Return to home Iran news: http://www.payvand.com/news/
Wikipedia: http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Iran Sogdiana was a province of ancient Persia
between the Oxus and Jaxartes Rivers, later known as Uzbekistan. The
extinct Iranian language of Sogdiana was spoken there.
(WUD, 1994, p.1264,1353) See also Persia 40Mil BC The entire Tibetan
Plateau underwent major uplifting as the Indian subcontinent bumped
into Eurasia. Vast ranges rose from the Himalayas on the east to
Afghanistan’s Hindu Kush and Iran’s Elburz mountains on the west.
(SFC, 5/19/06, p.B7)(Econ, 1/26/17, p.31)
2200BC A statue of the Sumerian king Entemena of
Lagash was made about this time. The head was later lost and in 2003
the remaining body was looted after the fall of Baghdad. In 2006 it
was returned to Iraq’s National Museum.
(SFC, 7/26/06, p.A3)
1792BC-1750BC Hammurabi, king of Babylon,
established a code of laws during this period that became known as
the Code of Hammurabi. They were inscribed on a basalt column, later
found at Susa, Iran. One of the laws was that if a married woman was
caught lying with another man, both should be bound and thrown into
(WH, 1994, p.13)(SFEC, 10/20/96, Z1 p.2)(Econ,
247BC - 224AD The Parthian Empire, also known as
the Arsacid Empire was a major Iranian political and cultural power
in ancient Iran.
116 Hatra, a fortified city of
the Parthian Empire and later part of Iraq, withstood a Roman
invasion due to its high and thick walls. The Parthian Empire (247
BC – 224 AD), also known as the Arsacid Empire was a major Iranian
political and cultural power in ancient Iran.
198 Hatra, a fortified city of
the Parthian Empire (later part of Iraq), withstood a second Roman
invasion due to its high and thick walls. The trading center was
surrounded by more than 160 towers.
(SSFC, 4/5/15, p.A7)(AP, 4/26/17)
c226CE In Iran Zoroastrianism was revitalized as a
state religion under the Sassanians.
(WSJ, 2/2/00, p.A24)
224-641CE The Sassanid Dynasty ruled over Persia.
227-261CE The Sassanids (A.D. 227-651), ruled the
Persian Empire despite attempts by the Roman Empire (27 B.C.-A.D.
476) and later the Byzantine (or Eastern Roman) Empire to conquer
it. Bam was founded during the Sassanian Period along one of the
East-West trade routes collectively known as the Silk Road.
(HNQ, 12/22/00)(SFC, 12/27/03, p.A12)
451 Apr 13, A Persian Army of
300,000 men under Mushkan Nusalavurd arrived at a place between Her
and Zarevand (now Khoy and Salmast in Iran) to face the Armenian
614 Christian Palestine was
invaded by the Persians. The 5th century monastery of St. Theodosius
east of Beit Sahour near Bethlehem was destroyed by the Persians.
(SFEC, 12/22/96, p.T3)(WSJ, 4/5/02, p.W12)
602-628 The Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628 was
the final and most devastating of the series of wars fought between
the Byzantine Empire and the Sasanian Empire of Iran. The previous
war between the two powers had ended in 591 after Emperor Maurice
helped the Sasanian king Khosrow II regain his throne. In 602
Maurice was murdered by his political rival Phocas. Khosrow
proceeded to declare war, ostensibly to avenge the death of Maurice.
This became a decades-long conflict, the longest war in the series,
and was fought throughout the Middle East: in Egypt, the Levant,
Mesopotamia, the Caucasus, Anatolia, Armenia, the Aegean Sea and
before the walls of Constantinople itself.
632-661 The Rashidun Caliphate, also known as the
Rightly Guided Caliphate, comprising the first four caliphs in
Islam's history, was founded after Muhammad's death. At its height,
the Caliphate extended from the Arabian Peninsula, to the Levant,
Caucasus and North Africa in the west, to the Iranian highlands and
Central Asia in the east. It was the one of the largest empires in
history up until that time.
633 Gen Khalid ibn al-Walid
sent a letter to the Persian emperor that said: “Submit to our
authority and we shall leave you and your land and go against
others. If not, you will be conquered against your will by men who
love death as you love life."
(WSJ, 10/19/01, p.W19)
c633 Nikbanou, a 7th century
Persian Zoroastrian princess, fled to a mountain refuge at Chak Chak
to escape Arab horsemen planting the green pennants of Islam in
651 Yazdegird III, the last
Sassanian king, was murdered.
(WSJ, 2/2/00, p.A24)
700-800 According to Iraqis Muslim forces
“liberated" Iraq from the Persians in the 8th century qadissiyah
(SFC, 2/1/02, p.A18)
803 Harun al-Rashid (~763-809),
the fifth Abbasid Caliph and the last to make Raqqa his capital, had
his most loyal adviser cut into three pieces.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harun_al-Rashid)(Econ, 3/25/17, p.40)
781 Yakib ben Laith, a Saffarid
prince from an eastern Iranian dynasty, stripped the sanctuaries of
Bamiyan, Afghanistan, of their metal idols.
(WSJ, 12/20/01, p.A13)
814 Abu-Nuwas al-Hasan ben Hani
al-Hakami (b.756), one of the greatest of classical Arabic poets,
died. He also composed in Persian on occasion. Born in the city of
Ahvaz in Persia, of an Arab father and a Persian mother, he became a
master of all the contemporary genres of Arabic poetry. Abu Nuwas
has entered the folkloric tradition, and he appears several times in
The Book of One Thousand and One Nights. His witty and humorous
poetry, which dealt not with the traditional desert themes, but with
urban life and the joys of wine and drinking (khamriyyat -
khamriyaat), and ribald humor (mujuniyyat).
12/20/03, p.68)(Econ, 8/18/12, p.55)
816 Nov, Fatima, sister of the
eighth Imam, was buried in a sanctuary at Qum (Qom, Iran), one of
the sacred cities of the Shia faith.
(http://tinyurl.com/htuz4ky)(NG, 9/1939, p.320)
818 Imam Reza, a descendant of
the Prophet Muhammad, died. Shiites later believed that he was fed
poisonous grapes by a Sunni leader of the Muslim world. Reza was
buried in Sanabad, which later became known as Mashad, “place of
martyrdom." A major shrine grew at the site and by 2007 the Imam
Reza Shrine Foundation was the largest (bonyad) in Iran and
accounted for 7.1% of the country’s GDP.
(WSJ, 6/2/07, p.A12)
838 Jan 7, Babak Khorramdin,
formally known as "Papak" meaning "Young Father," was executed. He
was one of the main revolutionary leaders of the Iranian
Khorram-Dinan ("Those of the joyous religion"), which was a local
freedom movement fighting the Abbasid Caliphate. During his
execution, the Caliph's henchmen first cut off his legs and hands.
Legend says that Babak bravely rinsed his face with the drained
blood pouring out of his cuts, thus depriving the Caliph and the
rest of the Abbasid army from seeing his pale face, a result of the
heavy loss of blood. He was then gibbeted alive whilst sewn into a
cow's skin with the horns at ear level to gradually crush his head
as it dried out.
967 Dec 7, Abu Sa'id ibn Aboa
al-Chair, Persian mystic, was born.
1010 Abolqasem Firdawsi
(Ferdowsi), a Persian poet, completed the “Shanameh," or “Book of
Kings." It is an epic of more than 50,000 rhyming couplets weaving
the history of ancient shahs with myth and legend. One might call it
the Iliad of Persia. Over the centuries shahs have had the poem
copied and illustrated by the best artists of the day. In 2006 Dick
Harris made an abridged translation to English in prose.
(WSJ, Amy Gamerman, p. A-18, 10-13-94)(WSJ,
1037 Jun 21, Avicenna (b.980),
a Persian polymath, died in Iran. Of the 450 works he is known to
have written, around 240 have survived, including 150 on philosophy
and 40 on medicine. He attributed illness to an imbalance in bodily
1094 The Islamic terrorist
organization Nizari Ismailiyun, a Shiite politico-religious sect,
was founded by Hasan-e Sabah. He and his followers captured the hill
fortress of Almaut in northern Iran, which became their base of
1162-1227 Genghis Khan was born in the Hentiyn
Nuruu mountains north of Ulan Bator. His given name was Temujin,
“the ironsmith." He seized control over 5 million square miles that
covered China, Iran, Iraq, Burma, Vietnam, and most of Korea and
Russia. "In Search of Genghis Khan" is a book by Tim Severin. He was
succeeded by his son Ogedai, who was succeeded by Guyuk. Ogedai
ignored numerous pleas from his brother Chaghatai to cut down on his
drinking and died of alcoholism as did Guyuk.
