of one million.
5- Khorasan Province: that is located in northern Iran and extends to the borders of Afghanistan in eastern Iran. The Khorassan province is mostly Shia, with a notable Sunni minority. Cities like Birjand are at leat 50% Sunni and Khorassani Sunnis are of two ethnicities: Khorassanis (Persians of Khorassan) and Balochis.
6- Sistan and Baluchistan province: is located in the southeast of Iran, where Balochs are acknowledged the largest proportion of its population. This region stretching from South Khorasan to the Sea of Oman in the south and from east to the Pakistan border. The population is between 2.5-3 million, there is a small minority of Shias (in Zahedan and Zabol, mostly Persian immigrants who are getting paid to move to Baluchistan). There are around 1.5-2 million Balochis in Iran.
7- Hormozgan province, especially BandarAbbas city, which is the capital city and its suburbs, Qeshm island and other areas on the coasts of the Gulf and Oman Sea. Hormozgan – just like other former majority Sunni provinces – also faces mass immigration of Shias from Tehran, Isfahan etc. Nevertheless, the province was and is still known to be a Sunni province. Qeshm Island is majority Sunni so are most of the cities like Bandar-e-Lengeh, Bandar-e-Abbas etc. Hormozgani Sunnis are of two ethnicities: Bandaris (southern Persians) and Arab Bandaris. The population of the province is around 1.5 million.
8- Fars province, especially Laristan and its suburbs and villages, also other areas of the province such as: Tala Dar, Khur, Owz, Kheng, Fishour and other regions. Fars province, as its name says (Fars=Persia) is the heartland of Iran and it still populated by original Persian Sunnis. Lurs and Persians are the two ethnicities representing the Sunnis of this province which has a notable Sunni minority.
9- Bushehr province, especially Bushehr city and its surrounding villages, also thes areas: Bandar Maqam,Tawbandi, Koshkenar and other areas in the southwestern of Iran. Most Sunnis are of arab origin.
10- The outskirts of Khalkhal city in Ardebil province.
11- Talish and Anbaran those are located in the west of the Caspian Sea in the north of Iran.
The problem is that most would say that Persians make up a clear majority in Iran. This is however NOT true. One would naturally think that a country that has during most of it’s existence been known as “Persia” by outsiders would be majority Persian. The point is understandable – but this is a misconception.
There is a tendency by Persians too, to underestimate the Azeri, Kurdish, Balcoh and Arab numbers – because they are all in significant numbers and can or do outnumber the Persians themselves. The Westerner can also be blamed for this generalization of the peoples of Iran. Western travellers have been “blind” to ethnic divisions and consequently thought of the Kurds, Azeris, Arabs etc. as “Persian”…
77,891,220 (July 2011 est.)
Let’s convert that into a round number – 80 million.
The nine largest ethnicities in Iran and their estimated in numbers and % (of 78 million):
Azeris ca. 24% = 18 million (Shia)
Persians (Bandari, Khorasani etc) ca. 51 % = 39 million (majority Shia, small Sunni communities, mostly in Khorasan and the southern areas of Iran, i.e. Hormozgan/Bandaris)
Kurds ca. 7 % = 5 million (mostly Sunni)
Arabs ca. 3 % = 2 million (majority Shia, with a significant Sunni minority in Khuzestan and the gulf areas of Iran)
Balochs ca. 2 % = 1.5 million (Sunni)
Turkic groups – (Qashqai, Turkmen etc.) ca. 3 % = 2 million (majority Sunni)
Gilaki and Mazandaranica. 8 % = 6 million (Shia with Sunni minority)
According to our and other Sunni Iranian sources (like the Shura council of the Iranian Sunnis “Shams”) these numbers are very underestimated. Most “independant” sources mostly rely on CIA and the sources of the Iranian government, which does not give a official, up-to-date release of its religious minorities. As we said before, we, like the “Shura council” believe that Sunnis in Iran make up at least 20% of the population. The percentage of 9% is definately underestimated, yet even if one looks at the official numbers one can easily figure out that Sunni Iranians at the very least are are no more less than 10 million and this makes them the largest religious minority group of Iran. This is the whole point, wether they are 10, 15 million is not the issue, rather it is notable that Sunnis, after the Shias are the largest sect inside Iran.