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In the Name of God بسم الله
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Sunni Muslims In Islamic Iran

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In the name of Allah. Salam. I just translated this article in Turkish. http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=10&Id=319949
Please note that it was written in 2012. I just updated some info regarding the population and ratio of minorities and I also added info about the sunni mosques in Tehran.
Here you go:
Before the Islamic Revolution in Iran, there was no mosque in Tehran that belonged to (was led by) sunnis. Iran had set a condition that in order for sunnis to have a mosque in Tehran, Saudis should let shiites have a mosque in Riyadh. But, after the success of 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iran gave up this right (for neither the KSA represents sunnis, nor the KSA is the teacher of Iran) despite though some iranians objected this [1]. And for now there are nine sunni mosques [2] in Tehran. [3]
Some claim that sunnis in Islamic Iran are not allowed to work in government institutions. But, the truth is that they are, they even have members in the Iranian Parliament. They are in the city councils, mayoralty, security forces and the army.
Those who try to denigrate Islamic Iran, either do not know anything about her, or they knowingly lie about everything. For, in Iran, there are schools, madressahs, and mosques belonging to sunnis all over the country (in the places where the sunnis live).
If we make an accurate calculation, we can see that the subscribers of the school of Ahlulbayt (shiites) are more deprived than the other sects and even religions.
In the Islamic Republic of Iran, there are about 70 thousand mosques. 60 thousand of them belongs to shiites and 10 thousand to sunnis.
But, we know that, about 78 million people live in Iran. % 99 of the population are Muslims. And % 7 of Iranian Muslims are sunnis. According to this, in Iran there are about 5-6 million sunni muslims. [4] And again, according to this statistics, there is one mosque for every 500-600 sunnis in Iran. (In Turkey, every 900 person has one mosque.)
And when we substract the number of sunnis (and about 1 million people of the scriptures) from the total population, we have about 70 million shiites. And with 60 thousand shiite mosques, the ratio is that, every 1100 shiite muslims in Iran has one mosque. Thus, Iranian sunnis have twice more mosques than Iranian shiites as per the ratio.
And according to the unofficial numbers, % 30-40 of shiite mosques don't have permanent imams. [5] And most of these mosques need repairment.
In the Islamic Republic of Iran, the population of Armenian Christians is more than 150 thousand, and the number of the churches thay have is more than 300. Thus, every 500 Armenians have one church.
So, you see, though Iran is an Islamic Republic and it is run according to the shia islamic madhab and fiqh, the subscribers of other sects of islam and other religions have more opportunity and places of worship than the shiites have.
The number of the Sunni Mosques in Islamic Republic of Iran (in 2012);
West Azarbaijan (Urmia): 1465 Sunni Mosques
Bushehr: 106 Sunni Mosques
Tehran: 9 Sunni Mosques (and lots of Masajid)
Khorasan: 746 Sunni Mosques
Sistan and Baluchestan: 3546 Sunni Mosques (Though the sunni population in this province is 824.395, there are 3546 Sunni Mosques. And the shiite population is 894.184, but they have only 322 mosques. Though the shiite population is more than the sunnis in this province, sunnis have about 11 times more mosques.)
Fars: 212 Sunni Mosques
Kurdistan: 1768 Sunni Mosques
Kerman: 21 Sunni Mosques
Kermanshah: 341 Sunni Mosques
Golestan: 1017 Sunni Mosques