(SFC, 4/14/96, T-10)(WUD, 1994, p. 591)(WSJ,
1177 Lal Shahbaz Qalandar
(d.1274) was born as Seyyed Shah Hussain Marandi in Marand (near the
city of Tabriz) in Azerbaijan (at this time a part of Iran). He is
also known as Shaikh Hussain Marandi. He migrated to Sindh and
settled in Sehwan and was buried there. He was a Sufi in the regions
that lie in the Sindh province of Pakistan.
c1200 Rashid al-Din, statesman
and historian, lived in Persia.
(WSJ, 5/7/01, p.A20)
1207-1273 Jalal ud-din Rumi (Jelaluddin Rumi),
Persian poet and mystic. He was born in Balkh, Afghanistan, and
later fled the Mongol invasions with his family to Konya (Iconium),
Anatolia. His work “Mathwani" (Spiritual Couplets) filled 6 volumes
and had a great impact on Islamic civilization. He founded the
Mevlevi order of Sufis, later known as the “whirling dervishes." In
1998 a film was made about the Sufi poet’s influence on the 20th
century. In 1998 Kabir Helminski edited “The Rumi Collection" with
translation by Robert Bly and others. His work also included the
“Shams I-Tabriz" in which he dismissed the terminology of Jew,
Christian and Muslim as “false distinctions." The poet Rumi was also
known as Mowlana.
(WUD, 1994, p.762)(SFC, 7/9/96, p.B5)(SFEC,
9/20/98, DB p.50)(SFEC, 10/25/98, BR p.6)(WSJ, 9/7/01, p.A14)
1244 Aug 23, Khwarezmian Turks
expelled the crusaders under Frederick II from Jerusalem.
Jerusalem’s citadel, the Tower of David, surrendered. The Turks
ruthlessly decimated the population, leaving only 2,000 people,
Christians and Muslims, still living in the city. This attack
triggered the Europeans to respond with the Seventh Crusade.
1292 Dec 9, Sa'di, great
Persian poet (Orchard, Rose Garden), died.
1371 Ubaid Zakani, Persian
writer, died. His work included “Mush va Gorbeh" (Mouse and Cat), a
match for Rabelais when it comes to mocking religion.
1389-1390 Hafez (Khwaja Shams ud-Din Hafiz)
(b.1325/26), Persian poet, died about this time.
1571 Jan 27, Shah Abbas, King
of the Safavid dynasty in Persia (1587-1629), was born. He
established a monopoly on the production and sale of silk and used
the wealth to develop the city of Isfahan. Fearful of assassination
he turned on his own family, executed one son, and blinded 2 sons,
his father and his brothers.
1587 Abbas I (16) became Shah
of Persia following the forced abdication of his father, Shah
Muhammad Khodabandeh. A revolt by Qizilbash leaders finally removed
Khodabandeh from power and installed his son Abbas as shah.
1587 Mohammad Khodabandeh, Shah
of Persia, died.
(PC, 1992 ed, p.203)
1598 Iranian emperor Shah Abbas
(1571-1629) moved his capital to Isfahan. English brothers Anthony
and Robert Shirley (~1581-1628) soon arrived in Iran with 26
followers and joined the Persian service under Abbas and remaining
for a number of years.
(Econ, 2/21/09, p.86)(http://tinyurl.com/cbrsb9)
1612 The square of Esfahan,
Persia, was built.
(SSFC, 1/14/07, p.G5)
1650 The Khaju bridge in
Esfahan, Persia (Iran), was built over the Zayandeh Rood river.
(SSFC, 1/14/07, p.G5)
1723 Border treaties or notes
between Iran and Russia were signed in this year and followed again
in 1725, 1732, 1813, 1828, 1881, 1893, 1954, 1957 and 1962.
(WSJ, 8/3/01, p.A2)
1826 Sep 26, The Persian
cavalry was routed by the Russians at the Battle of Ganja in the
1829 Feb 11, Alexander
Griboyedov (b.1795), Russian diplomat, playwright and composer, was
beheaded by a mob attack on the Russian embassy in Tehran.
Griboyedov was protecting an Armenian eunuch, who had escaped from
the harem of the Persian shah along with 2 Armenian girls. The
Russians let the incident pass after an Iranian apology. They were
already at war with the Turks and in regional competition with the
1839 Jews in Mashad, Iran, were
forcibly converted to Shiite Islam following a pogrom.
(SFC, 10/20/01, p.A10)
1844 May 22, Siyyid
Alí-Muhammad of Shiraz gained his first convert and took on the
title of the "the Báb" (the Gate), referring to his later claim to
the status of Mahdi of Shi'a Islam. His followers were therefore
known as Bábís. As the Báb's teachings spread, which the Islamic
clergy saw as blasphemous, his followers came under increased
persecution and torture.
1850 Jul 9, Báb, founder of
Bábism and one of the central figures of the Baha'i Faith., was
executed in Tabriz, Iran.
1852 In Iran Mirza Hoseyn 'Ali
Nuri (Baha' Ullah, b.1817), founder of the Baha’i Faith, became
aware of his mission as a messenger of God while in the notorious
Teheran prison known as the Black Pit for involvement in the
unsuccessful attempt in 1852 on the life the shah of Persia, Naser
od-Din. Released and exiled to Baghdad in 1853, Baha’ Allah revived
the Babi faith that had sprung from Shi’ah Islam in the 1840s. He
went on to found the Baha’i movement that subsequently spread
throughout the world.
(HNQ, 4/6/99)(HN, 11/12/00)
1863 In Iran the Baha’i faith
was founded by Hussain Ali (1817-1892). It reflected the attitudes
of the Shiah sect with an emphasis on tolerance. Among its
principles are full equality between the sexes, universal education
and the establishment of a world of a world federal system. The
Baha'i Faith was founded in Iran by a man named Baha'u'llah, which
literally means "The Glory of God".
p.A20)(AP, 1/4/18)(AFP, 7/30/20)
1879 The Cyrus Cylinder was
discovered by the Assyro-British archaeologist Hormuzd Rassam in the
foundations of the Esagila, the main temple of Babylon, and was
later placed in the British Museum in London. The cylinder was
created following the Persian conquest of Babylon in 539 BC, when
Cyrus overthrew the Babylonian king Nabonidus and replaced him as
ruler, ending the Neo-Babylonian Empire. It was later
considered as the world's first declaration of human rights.
1900 May 17, Ayatollah Ruhollah
Khomeini (d.1989), Iran's spiritual and revolutionary leader
(1979-89), was born.
1901 English millionaire
William Knox D’Arcy arranged to pay £40,000 in cash and company
stock to the Shah of Tehran, Muzaffar al-Din, for the right to drill
for oil in western Persia. The deal included a pledge, should
commercial production begin, to pay the Persian government 16% of
annual profits until 1961.
(ON, 8/08, p.1)
1904 Jan 19, A team of oil
drillers led by George Reynolds and funded by English millionaire
William Knox D’Arcy, struck oil at Chiah Surkh, Persia, but by March
the volume dwindled to an unprofitable trickle.
(ON, 8/08, p.2)
1905-1911 Iran’s Constitutional Revolution took
place. The revolution led to the establishment of a parliament in
1906 A coalition of clerical
grandees, progressive intellectuals and bazaar traders forced the
shah of Iran to promulgate Iran’s first constitution and establish a
(Econ, 6/10/06, p.85)
1907 Britain and Russia carved
Iran into spheres of influence. Russia and Great Britain signed the
convention of St. Petersburg, in which Afghanistan was declared
outside Russia's sphere of influence.
(https://www.afghan-web.com/history/chronology/)(WSJ, 4/2/07, p.A6)
1908 May 26, The first major
oil strike in the Middle East took place as engineers working for
British entrepreneur William Knox D'Arcy and led by George B.
