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Timeline of Iranian History
Last Updated: October, 2009

1943: Elections for the crucial 14th parliament starts. The Tudeh Party presented 23 candidates, eight won in the elections.

1944: On international workers day in May, the Tudeh party announces the merger of four union federations into the first major trade union in Iran. With sixty affiliates and close to one hundred thousand members, the Tudeh Party reaches its peak during this period.

1946: The Prime Minister, Qavam, signs the Northern Oil Concession with the Russians. The parliament rejects the agreement. Russian forces evacuate Iranian Azerbaijan. Three Tudeh Party members are appointed cabinet ministers by the Qavam. Major strikes are organized by the Tudeh Party and several labor leaders are arrested.

1947: Parts of British/India Baluchistan is annexed to Pakistan by the British.

1950: The Prime Minister Ali Razmara is assassinated after 9 months in office. He
is succeeded by the nationalist, Mohammad Musaddiq. The Iranian government
recognizes Israel.

1951: The parliament nationalizes the oil industry in April. The Anglo-Iranian Oil Company is disabled and Shah and Musaddiq collide. Britain boycotts the purchase of Iranian oil.

1953: Shah and his wife, Soraya are forced to live Iran. They come back after only a few days in Europe with the help of western countries, including United States. Musaddiq is overthrown and the Tudeh Party is banned.

1957: The first Tehran Jewish Congress is inaugurated and the World Jewish Congress is permitted to open an office in Tehran.

1962: Land Reform Act is implemented in Iran.

1963: The White Revolution or the Shah and People’s Revolution is officially proclaimed.

1960: The Shah is pressured by the Americans to permit independent candidates run for the twentieth parliament. The accusations of vote rigging force the authorities to stop the elections. The Prime Minister Eqbal is removed.

1961: Dr. Amini, the new Prime Minster dissolves the twentieth parliament. He exiles General Bakhtiyar, the head of the secret police (SAVAK).

1964: The clergy oppose Shah’s reforms and the outspoken Khomeini is exiled. Khomeini is sent to Turkey first and then Iraq, where he stays from 1965 to 1978.

1967: Shah is crowned as the king of kings in a lavish ceremony watched by the world media. He is granted the title Arya Mihr (the Light of the Aryans) by the parliament. Queen Farah becomes the first Iranian queen officially crowned by a king and becomes the regent to the throne.  

1971: The anniversary of 2500 years of Iranian civilization is celebrated at Persepolis.

1973: The fourth development plan starting in 1968 ends and Iran enjoys a major industrial and infrastructure development.

1975: The Shah dissolves the two existing government backed parties. Iran officially becomes a one party system. The beginning of the Iranian calendar is changed from the Prophet Muhammad’s Hijrat to the start of the Achaemenid dynasty.

1978: In September massive demonstrations against shah leads to riots and strikes. Martial law is imposed.

1979: In January Shah and his family leave Iran and Pahlavi rule ended in Iran. Shah dies in Egypt in 1980 from cancer.

1979, January 16th: The Shah and his family are forced into exile. An interim government headed by Shapour Bakhtiyar is appointed by the shah.

1979, February 1st: Ayatollah Khomeini returns to Iran following almost15 years of exile in Iraq and a few months in France. The interim government is dismissed.

1979, April 1st: The Islamic Republic of Iran is proclaimed following a referendum. Kurdish uprising starts in Kurdistan. Azerbaijan opposes the referendum.

1979, November 4th:  52 Americans are taken hostage inside the US embassy by the militant students in Tehran. They demanded the extradition of the Shah who was receiving treatment in US for cancer.

1980: The first president of the new republic, Bani Sadr is elected in January. Shah dies in Egypt in July. Iraq invades Iran in September. The American hostages are released after 444 days in captivity. Bani-Sadr is impeached by a vote of 177-1 in the parliament.

1981:  Bani-Sadr, the first president elect is dismissed, he later flees to France. A massive bomb attack kills many leaders including the new president Rajai. Mujahedin Khalq group is blamed by the government. Khamenei is elected the 3rd president.

1982: Israel invades Lebanon. Iran sends Revolutionary Guards to Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.

1983: Kurds are defeated throughout Kurdistan.

1985: Khamenei is re- elected the President.

1988: Iran accepts a ceasefire agreement with Iraq following negotiations in Geneva under the aegis of the United Nations in July. Iraq mascaras thousands of Iraqi Kurds for supporting Iran.

1989:  Ayatollah Khomeini issues a religious edict (fatwa) ordering Muslims to kill British author, Salman Rushdie, for his novel, 'The Satanic Verses', considered blasphemous to Islam. Khomeini dies in June. Khamenei becomes the supreme leader. Rafsanjani another cleric becomes the president.

1990:  Iran and Iraq resume diplomatic relations in September.

1991: Thousands of Kurds flee to Iran following attacks by Saddam Hussein, after invasion of Kuwait and his defeat.
1995:   The US imposes oil and trade sanctions against Iran for alleged sponsorship of terrorism.

1996: The U.S. Congress imposes more sanctions on Iran and Libya.

1997: The moderate clergy, Mohammad Khatami, wins the presidential election by a 70% landslide. He is re-elected again in 2001.

1999: In July thousands of Pro-democracy students start massive demonstrations against the government. They were brutally oppressed.

2000: In the newly elected parliament, liberals and supporters of Khatami win 170 of the 290 seats. Hard-liners win only 44 seats.

2000: New Press law bans publication of many reformist newspapers. Women are given permission to lead religious congregations of women worshippers.

2002: US President George Bush proclaims Iraq, Iran and North Korea as an "axis of evil".

2003: Thousands attend student-led protests in Tehran against the government. The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to an Iranian woman, Shirin Ebadi in October.

2004: Conservatives gain control of the parliament in controversial elections. Kurdistan University announces the formation of the first Kurdish Language Department in Iran.

2005: A relatively unknown hardliner, Mr. Ahmadinezad a former militant guard and the mayor of Tehran is elected as the President of the Islamic Republic.


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