Gilan: 89 Sunni Mosques
Hormozgan: 1032 Sunni Mosques
In total, there are 10344 Sunni Mosques all over Islamic Iran.
List of the Sunni Members of the Iranian Parliament (Please see http://www.majlis.ir for more info);
Parliamentary seats are 290 in total. 19 of the parliament members are sunni muslims and there is also 12 MPs from other Abrahamic faiths. And here we are sharing the names of the MPs of minorities in Islamic Iran, so that there shall be no doubt.
Sunni MPs from Kurdistan Province:
1- Mohsen Beglari
2- Hamed Qadir Marzi
3- Omid Karimiyan
4- Amin Shabani
5- Abdul-Jabbar Karimi
Sunni MPs from West Azarbaijan Province:
6- Abed Fattahi
7- Uthman Ahmadi
8- Mohammed Qasem Uthmani
9- Rasul Hazari
10- Abdul-Karim Hosseinzadah
Sunni MPs from Baluchestan Province: 
11- Nasser Kashani
12- Hamed Reza Pashang
13- Hedayatullah Mir Morad Zahi
14- Yaqoub Chenqal
15- Saed Arbaabi
Sunni MP from Golestan Province:
16- Abdul-Karim Rajabi
Sunni MP from Kermanshah Province:
17- Nemat Manouchahri
Sunni MP from Khorasan Province:
18- Mahmoud Negahban Salami
Sunni MP from Hormozgan Province:
19- Ahmad Jabbari
List of the MPs for minorities in Iran:
In the Islamic Republic of Iran, there are non-muslim minorities, namely, Christians (Armenian Apostolic Church, Assyrian Church of the East and Chaldean Catholic Church), Jews, Sabians and Zoroastrians. the Islamic Republic of Iran lets them have 12 seats in the parliament.
Jewish MPs:
1- Siamak Moreh Sedgh
2- Masoud David
Zoroastrians MPs:
1- Kourosh Azar Ghostasabi
2- Farshed Ekhtiyari
3- Esfandiyar Ekhtiyari
Christian (Armenian) MPs:
1- Sarkis Israili Ispaniyan
2- Armin Khayirpetian
3- Karen Khanlari
Christian (Assyrian and Chaldean) MPs:
1- Edward Sarkezzadah
2- Lurens Anviya Takiyi
3- Younatan Betkolia
4- Franklin Benjamin Faki Biklu
[1] It is a well-known fact that in the Sistan and Baluchestan Province of Iran, some ''sunnis'' are funded and armed by gulf states in order to fight Iran. The terrorist groups such as Jundallah, Jaish'ul-Adl, etc. are just some reflections of this treason. Thus, some people objected against opening of sunni mosques in Tehran, for they claimed it would mean the extremists also might spread instability and conflict in the capital city. Yet, Islamic Iran allowed the Sunni Mosques in Tehran despite the opposition. 
[2] Please note that, by sunni or shiite mosques, we mean, a mosque that has imam from that particular sect and the prayers are led by him and the teachings he preaches is according to that sect. Otherwise, mosques, the worshipping places have no sects.
[3] The names of and adresses for Sunni Mosques in Tehran;
1- Sadeghiyeh mosque, located in the Second Square Sadeghiyeh
2- Tehran Pars Mosque, Located in Dellavaran St.
3- Shahre Qods mosque,located 20 km Karaj old road
4- Khalij-e-Fars (Persian Gulf) mosque
5- Al-naby mosque located in the Town of Danesh
6- Haft'joub mosque, located in Malard
7- Vahidiyeh mosque, located in Shahriyar
8- Nasim Shahr mosque, located in Akbar Abad
9- Razi Abad mosque, located in Se'rah Shahriyar
[4] Another way to find out the sunni population in Iran is, to check the Hajj (pilgrimage) records. More than 100 thousand Iranians go to pilgrimage every year. 6-8 thousand of them are sunnis. And if we apply this ratio to the whole pupulation, we can deduce that there are about 6 million sunnis in Iran today.
[5] Please note that, unlike Turkey (which appoints imams even sends letters to them to read as friday khutbas, in other words, the secular government changing Islam and shaping muslims), in Iran (the religion and muslims shape the state, thus), the government does not appoint imams to mosques. The people of that neighbourhood choose an imam among  themselves or bring one. People follow whom they want. The state does not interfere it.

