Note: During the colonial period Iran was predominantly Sunni (orthodox), but later became Shi‘a (partisan) and adopted Twelver Shi‘ism under the Safavid dynasty led by Shah Ismail (r. 1501-1524) who ushered in what some call the Golden Age of Persia.
Note: President Ahmadinejad may have been misquoted when he is reported to have said: “wipe Israel off the map,” and this error may have been advanced by the media, noting that others have translated Khomeini’s statement to mean: “this occupation regime over Jerusalem must vanish from the arena of time,” where as Ahmadinejad is thought to have actually said “page of time.”
Note: Shi‘a Islam holds to the belief that the legitimate successor of the Muslim prophet Muhammad was the fourth caliph, and the prophet’s cousin, Ali ibn Abi Tālib.
Note: Sharia is Islamic canonical law based on the teachings of the Koran and the traditions of the Prophet (Hadith and Sunna), prescribing both religious and secular duties and sometimes retributive penalties for law-breaking. It has generally been supplemented by legislation adapted to the conditions of the day, though the manner in which it should be applied in modern states is a subject of dispute between Islamic fundamentalists and modernists.