I have discussed a bit with someone who strongly dislikes IRI(surley because they are shia) long. But as we have discussed regarding IRI, we also tok about the Safavid dynasty. The person I have discussed with is a religious person. He is Persian and Sunni Muslim (!). He talks about the only reason that the Persians are Shia Muslims now is because the Safavid dynasty forced them to be. All the great people that Persians look up to when it comes to poetry and medicine, etc. was not Shia Muslims.
He gave me all this from wikipedia about the Safavid dynasty:
Shia Islam as the state religion
Shah Abbas I of Safavid at a banquet. Detail from a ceiling fresco; Chehel Sotoun Palace; Isfahan.
Shah Suleiman I and his courtiers, Isfahan, 1670. Painter is Ali Qoli Jabbador, and is kept at The St. Petersburg Institute of Oriental Studies in Russia, ever since it was acquired by Tsar Nicholas II. Note the two Georgian figures with their names at the top left.
Even though Safavids were not the first Shia rulers in Iran, they played a crucial role in making Shia Islam the official religion in the whole of Iran. There were large Shia communities in some cities like Qom and Sabzevar as early as the 8th century. In the 10th and 11th centuries the Buwayhids, who were of the Zaidiyyah branch of Shia, ruled in Fars, Isfahan and Baghdad. As a result of the Mongol conquest and the relative religious tolerance of the Ilkhanids, Shia dynasties were re-established in Iran, Sarbedaran in Khorasan being the most important. The Ilkhanid ruler Öljaitü converted to Twelver Shiism in the 13th century.
Following his conquest of Iran, Ismail I made conversion mandatory for the largely Sunni population. The Sunni Ulema or clergy were either killed or exiled. Ismail I, despite his heterodox Shia beliefs (Momen, 1985), brought in Shi'a religious leaders and granted them land and money in return for loyalty. Later, during the Safavid and especially Qajar period, the Shia Ulema's power increased and they were able to exercise a role, independent of or compatible with the government. Despite the Safavid's Sufi origins, most Sufi groups were prohibited, except the Nimatullahi order.
Iran became a feudal theocracy: the Shah was held to be the divinely ordained head of state and religion. In the following centuries, this religious stance cemented both Iran's internal cohesion and national feelings and provoked attacks by its Sunni neighbors.
And a other source : Safavid conversion of Iran from Sunnism to Shiismhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safavid_conversion_of_Iran_from_Sunnism_to_Shiism#cite_note-31
So I wonder if anyone on this forum have a clue pertaining to Shia and Sunni Islam in Iran (Persia)