Edited by repenter

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Thanks for translating, brother. Hope this shut up those who think there are no Sunni mosques in Tehran. The only way to satisfy them is if there is a person videotaping each corner of such a mosque with people praying with their hands folded.

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Akhī Abul Hussain


Inshallah you are well.


He is not the Leader of the Ahl ul Sunna in Iran.

Such a title does not exist.

He is Friday imām in the jāmiʿ of Zāhedān in Balūchestān, and is not considered as leader in other Sunnī provinces, such as Golestān and Kordestān.

His complaints in the video are mostly about the Balūchestān area - especially those about religious schools.

It's easy to be misled without background information.

Rīgī - the takfīrī terrorist who had blood on his hands - had come from the area, and it seems it was rumoured he had studied in the local religious schools.

The government naturally feels concerned.

As to Sunnī mosques in Teheran, there are muṣallās proportionate in size to those who go. 

However, their chief idea is that the masjid is the place of worship for a Muslim, no matter what sect.

I understand that they believe having two 'kinds' of masjid, i.e sect-based mosques, divides the umma and is bidʿa.

The few hundred Sunnīs in each area in Teheran should pray behind a Shīʿī cleric just as several hundred Shīʿīs in Mecca pray behind a Sunnī cleric in Mecca.

There is nothing in either fiqh to prevent this in situations like these.

Perhaps you disagree, but even if they are wrong, this does not make them oppressors.

It is not oppression to invite Ahl ul Sunna to pray in the same masjid with Ahl ul Tashayyuʿ, especially for the sake of mending the sectarian rift.

Oppression is what the Takfīrīs and Wahhābīs do, by shooting mourners of ʿĀshūrā and bombing the visitors of Sayyednā al-Ḥusayn [a] and not allowing them to send their salām to the Prophet [ṣ] and his family [a] by their tombs, after having demolished their shrines. (They had nearly destroyed the Prophet's tombwork, but all Muslims, Shīʿī and Sunnī, gave a firm threat to the then Wahhābī establishment).

In the end, no government is perfect.

If one can forgive a ṣaḥābī for a very wrong action, on the grounds that they had good intentions, then one should forgive the Iranians who may commit the occasional mistake here and there, but their intentions are the diffusion of sectarianism and the removal of American, Israeli, Takfīrī evil from our blessed Islamic lands.







Brother I know he is the Imam of the great Makki Mosque. I didn't mean some political leader or a head of some political party. He a major respected Sunni figure in Iran and he travels to various provinces. Maybe you didn't watch the video clearly his complaint is about all Iranian Sunnis not just Balochistan. 


Few hundred Sunnis in Tehran? There are at least one million Sunnis living in Tehran and this is according to a Shia news site (the news was published to alarm the Shias and to provoke them against Sunnis). 


You can not compare them with Shia in Saudi for even in Madina Shia have mosques and Hussainyehs including in the capital Riyadh. It seems the 'extremist wahabi-salafi' are more tolerant to their Shia minority than 'pro-unity' government of Iran are to their Sunni minority. 




It should also be noted that Mowlavi Abdul-Ḥamīd, i.e. the Friday imām of Zāhedān jāmiʿ, is known for being controversial and has never been harmed and is free to make his complaints heard.



He is known to be 'controversial'? Yes he is according to some. 


After giving this speech the authorities confiscated his passport. They have done this numerous times. They have stopped him from travelling many times and confiscated his passport sometimes for months. Not to forget tens of major Sunnis figures who were before him were assassinated and killed simply because they would ask for rights of the Sunnis. So I agree with you that they haven't 'harmed' him yet.  


I share this link with you, insha'Allah it will help you know more about him:




Inshallah you are a fair-minded person, in which case you will show support for brother Just the Truth on his thread, to show, against the naysayers, that brothers of Ahl ul Sunna are also willing for peaceful coexistence of the two sects and unity against the enemies of Islām:



I hope you won't disappoint.




I support brother Just the Truth. 

Edited by Abul Hussain Hassani

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You can not compare them with Shia in Saudi for even in Madina Shia have mosques and Hussainyehs including in the capital Riyadh. It seems the 'extremist wahabi-salafi' are more tolerant to their Shia minority than 'pro-unity' government of Iran are to their Sunni minority. 



have you ever been in Iran? visiting their mosques? how you really think minority Shia population in saudi arabia are more satisfied with the Wahhabi government that Sunni minority in comparison with Shia government in Iran?

just take look at this video? could you refer me to one mosque (belonging to shia) in saudi arabia like this??? how they found this free will from??