Reynolds hit a gusher more than 1,100 feet below ground in
Masjid-i-Suleiman, Persia (Iran). The Concessions Syndicate Limited,
later the Anglo-Persian Oil Co., included the Burmah Oil Company of
Glasgow, Scotland, and the Persian oil project of William Knox
(WSJ, 9/13/99, p.R4)(WSJ, 4/2/07, p.A6)(AP,
1908 Jun 26, Shah Muhammad
Ali’s forces squelched the reform elements of Parliament in Persia.
1909 Apr 19, In Persia Howard
Baskerville (b.1885), an American Presbyterian preacher, was shot
dead while trying to break the siege of Tabriz as a defender of the
new Iranian constitution.
1910 Jan 21, A British-Russian
military intervention took place in Persia.
1911 May, Morgan Shuster
(1877-1960), an American lawyer, began serving as treasurer-general
of the Persian empire. In December under Russian and British
pressure, the vice-regent of Persia expelled Shuster from office
against the will of the Persian parliament.
(Econ, 7/17/10, p.87)
1912 Morgan Shuster, American
financial expert, authored “The Strangling of Persia." He describes
his failed efforts to introduce virtuous financial practices in Iran
in the face of British and Russian barriers.
(WSJ, 10/6/07, p.W8)
1919 Oct 26, Mohammed Riza
Pahlevi, the Shah of Iran (1941-79). He was overthrown in 1979 and
died in the United States, was born.
(HN, 10/26/98)(MC, 10/26/01)
1921 Feb 20, Riza Khan Pahlevi
seized control of Iran. Pahlevi marched into Tehran with 2,500
soldiers and took over the government. Britain helped topple the
Qajar dynasty and replaced it with Reza Shah Pahlavi, a former
military officer. Five years later he was crowned Shah and placed
the crown upon his head with his own hands, as did Napoleon.
(NG, Sept. 1939, p.330)(WSJ, 4/2/07, p.A6)
1921 Feb 26, The Russo-Persian
Treaty of Friendship was signed in Moscow between representatives of
Iran and the Soviet Russia. Both the Soviet Russia and Iran were
given full and equal shipping rights in the Caspian Sea along with
the right to fly their respective national flags on their commercial
1925 Khuzestan, an autonomous
Arab emirate once known as Arabistan, was annexed by the
British-backed shah of Iran. The area, inhabited by the Ahwazi
Arabs, was rich in oil and by 2006 produced about 90% of Iran’s oil.
(SSFC, 11/5/06, p.A16)
1925 The documentary film
"Grass" was made by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest Schoedsack. It was
about the migration of a tribe of Persian nomads.
1926 Apr 25, In Iran, Reza Kahn
was crowned Shah and chose the name "Pehlevi".
1926 Aug 20, There was an
uprising against Reza Shah Pahlavi in Persia.
1932 Reza Shah revoked the
Anglo-Persian Co. oil monopoly.
(WSJ, 4/2/07, p.A6)
1933 Antoin Sevruguin (b.
late1830s), photographer, died. He was the son of a Russian diplomat
posted to Tehran. Sevruguin worked in Tehran and captured on film
the last decades under the rule of the Qajar dynasty.
(SFC, 11/30/99, p.A24)
1934 Ali Akbar Hashemi
Rafsanjani was born.
(WP, 6/29/96, p.A20)
1935 Mar 22, Reza Shah Pahlavi
renamed Persia to Iran, which in Farsi means Aryan. It reflected the
shah’s identification with Hitler’s Third Reich.
(SFC,11/19/97, Z1 p.7)(HN, 3/22/97)(SSFC, 1/8/06,
1935 Jul 13, In Iran
worshippers at the Shrine of Imam Reza in Mashad protested a dress
code that demanded Western-style brimmed hats. A riot broke out as
troops opened fire.
1937 Oct, Amin al-Husseini, the
Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, was exiled from Palestine. He sought fled
to Iraq and in 1941 sought refuge in Iran.
1940 Jul 26, In Iran the Shah's
police squad unexpectedly arrived at the residence of opposition
politician Mohammad Mossadegh (1888-1967), searching and ransacking
his house. Although no incriminating evidence against him was found,
he was taken to the central prison in Tehran nonetheless. Mossadegh
was released in November, but was kept under house arrest until 1941
when Mohammad Reza, ascended to the throne.
1940 The Soviet Union and Iran
signed more agreements concerning the Caspian Sea.
(SFC, 8/11/98, p.A8)
1941 Aug 25, British and Soviet
forces entered Iran, opening up a route to supply the Soviet Union.
Iran was invaded by the Allies with the Soviets controlling the
1941 Aug 27, The Shah of Iran
abdicated the throne to his son Reza Pahlavi. Britain forced Reza
Shah to abdicate and installed his son Mohammed.
1941 Oct, British, USSR and
other allied forces invaded Iran to break up the Iran-Nazi alliance.
Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, left the country
under disguise with the Italian delegation and relocated to Germany.
(SSFC, 1/8/06, p.D8)
1943 Nov 28, President
Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet
leader Josef Stalin met in Tehran, Iran, to map out strategy during
World War II.
(AP, 11/28/97)(DT internet 11/28/97)(HN,
1943 Dec 1, President
Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet
leader Josef Stalin concluded their Tehran conference and agreed to
Operation Overlord (D-Day).
1945 Sep 13, Iran demanded the
withdrawal of Allied forces.
1945 The Kurdistan Democratic
Party (KDP) was founded by Mullah Mustafa Barzani (1903-1979). He
played a major role in establishing the short-lived Kurdish Republic
of Mehabad (Mahabad), “Red" Kurdistan, in Iran. It lasted for just
ten months. In the 30s and 40s he had organized “Pesh merga"
guerrillas from clans in the Zagros region.
(SFC, 9/4/96, p.A7)(WSJ, 12/20/02, p.A14)(Econ.,
1946 Jan 19, The first
complaint heard by the United Nations Security Council was made by
Iran and directed against the Soviet Union. Iran alleged Soviet
interference in its internal affairs and the refusal to remove
Soviet troops from Iranian territory. The very first session of the
UN had begun just days earlier, on January 10, 1946, in
London. The issue was resolved without UN intervention.
1946 Jan 22, Kurds again
declared their own state, the Republic of Mahabad in northwestern
Iran, only to see stronger powers crush it on December 15.
1946 Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
separated from his Egyptian wife, Queen Fawzieh. He took up with
Parvin Ghaffari in a 3-year affair later documented by Ghaffari in
the 1997 book “Until Darkness."
(SFC, 7/12/97, p.C1)
1949 The Univ. of Michigan,
despite great protest among the student body, bestowed an honorary
degree to Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran.
(LSA, Fall, 2007, p.24)
1951 Feb 12, Shah Pahlavi
married Princess Soraya Esfandiari Bakhtiari (d.2001 at 69). They
divorced in 1958. In 1991 Soraya authored her autobiography “Le
Palais des Solitudes" (The Palace of Solitudes).
(SFC, 10/26/01, p.D7)
1951 Mar 7, Shah Ali Razmara of
Iran was assassinated.
1951 Mar 15, The Iranian
parliament (the Majlis) voted to nationalize the Anglo-Iranian Oil
Company (AIOC) and its holdings, and shortly thereafter elected a
widely respected statesman and champion of nationalization, Mohammed
Mossadegh as Prime Minister.
1951 Jun 24, Persian army took
over nationalized oil installations.
1951 Sep 27, Persian troops
occupied oil refinery at Abadan.
1951 There was a struggle to
nationalize Iranian oil.
(SFEC, 4/13/97, BR p.4)
1952 Nov, Kermit Roosevelt, a
CIA operative, was approached by the British Foreign Office about
organizing the overthrow of Prime Minister Mossadegh, who had
presided over the nationalization of British-owned oil operations.
(SFEC, 6/11/00, p.D6)
c1952 Hossein Ali Montazeri
(30) became a “marja," one of the top religious sources for
consultation by Shiite Muslims.
(WSJ, 1/13/98, p.A19)
1953 Mar, The US CIA’s Tehran
station reported that an Iranian general had approached the US
embassy for support in an army-led coup. Based on this information
Allen Dulles, director of the CIA, approved $1 million to be used to
help bring about the fall of Prime Minister Mossadegh. Pres.
