Iran History Timeline

Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, formerly known as Persia, is a country in the Middle East. Iran borders Pakistan and Afghanistan to the east, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Armenia to the north and Turkey and Iraq to the west. Iran has a coastline that runs north along the Caspian Sea and in the south along the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.

According to Estatelearning, Iran’s landscape is characterized by steep mountain ranges that separate the various plateaus from each other. The densely populated western parts of the country are at the same time the most mountainous, with mountain ranges such as the Zagros Mountains and the Alborz Mountains. The latter is also the place where Iran’s highest point is found: Dam water at 5607 meters. The eastern part of the country consists mainly of uninhabited desert areas.

The only large, contiguous plains are found along the coast towards the Caspian Sea and at the northern end of the Persian Gulf, where the Iranian border runs at the mouth of the Arvand River (Shatt al-Arab). Smaller, incoherent plains are found along the coast of the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman. The Iranian climate is mainly dry or semi-arid, but subtropical along the coast to the Caspian Sea. The climate provides hot summers and cold winters. Iran is considered to be one of the 15 nations that make up the “cradle of humanity”.

Iran is OPEC’s second largest oil producer and holds the world’s third largest proven oil reserves. The country also has the world’s second largest natural gas reserves (after Russia).

As is the case with all other ancient civilizations, culture is the rallying point and heart of Iranian civilization. Art, music, architecture, poetry, philosophy, traditions and ideology are what make the Iranian a proud citizen of the world. Iranians believe that it is their culture that is the reason why their civilization has been able to survive through thousands of years where they have been exposed to a wide range of disasters.

There is a risk of terrorist attacks in Iran, which is why great care should generally be taken when traveling in the country. In addition to the general terrorist threat in the country, as a result of militant extremist groups’ sharpened focus on Denmark, there is a risk that terrorist attacks may be directed directly at Danes in the country. This is especially true in cases where persons can be immediately identified as Danish. Travel in the border areas of Pakistan,
Afghanistan and Iraq (especially the provinces of Ilam and Khuzestan) is discouraged due to the risk of terrorist acts and crime, including kidnappings.


6000 BCE – Excavations identified the existence of settlements in Tehran.

6th century BCE – Iran can trace its national origins back to Persia, (derived from Persis, the ancient Greek name for Iran ) that appeared during the Aqaamenid dynasty. It was a very large empire that controlled an area from northwestern India to Greece. The Persians were defeated by Alexander the Great after three attempts. Shortly after regaining Persia however its independence in the form of the Parthian and sasanidenes empire.

7th century – The Sasanids were defeated by Islamic Arab forces, which were later followed by the Seljuks, Mongols and Timur Lenk.

16th century – Persia became independent again in the form of the Safavid dynasty and other lines of kings or shahs.

1795 – Tehran becomes the capital of Persia when Qajar king Agha Mohammad Khan is crowned in the city.

1879 – UFO MYTH: Two very large “wheels” are seen spinning slowly in the air and slowly approaching the surface of the sea in the Persian Gulf on 15 May. Assumed diameter: 40 m. The distance between the objects: 150 m. Speed: 80 km / h. Duration: 35 min. The witnesses were on board the ship “Vultur”.

1935 – March 22. The country of Persia changes its name to Iran.

1943 – The Tehran Conference is a meeting between Jos ef Stalin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Win ston Churchill from November 28 to December 1, which took place in Tehran. It was the first war conference between the three powers in which Stalin was present.

1953 – Iranian Prime Minister Muhammad Mossadegh, who had been elected to parliament in 1923 and had been prime minister since 1951, was removed from power by a British-American conspiracy (” Operation Ajax “), which abolished democracy. and Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi became sole ruler. With strong support from the United States and Britain, the Shah continued the modernization of Iranian industry, but at the same time neglected to grant the people general freedoms.

1958 – Iran joins the International Atomic Energy Agency ( IAEA )

1971 – Built to honor the 2500th anniversary of the Persian Empire, the “Gateway to Iran” symbolizes Tehran. The Azadi tower is 50 meters high, and completely covered with marble. Today, the tower is in poor condition due to defaults, miserable repairs and water damage. See picture here.

1974 – Iran signs and ratifies the Safeguard Agreement (on the IAEA’s right to inspect)

1979 – Ayatollah Khomeini returns to Iran in February after 14 years in exile in France following opposition to the regime. In April, Iran is declared an Islamic republic following a referendum.

1979 – Mohammad Reza Pahlavi’s authoritarian regime, which is behind systematic torture and other human rights abuses, leads to the Iranian revolution, which means the removal of his regime from power. After more than a year of political struggle between several different political groups, an Islamic republic was established under Ayatollah Khomeini.

1980 – Iran is attacked by neighboring Iraq and the ensuing Iran-Iraq war continues until 1988. In recent years, the partly democratic political structure has led to the election of many pro-reform politicians, including former President Mohammad Khatami. The struggle between reformists and conservatives over how the country’s future should be shaped and what policies should be pursued continues to this day.

1981 – January 19 – US and Iran sign agreement on the release of 52 US hostages after 14 months in captivity.

1981 – November 23 – Ronald Reagan signs a top-secret directive allowing the CIA to recruit Contras in Nicaragua as part of what will later become known as the Iran-Contra scandal.

1981-2002 – Iran experiments with uranium metal production (not declared to IAEA)

1982-2004 – Iran experiments with irradiation of uranium and reprocessing of plutonium from spent fuel (not declared)

1983-1993 – Iran experiments with production of Polonium-210 (not declared)

1985 – Iran decides to develop a nuclear program in response to arch-rival Iraq’s nuclear program.