I support brother Just the Truth.


but I think this way you are provoking Sunni population against the government and also the Shia??



He is known to be 'controversial'? Yes he is according to some.

according to some ?? you seem to ignore what is happening in Iran in last 10 days?

who said to Abdul Malik Rigi ( the one who performed lots of terrorist actions in Sistan and baluchestan) what you are doing is kind of jihad?? if you are about to deny what I said you could go and ask the Sunni people who are around the Mulavi Abdul Hamid about Abdulmalik execution which was performed by Iranian government in Tehran!! you may ask why in Tehran and it must be in Zahedan?? I have your answer! due to the extreme Sunni ?

who is their leader and you still do not accept he is kind of controversial leader??

Edited by mahdi servant.01

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(salam) Akhī Abul Hussein


In each locality.

Teheran is very almost the largest city in the MiddleEast.

You won't have them all in one place.


Furthermore, it is false that they do not have prayerhouses.

Whoever is misinforming Mowlavi is doing a great disservice to Islam.

Anyone can make a loud protest and attract attention, especially in today's sectarian climate. That's no art.

But when there is conflict of evidence, one has to verify before slandering.



Brother it is not that the Mowlawi gets his information from internet. He lives in Iran and he frequently travels to Tehran. This is a funny thing to say that 'someone has misinformed him'. No one said there is no prayer house in Tehran for Sunni. They have places of worship but they don't a proper permanent mosque like you said it yourself. 



According to statistics, there are more mosques for the Ahl ul Sunna per person than for the Ahl ul Tashayyuʿ per person, in Iran.

If the Islamic Republic wanted to prevent Sunnī brothers from praying, why would it do that?

But somehow, because there is no permanent mosque in Teheran for the Ahl ul Sunna, then the Teheran government is evil and hates Sunnīs and wants to torture them and oppress them and cannot tolerate them!

Even though there are great permanent Sunnī mosques and schools elsewhere in Iran, including Makkī Mosque.

This is not the right way to judge, brother. Not at all.


Christians have churches, Jews have synagogues and Hindus have temples but why can't the Sunnis have a proper and permanent Mosque? You can not force them to pray in Shia mosques behind Shia Imam just like you can not force Shia to pray in Sunni Mosques behind Sunni Imams and then make an excuse that it is to prevent division. By your logic all Shia mosques in capital of Sunni Majority countries should be closed to avoid division. They have the right to have their own mosque just like Shia have proper mosques and religious institutions in all capitals of Sunni Majority countries. Not only that they don't have Mosque they are also not allowed to perform Eid prayers in the Tehran. A day of happiness is turned into a day of discrimination. 



As for Mowlavi's temporary passport confiscation - do you know how many Shīʿī clerics the government and police have searched or apprehended throughout its time for breaching regulations?

Very many.

A single Sunnī cleric won't be above the law, now, will it? He is still an Iranian citizen and has to abide by Iranian law.

If the Islamic Republic wished to oppress Sunnī scholars, it would have confiscated the passports of other Sunnī scholars who travel abroad for conferences.


I am aware of how the Iranian government treat Shia Scholars who point the injustices of the Iranian government so we shouldn't be surprised if they do the same with Sunni scholars.


I didn't say Shaykh was the only Sunni scholar whose passport is confiscated but this happens and happened to many more Sunni scholars. This is a common thing in Iran and happens frequently with the Sunni scholars. They arrest or confiscate passports of scholars. 


Brother, this website is also helpful to learn the Iranian Sunni viewpoint:





In any case, he is still respected and invited to speak in Unity Conferences in Iran.


Thanks for accepting what I said in my first post. 




That's just a lie and - regretfully I say this brother - you ought to know better.

Nobody has gotten killed 'simply' for 'asking for rights of Sunnis'.

The political rights? Having quite a number of MPs? They have that.

The religious rights? Having a large number of mosques scattered across the country, with schools, with judges able to judge private cases according to their own fiqh? They have that.