Eisenhower gave the CIA the ok to overthrow the elected government
of PM Mohammad Mossadegh. Mossadegh had nationalized the
Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. after Britain refused to compromise and split
profits 50-50. In 2003 Stephen Kinzer authored "All the Shah's Men:
An American Coup and the Roots of the Middle East Terror."
(SFEC, 4/16/00, p.A18)(SSFC, 8/24/03, p.M6)
1953 Aug 15, In Iran a CIA plot
to unseat PM Mossadeq failed. It was masterminded by Kermit
Roosevelt. A 2nd attempt succeeded on August 19. In preparation for
the coup the CIA “stockpiled enough arms and demolition material to
support a 10,000-man guerrilla organization for six months," and
paid out $5.3 million for bribes and other costs. An initial US
State Dept. 1989 release, outlining the years surrounding the coup,
whitewashed the US role.
(Econ, 5/15/10, p.92)(AP, 6/12/20)
1953 Aug 16, Shah Pahlavi of
Persia and princess Soraya fled to Baghdad and then Rome.
1953 Aug 19, Gen'l. Zahedi
ousted PM Mossadegh and became the Premier of Iran in a bloody coup
that left 300 dead. Britain and the US CIA under Allen Dulles
planned a secret mission to overthrow the government. PM Mossadeq
had sought to nationalize the Anglo-Persian Oil Co. The US
government made a formal apology for the coup in 2000. A 1954 CIA
description of the coup was made public in 2000. In 1979 Kermit
Roosevelt (d.2000) published “Countercoup: The Struggle for the
Control of Iran," an account of his role in the coup. In 2010
Darioush Bayandor authored “Iran and the CIA: The Fall of Mossadeq
(SFC, 11/20/53, p.A1)(SFC, 11/15/99, p.E6)(SFC,
5/29/97, p.A4)(WSJ, 3/20/00, p.A1)(SFEC, 4/16/00, p.A18)(SFEC,
6/11/00, p.D6)(WSJ, 4/2/07, p.A6)(Econ, 5/15/10, p.91)
1953 Aug 20, Iran’s PM Mossadeq
was arrested. He was soon tried for treason, and sentenced to three
years in prison.
1953 Aug 21, US CIA officials
funneled $5 million to Iran to help the coup leaders consolidate
(SFEC, 4/16/00, p.A18)
1953 Aug 22, Shah of Persia
returned to Teheran.
1953 Sep 5, US gave Persian
premier Zahedi $45 million aid.
1954 Mar, A history of the CIA
sponsored 1953 coup in Iran was written by Donald N. Wilbur
(1908-1997), an expert in Persian architecture and one of the
"leading planners" of the operation "TP-Ajax."
1954 An agreement with the Shah
gave American and British companies control of 80% of Iran’s oil
(SFC, 2/18/02, p.B4)
1954 The Soviet Union and Iran
negotiated the Astara-Hosseingholi line to mark their boundary on
the Caspian Sea.
(WSJ, 8/3/01, p.A2)
1955 Dec 25, In Iran Navvab
Safavi (b.1923), a firebrand cleric, was tried and executed. He was
responsible for founding of the Fadayan-e Islam group and with them
the assassination of several leading Iranians.
1955 Iraq joined with Britain,
Turkey, Iran and Pakistan in the Baghdad Pact, a loose alliance
intended to check soviet influence in the region. The Baghdad Pact
was formed at the prompting of the U.S. in an effort to block Soviet
pressures on the northern tier of Middle Eastern states. The U.S.
provided military and economic aid to the pact members.
(HNQ, 7/28/98)(SFC, 9/24/02, p.A10)
1959 Imam Moussa al-Sadr, born
in the Iranian holy city of Qom, came to Lebanon to work for the
rights of Shiites in the southern city of Tyre. In 1974, a year
before Lebanon's 15-year civil war broke out, he founded the
Movement of the Deprived, attracting thousands of followers.
1960 Sep 14, Iraq, Iran,
Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela formed OPEC. Fuad Rouhani
(1907-2004) of Iran served as its 1st secretary-general. In 1964 he
was succeeded by Abdul Rahman Bazzaz of Iraq.
(HN, 9/14/98)(WSJ, 7/28/03, p.A8)
1960s The Mujahedeen-e Khalq
(MEK), a militant Iranian political organization, was formed in
1962 Jun, A police attack on
the Faizieh Theological School in Qom started Ayatollah Ruhollah
Khomeini's rebellion against the Shah.
(WSJ, 8/11/99, p.A1)
1962 Aug 18, In Iran brothers,
Ahmad and Mahmoud Khayami founded "Iran National" to manufacture
cars. After the 1979 Islamic Revolution it became known as Iran
Khodro. Their later Paykan design was based on the 1967 Hillman
Hunter, which was originally designed and manufactured by the
British Rootes Group. Mahmoud Khayami is also known for starting the
Kourosh Department Stores: the first large retail chain stores of
Iran, not unlike their American counterparts Sears and Kmart.
1962 Sep 1, Some 10,000 died in
an earthquake in western Iran.
1962 Jalal Al-e-Ahmad, Iranian
writer, authored “Occidentosis: A Plague from the West." Here he
coined the term “Westoxification" to describe the loss of Iranian
cultural identity through the adoption and imitation of Western
models and Western criteria in education, the arts, and culture.
11/1/14, SR p.4)
1963 Jun 5, A state of siege
was proclaimed in Iran and Ayatollah Khomeini was arrested.
1963 Left leaning students
sympathetic to Iran’s former PM Mohammed Mossadeq, deposed in 1953,
founded Mujahedin e-Kalq (People’s Mujahedin of Iran).
(WSJ, 5/8/08, p.A10)
1965 The People’s Mujahedeen of
Iran (PMOI) was founded as a youthful underground opposition to the
Shah. The group was also known as the Mujahedeen-d Khalq
Organization (MEK of MKO). Its leader Massoud Rajavi fled to France
in 1981 and then relocated with his followers to Iraq in 1986, where
Saddam Hussein gave them a big base at Camp Ashraf.
(Econ, 4/11/09, p.47)
1967 Mar 5, Mohammed H.
Mosaddeq (b.1882), former prime minister of Iran (1951-53), died in
Iran following a period of house arrest. He had been ousted in a
military coup organized by the CIA and British intelligence.
1967 Oct 26, The Shah of Iran
crowned himself and his Queen after 26 years on the Peacock Throne.
1968 Aug 31, In northeast Iran
some 7-12 thousand people died in the 7.8 Dasht-e Bayaz earthquake,
which also destroyed 60,000 buildings.
1969 The New Wave in Iranian
film was begun by Dariush Mehrjui with “The Cow." It was about a
poor village that loses its only cow.
(SFEC, 4/23/00, DB p.52)
1969-1972 Douglas MacArthur II (d.1997 at 88)
served as US ambassador to Iran. He escaped a kidnap attempt in
1970 In Iran velayet el-faqih,
the idea of guardianship as rule, was advanced by the Ayatollah
Ruhollah Khomeini in a series of lectures and later formed the basis
of the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
1970 Iran dropped its
territorial claims on Bahrain.
(Econ, 9/11/10, p.58)
1971 Feb 2, The Ramsar
Convention, officially titled “The Convention on Wetlands of
International Importance, especially as Waterfowl Habitat," was
developed and adopted by participating nations at a meeting in
Ramsar, Iran. Swiss conservationist Luc Hoffman (1923-2016) oversaw
the signing. It came into force on December 21, 1975. The US
ratified the Ramsar agreement in 1986.
p.35)(Econ, 8/6/16, p.74)
1971 The Shah of Iran seized
the tiny island of Abu Musa as Britain abandoned its former
possession in the Persian Gulf and the United Arab Emirates was
being set up. The UAE later contested Iran’s claims to the island
and two barely inhabited chunks of rock nearby.
(Econ, 5/5/12, p.46)
1972 Apr 10, A 6.9 earthquake
in the Iranian province of Fars killed over 5,000 people.
1975 Mar 6, OPEC held a meeting
in Algiers attended for the first time by its members’ top leaders.
