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Iran

Population: Shia Muslim 89%, Sunni Muslim 10%, Zoroastrian, Jewish, Christian and Bahai 1%

Islam and the state: Iran became an Islamic Republic after the 1979 revolution. Unelected Shia clerics wield ultimate political control, though the parliament and president are elected. In recent years, Iran has seen a struggle between conservatives and reformers in which the conservatives have used their control of the judiciary to clamp down on opposition and restrict the reformist agenda of President Khatami.

Militant Islam: Iran is on the United States' list of countries sponsoring terrorism because of its close links with the Hezbollah organisation in Lebanon.

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