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Ali becomes the fourth caliph after his predecessor is assassinated. Some among the Muslims rebel against him.
Violence and turmoil spread among the Muslims; Ali is assassinated.
Hussein, son of Ali, marches against the superior army of the caliph at Karbala in Iraq. He is defeated, his army massacred, and he is beheaded. The split between Shiites and Sunnis deepens. Shiites consider Ali their first imam, Hussein the third.
The 11th Shiite Imam dies. No one succeeds him.
The Greater Occultation of the 12th or Hidden Imam begins. No imam or representative presides over the Shiite faithful.
The Mongols, led by Hulagu, destroy Baghdad, ending the Sunni Arab caliphate.
Ismail I establishes the Safavid dynasty in Persia and declares Shiism the state religion.
Ruhollah Khomeini is born in Persia.
Reza Khan seizes power in Persia, declares himself shah, establishing the Pahlavi dynasty.
Iraq becomes an independent nation, under King Faisal, a Sunni Arab.
Persia is renamed Iran.
A joint CIA/British intelligence operation in Iran keeps the shah on the throne and ousts nationalist Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh.
In the period, known as the Lesser Occultation, the son of the 11th Imam disappears, leaving his representatives to head the Shiite faith.
Arabs, both Shiite and Sunni, revolt against British control of Iraq.
Kemal Ataturk abolishes the Ottoman sultanate and the Turkish Sunni caliphate.
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