Here the Algiers Accord between Baghdad and Teheran put an end to
their border dispute and brought all Iranian help to the Kurdish
rebellion to a halt. The United States abruptly withdrew its support
for the Kurds and the rebellion collapsed. Many thousands of Kurdish
fighters and their families were forced to flee to Iran to escape
the pursuing Iraqi army.
1975 Future film director
Mohsen Makhmalbaf was imprisoned at 17 for protesting against the
Shah. He was spared execution due to his youth.
(SFC, 5/14/97, p.E6)
1977 Nov 15, Pres. Jimmy Carter
welcomed the Shah of Iran to Washington, DC.
1977 Iran’s Empress Farah
Pahlavi (b.1938) inaugurated the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art.
(Econ, 1/1/11, p.74)(Econ, 12/24/16, p.116)
1978 Aug 19, The Cinema Rex in
Abadan, Iran, was set ablaze, killing over 400 individuals. The
ruling government of Iran reported that Islamic militants set the
fire, while the anti-Shah protesters blamed the intelligence service
of the nation, SAVAK for setting the fire. Later it was disclosed
that Islamic militants set the Cinema Rex fire.
1978 Sep 8, The Shah's troops
opened fire on protesters in Tehran, killing several hundred
1978 Nov 4, In Iran the worst
anti-Shah demonstrations occurred. PM Sharif-Emami (d.1998 at 87 in
NYC), handed in his resignation after 2 months in office. Shah
Pahlavi then appointed Gholam Riza Azhari and tried a military
approach as the nation erupted in revolt.
(SFC, 6/24/98, p.C2)(
1978 Nov 4, US National
Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski called the Shah of Iran to tell
him that the US would "back him to the hilt."
1978 Nov 6, Muhammad Reza
Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran, appointed a military government. In a
nationwide television address, he admitted to the past mistakes and
told the nation he had heard the sound of their revolution.
1978 Nov 26, Muslim religious
leaders and politicians seeking to topple Shah of Iran called a
general strike that virtually paralyzed the country.
1978 Dec 2, Anti-Shah
protesters poured through Tehran chanting "Allah is great."
1978 Dec 11, Massive
demonstrations took place in Tehran against the Shah. In Isfahan,
Iran, 40 people were killed and 60 wounded during riots against the
(WUD, 1994, p.1691)(HN, 12/11/98)
1978 Sep 16, In northeast Iran
a magnitude 7.7 earthquake killed 25,000 people.
(WUD, 1994, p.1691)(AP, 6/22/02)
1978 Nov 5, In Iran the worst
anti-Shah demonstrations occurred.
(WUD, 1994, p.1691)
1978 Nov 6, Muhammad Reza
Pahlav, the Shah of Iran, appointed a military government. In a
nationwide television address, he admitted to the past mistakes and
told the nation he had heard the sound of their revolution.
1978 Nov, Sharif-Emami (d.1998
at 87 in NYC), prime minister, handed in his resignation after 2
months in office. Shah Pahlavi then appointed Gholam Riza Azhari and
tried a military approach as the nation erupted in revolt.
(SFC, 6/24/98, p.C2)
1978 Dec 11, In Isfahan, Iran,
40 people were killed and 60 wounded during riots against the Shah.
(WUD, 1994, p.1691)
1978 Hedayat Eslaminia and his
family fled Iran. He was a minister of the Shah and reportedly fled
with a fortune. In Jul, 1984, he was kidnapped and slain by his son
Reza in California.
(SFC, 5/1/98, p.D7)
1979 Jan 8, The US advised the
Shah to get out of Iran.
1979 Jan 16, Shah Mohammed Reza
Pahlevi fled Iran for Egypt as millions united with Ayatollah
Khomeini calling for his death. The Shah of Iran was overthrown in a
revolution led from exile by the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who
established a Muslim Theocracy. Iran was overwhelmingly Shiite,
which believes that authority is invested only in descendants of
Muhammad’s son-in-law, Ali, who is buried in An Najaf, Iraq. The
Shah of Iran fled and the Ayatollah Khomeini took charge.
(NG, 5/88, p.653)(TMC, 1994, p.1979)(HN,
1979 Jan 30, The civilian
government of Iran announced it had decided to allow Ayatollah
Ruhollah Khomeini, who'd been living in exile in France, to return.
1979 Feb 1, Ayatollah Ruhollah
Khomeini received a tumultuous welcome in Tehran as he ended nearly
15 years of exile.
1979 Feb 11, Followers of
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini seized power in Iran, nine days after
the religious leader returned to his home country following 15 years
of exile. Premier Bakhtiar resigned.
1979 Feb 14, Armed guerrillas
attacked the U.S. embassy in Tehran.
1979 Feb 16, Nematollah Nassiri
(b.1911), Iranian general and head of the Savak intelligence agency
during the rule of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, was executed.
1979 Mar 1, Molla Mustafa
Barzani (75), Iranian Kurd leader (KDP), died in Washington, DC.
1979 Mar 18, Iranian
authorities detained American feminist Kate Millett, a day before
deporting her and a companion for what were termed "provocations."
Apr 1, Iran proclaimed to be an Islamic
Republic after the fall of the Shah.
1979 May 13, In Tehran, Iran,
the Shah and his family, who had fled in January, were sentenced to
1979 Aug 8, In Iran the
revolutionary prosecutor banned the leading left-wing newspaper,
Ayandegan. 5 days later hezbollahis broke up a Tehran rally called
by the National Democratic Front, a newly organized left-of-center
political movement, to protest the Ayandegan closing.
1979 Aug 18, Iran Ayatollah
Khomeini sent the army to attack and occupy Paveh, Sanandaj and
Saghez. Having defeated the Kurds in the cities, he appointed
Khalkhali, as head of security for Kurdistan, who proceeded with a
series of summary trials and executions.
1979 Aug 23, Iranian troops
entered Iraqi Kurdish territory.
1979 Aug 27, In Sanandaj, Iran,
11 Kurdish prisoners were executed by a firing squad following a 30
minute trial under Shiite cleric Sadegh Khalkhali. Jahangir Razmi, a
photographer for Iran’s independent Ettela’at newspaper, captured
the execution on film. Within hours an anonymous photo of the
execution ran across 6 columns of the paper. On Sep 8 the newspaper
was seized by the Foundation for the Disinherited, a state-owned
holding company. On April 14, 1980, the photo won a Pulitzer Prize.
In 2006 Razmi made public 27 images from the execution that he had
(WSJ, 12/2/06, p.A1)
1979 Oct 22, The US government
allowed the deposed Shah of Iran to travel to New York for medical
treatment. This decision precipitated the Iran hostage crisis.
1979 Nov 4, The US Embassy was
taken over by Iranian students and a hostage crisis began. 90
people, including 63 Americans, were taken hostage at the American
embassy in Teheran, Iran, by militant student followers of Ayatollah
Khomeini who demanded the return of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi to
Iran for trial. He was undergoing medical treatment in New York
City. The students held 52 American hostages for 444 days, and were
released on the day of the inauguration President Ronald Reagan,
January 20, 1981. In 2005 David Harris authored “The Crisis: The
President, the Prophet and the Shah – 1979 and the coming of
Militant Islam." In 2006 Mark Bowden authored “Guests of the
Ayatollah: The First Battle in America’s War With Militant Islam."
(WSJ, 11/19/96, p.A1)(AP, 11/4/97)(HN,
11/4/98)(SSFC, 4/3/05, p.F4)(WSJ, 4/29/06, p.P10)
1979 Nov 4, In Iran, as
Islamist students stormed the US Embassy in Tehran, six American
diplomats escaped and found sanctuary at the home of Canadian
ambassador Ken Taylor (d.2015 at 81) and his first secretary, John
Sheardown. Taylor then worked with the Canadian government and the
CIA to obtain Canadian passports and forged visas allowing the
diplomats to fly to Switzerland.
(SFC, 10/17/15, p.C3)
1979 Nov 5, Iran's Ayatollah
Khomeini declared US "The Great Satan."
1979 Nov 6, In Iran PM Bazargan
resigned as Ayatollah Khomeini (1902-1989) supported the student
seizure of the US embassy.
