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Iran History Timeline

BC
  • (550-332BC) Achaemenid dynasty ruled the great Persian Empire; Persian Empire dominated world power
  • (492-479BC) Persia failed in attempted to conquer Greece
  • (332BC) Persian Empire conquered by Alexander the Great
  • (323BC) One of Alexander the Great's generals established Seleucid Empire
140 BC - 1800s
  • (140 BC – 224 AD) Persia was made part of the Parthian Empire, Arsacid Dynasty ruled
  • (224-651AD) Sassanid dynasty ruled Persian Empire
  • (632) Upon death of Prophet Mohammad, his teachings were compiled into the Koran
  • (636) Islamic rule began after Arab invasion ended Sassanid dynasty
  • (1220) Mongol Era began when Genghis Khan conquered Persia
  • (1295) Ghazan Khan became first Mongol leader to convert to Islam
  • (1501) Shah Ismail I founded Safavid Dynasty, united all of Persia under Iranian leadership; Shi'i Islam declared state religion
  • (1736) Nadir Shah became monarch; ended Safavid dynasty
  • (1828) Following second Russo-Persian War, Iran ceded control of Caucasus to Russia
  • (1851-1906) After Qajars lost central Asian provinces to Russia, all claims on Afghanistan were released to the British
  • (1890) Tobacco riots occurred, mass protests forced Ruler Naser al-Din Shah to withdraw trade concessions granted to Great British
1900s
  • (1907) Absolutist powers of rulers became limited with introduction of constitution
  • (1914-1918) Iran declared neutrality in World War I, but ended up as a battleground for Russian, Turkish, and British troops
  • (1921) Military commander, Reza Khan seized power; named himself Shah of Persia
  • (1923) Reza Khan became prime minister
  • (1925) Parliament voted to make Reza Khan ruler
  • (1926) Reza Khan crowned Reza Shah Pahlavi; Mohammad Reza, the Shah's oldest son, was proclaimed crown prince
  • (1935) Persia officially renamed Iran
  • (1941) Shah was deposed in favor of his son, Mohammad Reza, Anglo-Russian occupation of Iran began due to Shah's pro-Axis allegiance in World War II
  • (1950) Ali Razmara became prime minister, assassinated less than nine months later; succeeded by Mohammad Mossadeq
  • (1951) Parliament voted to nationalize the oil industry, which was dominated by the British-owned Anglo-Iranian oil company
  • (1951) Britain imposed an embargo and blockade, halted oil exports which caused significant blow to economy
  • (1951) Power struggle between the Shah and Mossadeq occurred
  • (1953) Shah fled the country; Mossadeq overthrown in a coup; General Fazlollah Zadedi proclaimed prime minister; Shah returned
  • (1963) Shah launched the "White Revolution", a campaign to modernize, westernize the country which included land reform, social and economic modernization
  • (1978) Shah's authoritarian rule led to riots, mass demonstrations, strikes, alienation of clergy, martial law was imposed.
  • (1979) Shah and family were forced into exile
  • (1979) 52 Americans taken hostage inside U.S. embassy in Tehran by Islamic militants
  • (1979) Following 14 years of exile, Islamic fundamentalist Ayatollah Khomenini returned to Iran
  • (1979) Following referendum, the Islamic Republic of Iran was proclaimed
  • (1980) Abolhasan Bani-Sadr elected first president of the Islamic Republic
  • (1980) Iran-Iraq war began
  • (1981) After 444 days in captivity, American hostages were released
  • (1981) President Bani-Sadr dismissed
  • (1985) U.S. attempted to win the release of hostages in Lebanon, offered secret arms deals, know as the Iran-Contra affair