The social rights? Not being disrespected or offended by the public authorities for their faith? They have  that, when Sayyedayn Khomeynī and Khāmeneʾī disallowed public offence to the champions of Ahl ul Sunna.

So this about 'tens of major figures' being 'assassinated' for merely 'asking' for the 'right of Sunnīs' is a rotten joke, whoever concocted it.

It's just baseless and prejudiced slander, which whoever said it, unfortunately you are repeating.

One should fear Allāh than say things which one has only heard and has no possible way to verify.


Allāh knows the sincerity of hearts and judges accordingly.





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Akhī Abul Hussain





That is what I mean by misinformation.

The Sunnī brother has a blog in which he defends a number of Sunnī points against the Shīʿa, also mentions, rather fairly, that contrary to what Mowlavi says, there were Eid prayers in 21 places in Teheran.





Brother they don't prevent Eid prayers every year but they have done it many times. In 2013 they prevented Sunni community in Sadeqiyeh (large community of Sunnis live here) and Saadatabad to perform their Eid prayers and they deployed security to stop the people.


Here is a letter of Iranian Sunni MPs asking for permission to pray Eid Prayers (This was original posted on a Shia website).


You can read in English in this Iranian Sunni website:


It is good thing that they don't fully prevent them every year. That is a good thing :)

Edited by Abul Hussain Hassani

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(salam) Akhī Abul Hussain


He was still misinformed, because Mowlavi still said that Eid prayers were prevented that year and it had not been.

True, it seems those centres were closed on a particular year, but not most centres. Also, it was not clear why those 2 centres were closed. I'm sure it didn't have anything to do with 'persecuting Sunnīs', given that most centres remained open. That they were closed to offend Sunnīs is devilish speculation, which Allāh has prohibited in the Koran.


یاأیها اللذین آمنوا اجتنبوا کثیرا من الظن إن بعض الظن إثم


O ye of faith! Avoid most speculation; truly, some speculation is sin.


The core is this:

Oppression is made of harsher stuff.


(salam) Brother. 

The Iranian government cause problems for the Sunni community in Tehran every year. This is a common thing. You never know whether this year you will be allowed to worship Allah during Eid prayers or not. The government can raid without giving any notice. 



One looks at Pakistanī Shīʿa being bombed, or Karbalā visitors being blasted, or Shīʿī cleric being lynched and dragged in the streets of Egypt, or Syrian Takfīrīs killing people not on the grounds of supporting Assad but on the grounds of being Shīʿī or Alavī.

These don't happen in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The best its enemies have been able to find is 'they don't have permanent mosques in Teheran', or on such-and-such year, Eid prayers were held in 2 less places.

And you akhī are repeating this.

This - they say - justifies the Sunnī brethren to say the Islamic Republic is persecuting Sunnīs.

Given everything else that Iran provides - politically, legally, socially, religiously - for the Sunnī brethren, it is upsetting that some groups stir sectarian fitna for a few things which might be problems, but are well-intentioned.

Many of the early khulafā did ijtihād in things which others disagreed with and may even have been wrong.

You should forgive rather than hate the ijtihād of the Iranian government, even if you consider it wrong, because it is in the hope of healing the division.

Personally, I think it is the correct approach for ending the longstanding impasse between the two sects, by not adding to divisions, but subtracting from them.



Those groups who kill Shia they have killed more Sunnis and bombed more Sunnis Mosques. They know no Shia or Sunni. 


As for the issue of Syria then it is very clear who is doing the mass killing and who is bombing cities. Lets not go off-topic. 


Also, I think there is reason to believe the government is looking into this Teheran Sunnī mosque affair, especially to silence those fools like ʿUrayfī - who called Sayyed Sīstānī who didn't hurt a fly and is at the pinnacle of ʿilm and ḥilm a fājir zindīq! - and his supporters.


So you think Iranian government is looking into this 'Tehran Mosque Affair' to silence Shaykh al-Arifi?


If Shaykh al-Arifi becomes the reason for this great thing then Allah will reward him. 


I'll end by responding to four points you have raised:

First, the number of churches and synagogues in the entire country is nothing compared to the number of mosques for Ahl ul Sunna.