1979 Nov 8, ABC-TV aired
"Iran Crisis: American Held Hostage" with Frank Reynolds 4 days
after the beginning of the Iran hostage crisis. The late-night news
program evolved into “Nightline" on March 24, 1980. Ted Koppel
(b.1940) soon became the anchor of nightly news on Iranian Hostages
1979 Nov 12, President Carter
announced an immediate halt to all imports of Iranian oil and
freezes Iranian assets in US. Executive Order 12170 halted oil
imports from Iran.
1979 Nov 17, Iran's Ayatollah
Khomeini ordered the release of 13 female and black American
hostages being held at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.
1979 Nov 18, Ayatollah Khomeini
said the rest of the US hostages may be tried as spies if the Shah
is not released.
1979 Dec 15, The deposed Shah
of Iran left the United States for Panama, the same day the
International Court of Justice in The Hague ruled that Iran should
release all its American hostages.
1979 Dec, In Iran Amir-Entezam
(d.2018) was convicted of spying for the United States and sentenced
to life in prison. He was released 17 years later.
1979 An Islamic Revolution took
over Iran. A ban on fax machines, video recorders, and video tapes
(SFEC, 4/13/97, BR p.4)(Econ, 7/19/14, p.43)
1979 The government of Iran
began fighting the Kurdish Democratic Party. Iran put down a Kurdish
rebellion leaving around 10,000 dead.
(WSJ, 7/11/96, p.A10)(Econ, 4/30/17, p.46)
1979 Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah
Khomeini cut diplomatic ties with Egypt.
(Econ, 2/12/11, p.29)
1979 Germany began to build a
1,000-megawatt light-water nuclear reactor at Bushehr. Germany later
abandoned the project and it was given over to Russia.
(SFC, 3/7/98, p.A7)
1979 In Iran the population was
estimated at 34 million and the government urged the populace to
breed an Islamic generation.
(SFC, 5/15/98, p.D2)
1979-2009 In 2019 it was reported that the Iranian
government arrested, imprisoned or executed at least 860 journalists
during this period, according to documents leaked to media
monitoring group Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF).
1980 Jan 25, Abolhassan
Bani-Sadr was elected as Iran's first president since the 1979
Islamic revolution. Though he won an overwhelming majority of the
popular vote, he did not have the support of the predominantly
1980 Jan 28, Six US diplomats
who had avoided being taken hostage at their embassy in Tehran flew
out of Iran with the help of Canadian diplomats.
1980 Feb 4, Abolhassan
Bani-Sadr was installed as president of Iran by Ayatollah Ruhollah
1980 Mar 6, Islamic militants
in Tehran said that they would turn over the American hostages to
the Revolutionary Council.
1980 Mar 10, Iran's leader,
Ayatollah Khomeini, lent his support to the militants holding the
American hostages in Tehran.
1980 Mar 19, The US appealed to
the International Court of Justice on hostages in Iran.
1980 Mar 23, The deposed Shah
of Iran arrived in Egypt.
Apr 1, The pro-Iranian Dawah Party claims
responsibility for an attack on Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister, Tariq
Aziz (b.1936), at Mustansiriyah University, Baghdad.
1980 Apr 7, The US broke
relations with Iran during the hostage crises. Pres. Carter ordered
all Iranian diplomats expelled from the US and prohibited any
further exports to the nation. Pres. Carter signed Executive Order
12205 for economic sanctions against Iran.
1980 Apr 23, Albert Hakim, a
wealthy arms merchant, unexpectedly skipped town the day before a US
rescue mission. The Iranian exile and CIA informant worked for the
CIA near the Turkish boarder handling the logistics of the rescue
mission in Tehran. Hakim had purchased trucks and vans and rented a
warehouse on the edge of Tehran to hide them in until they were
needed for the operation. In July, 1981, Hakim approached the CIA
with a plan to gain favor with the Iranian government by selling it
1980 Apr 24, An American
assault team held 44 Iranians hostage for about 3 hours when their
bus stumbled upon the remote desert site. The failed operation was
commanded by Colonel Charles Beckwith, founder of the US Delta
Force. The mission resulted in the deaths of 8 US servicemen. The US
hostage rescue failed when a plane collided with a helicopter in
Iran. The 1996 Iranian film: "Sandstorm" depicting the event was set
for release in Feb, 1997.
(WSJ, 11/19/96, p.A1)(AP, 4/24/97)(HN, 4/24/98)
1980 Apr 30, Terrorists seized
the Iranian Embassy in London. Only after the incident was over did
it become known that Iraq had trained and armed the gunmen in order
to try to embarrass Iran.
1980 May 5, A siege at the
Iranian embassy in London ended as British commandos and police
stormed the building. 19 hostages were rescued; two others had
already been killed by their captors; four of the five
hostage-takers also were killed. John McAleese (d.2022), special
forces soldier, led the dramatic raid. The only gunman to survive
served 27 years in jail.
(AP, 5/5/00)(AP, 8/28/11)
1980 May 24, Iran rejected a
call by the World Court in The Hague to release the American
1980 Jul 11, American hostage
Richard I. Queen, freed by Iran after eight months of captivity
because of poor health, left Tehran for Switzerland.
(PGA, 12/9/98)(AP, 7/11/01)
1980 Jul 27, On day 267 of the
Iranian hostage crisis, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the deposed Shah of
Iran (1941-1979), died at a military hospital outside Cairo, Egypt,
at age 60.
1980 Sep 22, Iraq under Saddam
Hussein invaded Iran following border skirmishes and a dispute over
the Shatt al-Arab waterway. This marked the beginning of a war that
would last eight years. Iraq invaded Iran striking refineries and an
oil-loading terminal on Kharg Island. The Iraqis used the political
instability in Iran to try to capture long-disputed territory. They
attacked across the Shatt al Arab River, a trunk of the great
Tigris-Euphrates river system.
1980 Dec 21, Iran requested $24
billion in US guarantees to free hostages.
1980 Dec 26, Iranian television
footage was broadcast in the United States, showing a dozen of the
American hostages sending messages to their families.
1980 US Sec. of State Alexander
Haig reported in a 1981 memo uncovered by the October Surprise Task
Force that leaders of several friendly countries in the Middle East
told him on a trip in 1981 that Jimmy Carter had given Iraq’s Saddam
Hussein the green light to invade Iran in 1980.
1980-1988 Iran and Iraq engaged in war. The number
of casualties was estimated at well over a million. The US provided
covert battle planning assistance to Iraq.
(V.D.-H.K.p.312)(SFC, 2/24/98, p.A9)(SSFC,
1980-1988 Labor union independence in Iran was
destroyed during its war with Iraq.
(Econ, 4/20/13, p.53)
1981 Jan 19, The United States
and Iran signed an agreement paving the way for the release of 52
Americans held hostage for more than 14 months. Iran signed after
accepting a US offer for the return of $7.9 billion in frozen
1981 Jan 20, Iran released 52
Americans held hostage for 444 days, minutes after the presidency
had passed from Jimmy Carter to Ronald Reagan.
1981 Feb 26, Three British
Anglican missionaries, detained in Iran since August 1980, were
1981 Jun 11, Earthquake in
southeast Iran killed at least 1,500 people.
(SFC, 3/21/98, p.A9)(AP, 6/11/03)
1981 Jun 22, In Iran Abolhassan
Bani-Sadr was dismissed from the presidency by Ayatollah Ruhollah
Khomeini. Shortly thereafter he fled to Paris, where he had lived in
exile during the reign of the Shah.
1981 Jun 28, In Tehran, Iran, a
powerful bomb exploded at the headquarters of the IRP while a
meeting of party leaders was in progress. 73 persons were killed,
including the chief justice and party secretary general Mohammad
Beheshti, four cabinet ministers and 27 Majlis deputies. The
Mujahedin e-Kalq carried out the bombing. Those killed included
Premier Mohammad-Javad Bahonar and Pres. Mohammad-Ali Rajaei.
(www.country-data.com/cgi-bin/query/r-6395.html)(WSJ, 5/8/08, p.A10)
1981 Jul, In Iran members of
the Union of Communists tried to seize control of the Caspian town
of Amol. At least seventy guerrillas and Pasdaran members were
killed before the uprising was put down.