1900s continued

  • (1988) USS Vincennes mistakenly shot down Iran Air Airbus with 290 passengers
  • (1988) Iran accepted ceasefire agreement with Iraq under the guidance of the UN
  • (1989) Ayatollah Khomeini issued edict which ordered Muslims to kill British author, Salman Rushdie, for the novel "The Satanic Verses"
  • (1989) Following death of Ayatollah Khomeini, President Khamene'i appointed as new supreme leader
  • (1989) $567 million in frozen Iranian assets released by U.S.
  • (1990) Approximately 40,000 killed by major earthquake
  • (1990) Iraq invaded Kuwait, Iran remained neutral
  • (1990) U.S. imposed sanctions after Iran and Iraq resumed diplomatic ties
  • (1993) Rafsanjani won re-election
  • (1995) U.S. imposed oil and trade sanctions over Iran's alleged sponsorship of terrorism
  • (1997) Mohammad Khatami won presidential election
2000s
  • (2001) President Khatami re-elected
  • (2002) U.S. President George Bush described Iraq, Iran, and North Korea as an "axis of evil" , caused outrage in Iran
  • (2002) Construction of Iran's first nuclear reactor began by Russian technicians, U.S. strongly objected
  • (2003) Earthquake in southeast Iran killed 40,000 people
  • (2004) Uranium enrichment was suspended under deal with European Union
  • (2005) Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won presidential elections
  • (2006) Iran stated it had succeeded in enriching uranium at the Natanz facility
  • (2006) Deadline passed to halt work on nuclear fuel passes by established by UN
  • (2007) Iran detained 15 British sailors and marines found patrolling Shatt al-Arab waterway
  • (2007) IAEA reported Iran could develop a nuclear weapon in three to eight years; Iran allowed inspectors to visit the Arak nuclear plant; US intelligence report played down the perceived nuclear threat posed by Iran
  • (2007) Government imposed petrol rationing, protests erupted
  • (2007) U.S.announced new sanctions against Iran
  • (2008) IAEA reported that Iran was still withholding nuclear program information
  • (2008) Conservatives won majority of seats in parliamentary elections, Ali Larijani elected new speaker
  • (2008) UN Security Council tightened economic, trade sanctions
  • (2008) New version of long-range missile, Shahab-3, tested; Iran said missile was capable of hitting targets in Israel
  • (2009) Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won second term as president, rivals challenged results, protests followed, 30 people killed, more than 1,000 arrested
  • (2009) Iran insisted the building of uranium enrichment plant near Qom, was for peaceful purposes
  • (2010) UN Security Council imposed fourth round of sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program
  • (2010) Woman sentenced to death by stoning caused international outrage
  • (2010) Suicide bombers attacked Shia mosque in Zahedan, killed 27
  • (2010) U.S. imposed sanctions against eight senior Iranian officials for violations of human rights
  • (2011) Nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi reported that Iran possessed technology needed to make fuel plates and rods for nuclear reactors
  • (2011) Israel described Iran's sending of two warships through Suez Canal, an act of provocation
  • (2011) Two U.S. citizens, arrested at Iran-Iraq border in 2009, were found guilty of spying, sentenced to eight years in prison
  • (2011) Iran accused by U.S. of being behind alleged plot to kill Saudi ambassador to Washington
  • (2011) International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Iran was carrying out research that could be used to develop nuclear bomb trigger
  • (2011) British embassy in Tehran was attacked by protesters after Britain imposed tighter economic sanctions
  • (2012) IAEA inspectors left after being denied access to the Parchin site
  • (2012) Traces of enriched uranium were found by UN nuclear inspectors at the Fordo nuclear site
  • (2012) European Union boycott of oil exports from Iran went into effect
  • (2012) Canada broke diplomatic relations due to Iran's nuclear programs
  • (2012) Rial (Iran's currency) lost about 80% of its value due to international sanctions
  • (2012) European Union announced additional sanctions against Iran focusing on gas imports, trades and banking
  • (2013) Operations began at two uranium mines and a uranium ore-processing plant
  • (2013) Hassan Rouhani won presidential election
  • (2013) Uranium enrichment would be curbed and UN inspectors allowed better access to plans in return for $7 billion in sanctions relief
  • (2014) Iranian diplomat, Ali Asghar Asadi, was killed in a drive-by shotting in Yemen
  • (2014) UN nuclear inspectors arrived to examine uranium mine in southern part of country
  • (2014) Demonstrators in Tehran, angry over the nuclear talks between Iran and West, denounced U.S. during 35th anniversary of Islamic Revolution celebrations
  • (2014) Iran and six world powers agreed on timetable and framework for negotiating agreement about nuclear programs
  • (2014) Israeli navy commandos seized merchant ship in Red Sea carrying Iranian shipment of weapons for Palestinian militant groups in Gaza
  • (2014) Construction began on nonworking mock-up of American nuclear-powered aircraft carrier
  • (2014) Concerns began that nuclear talks with Iran could falter due to escalating animosity between U.S. and Russia over Ukraine crisis

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This page was last modified on April 7, 2017.