1989 – February 14. Iran’s A yatollah Khomeini issues death sentence to author Salman Rushdie for the book “The Satanic Verses”. He urges all orthodox Muslims to kill him.

On June 3, Khomeini died. The funeral sparked chaos in Tehran as millions of supporters sought to get one last glimpse of the deceased. Thousands were injured during the riots, several were killed and after the body fell out of the coffin and out to the crowd, the funeral was interrupted. It was resumed five hours later – under heavy guard by security forces. His funeral is believed to be the largest funeral ever. Millions had turned up to get one last glimpse of their revolutionary leader.

1995-2004 – Iran completes a 1000 megawatt light water reactor at Bushehr.

2002 – August. Iran’s secret nuclear program is revealed.

2003 – June. The IAEA announces that Iran is not complying with its obligations under the Safeguard Agreement.

In November, Iran enters into an agreement with Britain, France and Germany to suspend parts of its nuclear program.

On December 23, early in the morning, an earthquake struck the old historic town of Bam in the Kerman province, measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale. In just 12 seconds, the quake leveled virtually the entire city. Between 30-50,000 people died. Read here about one of the 57 Danes who participated in the rescue work. Read more here (English).

2003 – Amnesty International reports on violations of freedom of expression through arrests of students, academics and journalists. The annual report also reports on the use of torture and executions of political prisoners. At least 113 people, including six women, were executed in 2003. Many of the executions took place in public.

2004 – In the presidential election, reformist President Mohammad Khatami is replaced by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who represents a radical Islamic political line.

2004 – September. The IAEA Board adopts critical resolution on Iran.

2004 – November. Iran is once again entering into an agreement with Britain, France and Germany to suspend large parts of its nuclear program.

2005 – January 18. US President George W. Bush will not rule out the United States using military force if Iran does not do justice.

February 6th. It will take a few more years before Iran has its first nuclear weapon, and therefore the United States prefers to use diplomacy.

A powerful earthquake struck the area around the town of Zarand in southeastern Iran on February 22. Read more about natural disasters here.

April 28. Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi warns that Iran intends to resume the process of enriching uranium if negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program with EU countries France, Britain and Germany fail.

April 30th. Iran threatens to resume enrichment of uranium after negotiations with EU representatives over the country’s controversial nuclear program failed.

May 3 Iran declares that it will resume nuclear activities, which have been suspended as part of an agreement with the EU. The message from Tehran comes the day after the EU has clearly warned the Iranian government about international sanctions and new UN measures if the country resumes uranium enrichment.

May 8th. The Iranian regime again threatens to resume nuclear activities in a few days. The message comes despite strong warnings from the EU and the US that such a step could lead to the matter being brought before the UN Security Council.

May 25 Iran will so far maintain its halt to uranium reprocessing. It was the result of a meeting in Geneva between Iran’s leading negotiator on nuclear issues and the foreign ministers of France, Britain and Germany. After three hours of negotiations, the parties announced that they had agreed to await a proposal that the EU will present to Iran before the end of July.

June 3. Iran announces that the regime will still not accept a two-month postponement of negotiations with the EU aimed at resolving the dispute over Iran’s nuclear plans.

26th of June. Iran wants to continue nuclear negotiations with the EU, but is now in a strengthened position following the election of the ultra-conservative Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the country’s new president.

July 31st. The regime in Iran is threatening to resume certain nuclear activities.

2nd of August. Britain, France and Germany warn Iran against resuming its nuclear program.

August 3 – Mahmoud Ahmadinejad became Iran’s sixth president. He is criticized for his controversial statements and for his contempt for human rights. He is hostile to Israel, England and the United States.

August 9th. It appears that Iran has produced approx. 4,000 centrifuges used to enrich uranium.

In October, Ahmadinejad caused international outrage when he was quoted as saying he wanted to ” remove Israel from the world map “. It has since been claimed that the statement should allude to the removal of the Israeli government and not the country as a whole.

2006 – February. Iran informs the world community that the country enriches uranium on a small scale in the country’s own nuclear facilities.

April. Iran states that it has succeeded in enriching uranium in the plant in Natanz.

July. The UN Security Council calls on Iran to suspend its nuclear program and threatens sanctions.

December. The UN Security Council adopts sanctions against Iran’s trade in nuclear material and nuclear technology. Iran rejects the resolution.

2007 – January. Iran denies 38 IAEA inspectors access to the country in retaliation for UN sanctions.

March. The UN Security Council adopts several sanctions.

October. US President George W. Bush warns that a nuclear-armed Iran could trigger World War III.

November. An editorial in the Islamic Republic newspaper states that Ahmadinejad’s treatment of his opponents is amoral, illogical and forbidden, and calls on the country’s legal system to intervene. The article refers to a speech by Ahmadinejad recently in which he called opponents of Iran’s nuclear program traitors and accused former nuclear negotiators of spying.

December. The International Atomic Energy Agency ( IAEA ) notes that a new US intelligence report confirms that Iran is not developing nuclear weapons. This is in line with what the UN organization IAEA has repeatedly said about Iran’s nuclear activities.

2008 – Archeology. A 5,200-year-old bowl, found in an urban ruin south of present-day Tehran, has proven to be the world’s oldest known animation. On the bowl is a series of five pictures depicting a goat jumping up to eat leaves from a tree. Rotating the bowl creates an effect of movement – as in an animated film. The animation with the goat can be seen HERE.

2009 – February 20. UN inspectors found more enriched uranium than the Iranians themselves had given up.

21st of March. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khameni says US policy towards the Islamic Republic has not changed. The statement comes the day after President Barack Obama made a special appeal to the Tehran government.

Iran History Timeline