1981 Aug 30, Mohammad Javad
Bahonar, prime minister of Iran, was assassinated by a bomb.
1981 Aug, Oliver North (b.1943)
was assigned to White House duty as Chief Middle East arms-sales
adviser to Secretary of Defense Casper W. Weinberger. He was fired
on November 25, 1986, for selling arms to Iran, and diverting Iran
arms sales proceeds to the contras.
1981 Sep 27, In Iran the
Mojahedin used machine guns and rocket-propelled grenade launchers
against units of the Pasdaran. Smaller left-wing opposition groups,
including the Fadayan, attempted similar guerrilla activities.
1981 Sep, In Iran a Supreme
Judicial Council circular to the revolutionary courts permitting
death sentences for "active members" of guerrilla groups. Fifty
executions a day became routine; there were days when more than 100
persons were executed.
1981 Oct 2, In Iran
Hojjatoleslam Ali Khamenehi was elected president.
1981 Oct 28, In Iran the Majlis
elected Mir-Hosain Musavi, a protégé of the late Mohammad Beheshti,
as prime minister.
1981 The Iranian regime
executed some 2,946 people this year.
(Econ, 3/2/13, p.78)
1981 In Iran Ayatollah Khomeini
declared the celebration of “Al-Quds Day," the Arabic name for
Jerusalem Day, to be held on the last day of Ramadan as an annual
denunciation of Israeli control of the holy city.
1981-1983 Up to 25,000 suspected opponents to
clerical rule were executed in Iran during this period according to
estimates by Amnesty Int'l.
(SFC, 2/11/04, p.A10)
1982 Apr 7, Sadegh Ghotbzadeh
(b.1936), Iran’s minister of foreign affairs, was arrested. He was
convicted of plotting against the government and executed on Sep 15.
1982 May 25, Iranian troops
1982 Jul 4, Four Iranians,
charge d'affaires Mohsen Musavi, diplomat Ahmad Motovasselian,
photographer Kazem Akhavan and driver Mohammad Taqi Rastgar
Moghaddam, were seized at a Lebanese Forces checkpoint north of
Beirut. In 2006 Samir Geagea, former head of the disbanded Lebanese
Forces, said that they were killed by Christian militiamen.
1982 Jul 14, Iran launched a
"Ramadan-offensive" in Iraq.
1982 Sep 15, Iran's former
foreign minister, Sadegh Ghotbzadeh, was executed after he was
convicted of plotting against the government.
1982 Oct 2, A truck bomb in
Tehran killed 60 and injured 700. Authorities blamed ''American
1982 Nov 17, In Iraq the
Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) was
created to increase Iranian control over Iraqi opposition groups
belonging to the same Shiite faith as most Iranians. In 1999 it had
4-8000 fighters in southern Iraq.
1982 Iran’s Islamic Azad
University was founded. An endowment, or vaqf in Farsi, was set
up by the university board in 2009, shortly after national
elections, to keep it independent in the face of the rising power of
1983 Feb 7, Iran opened an
invasion in the southeast of Iraq.
1983 Oct 23, A truck filled
with explosives, driven by a Moslem suicide terrorist, crashed into
the US Marine barracks near the Beirut International Airport in
Lebanon. The bomb killed 241 Marines and sailors and injured 80.
Almost simultaneously, a similar incident occurred at French
military headquarters, where 58 died and 15 were injured. Hezbollah
leader Imad Mughniyah was suspected of involvement. In 2007 under a
law allowing foreign governments to be sued in US courts, US federal
judge Royce Lamberth ordered Iran to pay $2.65 billion to victims'
(WSJ, 8/1/96/p.B1)(AP, 10/23/97)(WSJ, 9/19/01,
1983 Dec 12, A truck bomb
exploded at the US Embassy in Kuwait. Shiite Muslims backed by Iran
drove bomb-laden trucks into six targets. The most deadly of these
struck the US Embassy, killing five persons and wounding 62. Other
trucks destroyed the French embassy and several Kuwaiti
(WSJ, 4/28/05, p.A1)
1983 In Iran the Fajr Int'l.
Film Festival began. In 2004 the 22nd festival established its own
web site (www.fajrfilmfest.com).
(SFC, 2/10/04, p.D8)
1984 Feb 1, Iraq launched a new
series of air attacks on Iran’s shipping.
1984 Feb 22-1984 Mar 16, Iran’s
offensive Operation Kheibar captured the Iraqi Majnoon Islands in
the Haur al-Hawizeh marshes. Britain and the US sent warships to the
Persian Gulf following an Iranian offensive against Iraq.
1984 Feb 29-1984 Mar 1, In one
of the largest battles of the Iran-Iraq war, the two armies clashed
and inflicted more than 25,000 fatalities on each other.
1984 Mar 5, The US accused Iraq
of using poison gas against Iran. Iraq had used tabun against Iran.
This was the first use ever of a nerve agent in war.
1984 Mar 17, Iraq used tabun
against Iran. This was the first use ever of a nerve agent in a
1984 Aug 12, In San Francisco a
driver on an apparent suicide mission smashed head-on into a packed
cable car climbing the Hyde Street hill. The driver, an Iranian
alien, was killed and at least 23 people were injured.
(SSFC, 8/2/09, DB p.42)
1984 Dec 4, A five-day hijack
drama began as four armed men seized a Kuwaiti airliner en route to
Pakistan and forced it to land in Tehran, where the hijackers killed
American passenger Charles Hegna.
1984 Dec 9, In Iran a five-day
hijack drama ended when Iranian commandos captured the Kuwaiti
plane. 4 armed men had seized a Kuwaiti airliner en route to
Pakistan and forced it to land in Tehran, where the hijackers killed
American passenger Charles Hegna.
1985 Aug 15, Iraq launched its
first air raid on Iran’s Kharg oil-island.
1985 Nov 17, Olaf Palme stopped
an illegal shipment of 80 HAWK missiles through Sweden from Israel
to Teheran, as he mediated an end of the Iran-Iraq war for the UN.
1985 Iran began research in a
secret uranium enrichment program. From 1985 to 1997 China was
Iran’s most important nuclear partner.
(SFC, 11/28/03, p.A3)(SFC, 9/18/06, p.A1)
1986 Jan 17, President Reagan
approved a finding that authorized the sale of weapons to Iran
through third parties.
1986 Aug 19, A car bomb killed
20 in Tehran, Iran.
1986 Oct 21, Pro-Iranian
kidnappers in Lebanon claimed to have abducted American Edward
Tracy. He was released in August 1991.
1986 Nov 3, "Ash-Shiraa," a
pro-Syrian Lebanese magazine, broke the story of U.S. arms sales to
Iran, a revelation that escalated into the Iran-Contra affair.
1986 Nov 6, The Iran
arms-for-hostages deal was revealed and damaged the Reagan
1986 Nov 10, President Ronald
Reagan refused to reveal details of the Iran arms sale.
1986 Nov 13, President Reagan
publicly acknowledged that the US had sent "defensive weapons and
spare parts" to Iran in an attempt to improve relations, but denied
the shipments were part of a deal aimed at freeing hostages in
1986 Nov 21, The US Justice
Department began the inquiry into the National Security Council in
what became known as the Iran-Contra scandal; Lt. Col. Oliver North
shredded important documents. Albert Hakim (d.2003) was the
financial person behind the arms-for-hostages deal.
(HN, 11/21/01)(SFC, 4/29/03, A21)
1986 Iraq’s Saddam Hussein
allowed the People's Mujahedeen, known as the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, to
establish a base, Camp Ashraf , to launch raids into Iran.
1987 Jan 7, The US House of
Representatives, by House Resolution 12, established the Select
Committee to Investigate Covert Arms Transactions with Iran. The US
Senate passed a similar resolution a day earlier. The two Chambers
instructed their respective Committees to work together and charged
them with investigating, among other things, any activity of any
officer or entity of the United States Government relating to the
1987 Jan 17, A Reagan
Administration official who initiated the arms shipments to Iran,
acknowledged that the US had virtually no independent intelligence
to support its policy.
1987 Mar 4, President Reagan
addressed the nation on the Iran-Contra affair. He took full
responsibility for the affair acknowledging his overtures to Iran
had "deteriorated" into an arms-for-hostages deal. Michael Ledeen,
Pentagon employee, later authored "Perilous Statecraft: An Insider's
Account of the Iran-Contra Affair."
