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Iran History Timeline

Iran's Information

Flag of Iran
Land Area 1,531,595 km2
Water Area 116,600 km2
Total Area 1,648,195km2 (#17)
Population 82,801,633 (#16)
Population Density 54.06/km2
Government Type Theocratic Republic
GDP (PPP) $1,460.00 Billion
GDP Per Capita $18,100
Currency Rial (IRR)
More Information Iran
Largest Cities
  • (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
  • (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
  • (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
This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.

Iran Trivia

Which Countries Have a Theocratic Government?

Some of the countries with a theocratic government include Yemen, Vatican City, Sudan, and Mauritania.

7 Countries With A Theocratic Government Today

What Languages are Spoken in Iran?

Persian is the official language of Iran and is spoken by over 50% of the country's population.

What Languages Are Spoken in Iran?

When Was the Iranian Revolution?

Between 1978 and 1979, the Pahlavi Dynasty was overthrown and replaced by a new Islamic Republic of Iran. The revolution was mostly non-violent, although there were incidents of armed struggle.

Iranian Revolution: Causes, Events, and Effects

What Kind of Government Does Iran Have?

Iran is a Middle-Eastern country also known as the Islamic Republic of Iran and has a theocratic government, in which most policies are based on Islamic religious ideologies.

What Type Of Government Does Iran Have?

What Continent is Iran In?

Although considered to be part of the Middle East, Iran is located in the western portion of the continent of Asia.

What Continent is Iran In?

What Are Some Native Plants Of Iran?

Zagros Field Elm, Persian Ironwood, Velvet Maple, Schrenck's Tulip, Miss Willmott's Ghost, Fall Daffodil, etc., are some native plants of Iran.

Native Plant Species Of Iran

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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