Second, in Islām, the Christians and Jews have separate temples, but Muslims have the same. There is nothing in Islām about sect-based mosques. This is an innovation.

Third, nobody is forcing the Sunnī brethren to pray with the Shīʿa, though it would be quite nice if some of the brothers actually did it voluntarily, given the modern climate.

In many Muslim cities, there are no 'Shīʿa mosques'. Just 'Sunnī mosques'. (Although, strictly speaking, they are both just mosques, facing the Kaʿba, for five sets of ṣalāt). This does not mean that in that city, Shīʿa are forced to pray with Sunnīs.

Fourth, if Sunnīs wish to miss praying with their Shīʿī brethren, they can still pray alone or in jamāʿa in "Shīʿī" mosques or at home or in the open air.

None of this is prevented.

So exactly what oppression is occurring, I have no idea.

I used to live in a city which had no 'Shīʿa mosque'. The Shīʿa there had transformed two side-by-side houses into a spacious place for holding meetings and prayers and religious festivals.

Nothing prevents the Sunnī brethren to do the same in Teheran.





I think I already answered this in my earlier posts (see post 11) so I am not going to reply again. 

Edited by Abul Hussain Hassani

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For this to be oppression, two things require to be proven: 1. that there was a raid, and 2. there could be no justification for it.

If you provide these two, one should admit some level of oppression; but how can you, when the only source you have already claims that there was an unjustified raid, and you are unwilling to give the possibility that either there was no raid, or of there was, there was justification from the police.


How can a judge decide a court-case, listening only to the prosecution?! You are the judge, as we all are. Have you listened to the prosecution? Have you even heard the testimonies of the witnesses?




Brother I think you didn't understand what I said. Maybe you need to read my post again and I don't how some of what you say is relevant. 





Unfortunately, spiteful misinformation is rife, spread by those elements who fear Iran's influence, either because they fear it will increase conversions to tashayyuʿ, or because they fear it will change the political landscape against the interests of the regional monarchies.


Fear? Thats why they don't allow the Sunnis to have proper Mosques in the Capital? Who is fearing, this is very clear.


There was an Shia cleric warning the Iranian government about the increasing numbers of Ahlus Sunnah in Iran. So maybe this is the reason they fear and not allow them to have strong presence in their capital.   




I think they are considering it to silence the fitna and fitna-mongers, who play on the nerves of the Sunnī brethren by ignoring all the rights of the Ahl ul Sunna and highlighting the fact that there is no Sunnī mosque in Teheran, again forgetting to mention that there are prayerhouses, and certainly ignoring the good intentions behind the move. 

Somehow - for the fitna-mongers - no permanent Sunnī mosque in Teheran means Shīʿa persecution of Sunnīs, regardless of the fact that Sunnīs have fully proportional political, social, judicial and religious representation - something no Shīʿa has in the Muslim world outside of Lebanon and post-2003 Irāq. Just this one item, however, makes the Islamic Republic the seat of oppression against the Ahl ul Sunna. Allāhu Akbar!


Sunnī citizens of Iran have more involvement in the running of their country by voting for city councils and MPs than they do in the absolute monarchies and dictatorships of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Oman, Egypt, Morocco, and Bahrain.

That's a fact.


The fact is mentioned in post 11. 


The fact is Shias in Majority Sunni countries have more religious freedom than Sunnis in Iran.

Edited by Abul Hussain Hassani

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We are going in circles. You are repeating the same thing over and over and I have already replied to your points in my posts. 


I stop here. 


Salamunalaikum brother


In Iran, sunnis are in the parliament, have freedom to worship.


In Saudi Arabia, Malaysia , Bahrain, they are barred from having mosques, taking part of government.


Surely , the anti-shiite websites you may find the links on cannot hide from the pure facts that Iran treats sunnis earth and sky better than saudi, malaysia, bahrain etc treat shias.


Be honest with yourself here. Lets both put aside our allegiances.

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I personally know of people in Iran who have trouble freely practicing their religious faith. And this is expected (this is not surprising) because this is the only way Iran can mantain political stability.

Edited by eThErEaL

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