(AP, 3/4/98)(HN, 3/4/98)(SFC, 5/14/03, p.A19)
1987 Jul 21, The United States
began its policy of escorting re-flagged Kuwaiti tankers up and down
the Persian Gulf to protect them from possible attack by Iran.
(AP 7/22/97)(The National Interest, 9/1/19)
1987 Jul 31, Iranian pilgrims
and riot police clashed in the Muslim holy city of Mecca in Saudi
Arabia. The Saudi government blamed Iranians for the resulting 400
1987 Aug 1, Iranians attacked
the Saudi Arabian and Kuwaiti embassies in Tehran as word spread of
rioting in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, a day earlier that claimed some 400
lives, most of them Iranian pilgrims.
1987 Aug 2, More than a million
people gathered in Tehran, calling for the overthrow of the sheiks
of Saudi Arabia, where hundreds of Iranian pilgrims had died in
rioting in the Muslim holy city of Mecca.
1987 Aug 8, In the Persian
Gulf, a US Navy F-14 "Tomcat" fighter fired two missiles at an
Iranian jet approaching an unarmed U.S. scout plane. Both missiles
missed their target and the Iranian plane flew off.
1987 Aug 25, Saudi Arabia
denounced Iran's government as a "group of terrorists," and said its
forces would deal firmly with any Iranian attempts to attack the
Saudis' Muslim holy places or vast oil fields.
1987 Aug, Mehdi Hashemi,
Iranian aid of Ayatollah Khomeini, was tried for being “at enmity
with God" and “corrupt on earth." Hashemi was sentenced to death and
executed in September.
1987 Sep 28, Mehdi Hashemi,
Iranian aid of Ayatollah Khomeini, was shot for treason.
1987 Oct 8, US helicopter
gunships in the Persian Gulf sank three Iranian patrol boats after
an American observation helicopter was fired on. Two of six Iranian
crewmen taken from the water later died.
1987 Oct 16, In the Persian
Gulf, an Iranian missile hit a re-flagged Kuwaiti ship in the first
direct attack on the tanker fleet guarded by the U.S.
1987 Oct 18, President Reagan
summoned congressional leaders to the White House to announce he had
decided on what action to take in response to an Iranian missile
attack on a US-flagged tanker off Kuwait two days earlier. The next
day, US destroyers bombarded an Iranian offshore oil rig.
1987 Oct 19, US Navy warships
disabled the 1st of 3 Iranian oil platforms in the Persian Gulf in
retaliation for an Iranian missile attack on a U.S.-flagged tanker
off Kuwait. [see Apr 18, 1988]
(AP, 10/19/97)(HN, 10/19/02)
1987 Oct 22, The US Navy
acknowledged that it had deployed 5 dolphins to the Persian Gulf to
search for Iranian mines.
1987 Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Iranian
director, made his film "The Peddler," described by Film Comment as
the strongest hell-on-earth film since “Taxi driver."
(SFC, 5/14/97, p.E1)
1987 The film “Where Is the
Friend’s Home" was directed by Abbas Kiarostami.
(SFEC, 4/23/00, DB p.52)
1987 The Baha’i Institute of
Higher Education began following the virtual banning of Bahais from
Iranian universities after the Islamic revolution of 1979.
(SFC, 10/30/98, p.A20)
1987 Iran acquired centrifuge
designs for a uranium enrichment program that was similar to
technology used in Pakistan.
(SFC, 11/28/03, p.A3)
1987 The US tied Iran to mining
when it captured the Ajr, an Iranian ship loaded with mines. When
the USS Samuel B. Roberts struck a mine and nearly sank the next
year, the Navy matched it to those seized from the Ajr.
1988 Feb 11, Iran launched a
campaign to retake the Fao Peninsula from Iraq with US planning
assistance. Chemical weapons were used in the attack.
1988 Mar 1, Iraq said it had
fired 16 missiles into Tehran in the first long-range rocket attack
on the Iranian capital since the Iran-Iraq war began.
1988 Mar 16-1988 Mar 17, Iraqi
jets dropped a variety of chemical weapons on the Kurdish town of
Halabja and some 5-7,000 residents were killed immediately. The
Kurdish city of Halabja, held by Iranian troops and Iraqi Kurdish
guerrillas allied with Tehran, was bombed by Iraq. Estimates of
casualties varied from several hundred to several thousand.
1988 Apr 5 A 15-day hijacking
ordeal began as gunmen forced a Kuwait Airways jumbo jet to land in
1988 Apr 17, The
newly-restructured Iraqi Army began a major operation named "Ramadan
Mubarak" aimed to clear the Iranians out of the peninsula. The
Iranians were expelled from the peninsula within 35 hours, with much
of their equipment captured intact.
1988 Apr 18, The United States
destroyed two more Iraqi oil platforms, after a mine in the Persian
Gulf injured 10 crewmen aboard a U.S. frigate. In 2003 a World Court
in a 14-2 decision ruled the US was wrong but doesn't need to pay
1988 Jul 3, The US Navy cruiser
ship USS Vincennes shot down an Iranian Airbus A-300 in the Persian
Gulf shortly after it took off from Bandar Abbas for Dubai in the
United Arab Emirates. All 290 people aboard were killed after the
crew of the Vincennes misidentified the plane as an Iranian F-14
fighter. The attack followed what the US Navy refers to as Operation
Praying Mantis, a daylong naval battle in the Persian Gulf between
American forces and Iran. That battle came after the USS Samuel B.
Robertson struck a mine that the Americans later accused Iran of
laying in the shipping channels it was trying to keep open for
Kuwaiti oil tankers. In 1996 the US paid $131.8 million in
compensation of which half would go directly to the families of the
people killed. Iran filed suit in World Court in 1989 and settled
out of court in Feb, 1996.
(WSJ, 2/23/96, p.A-1)(SFC, 4/26/96, p.A-14)(AP
7/3/97)(AP, 7/03/10)(AP, 7/3/18)
1988 Jul 8, Iran's
parliamentary speaker, Hashemi Rafsanjani, said his nation would not
seek revenge against the United States for shooting down an Iranian
jetliner over the Persian Gulf, killing 290 people.
1988 Jul 14, Speaking before
the U.N. Security Council, Iran's foreign minister, Ali-Akbar
Velayati, denounced the U.S. downing of an Iranian jetliner as "a
barbaric massacre." Vice President Bush replied that the U.S.S.
Vincennes had fired in self-defense.
1988 Jul 22, Iran and Iraq said
they would send their foreign ministers to New York to meet with
U.N. Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar, after Iran said it
would accept a U.N. cease-fire resolution.
1988 Jul 23, Iran accused Iraq
of pushing deep into Iranian territory and using chemical weapons.
The March 16 Iraqi chemical attack at Halabja killed thousands and
in 1999 was still causing genetic damage and deaths.
(AP, 7/23/97)(USAT, 3/24/99, p.18A)
1988 Jul 26, U.N. Secretary
General Javier Perez de Cuellar met twice with Iran's foreign
minister in the first formal talks about a cease-fire for the
eight-year war between Iran and Iraq.
1988 Jul 27, U.N. Secretary
General Javier Perez de Cuellar held separate peace talks with the
foreign ministers of Iraq and Iran on a cease-fire in the
eight-year-old Persian Gulf war.
1988 Aug 1, Iran said it would
honor an immediate cease-fire in its eight-year-old war with Iraq.
1988 Aug 7, Iranian Foreign
Minister Ali Akbar Velayati signaled his government's acceptance of
Iraq's modified peace proposal aimed at bringing about a cease-fire
in the Persian Gulf.
1988 Aug 8, U.N.
Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar announced a cease-fire
between Iran and Iraq. This became an Iraqi national holiday until
it was abolished in 2003.
(SFC, 2/24/9, p.A9)(AP, 8/8/98)(AP, 7/13/03)
1988 Aug 20, A cease fire
between Iran and Iraq took effect after 8 years of war.
1988 Aug 25, Iran and
Iraq began talks to end their 8 year war.
1988 Nov 26, Kazem Sami, leader
of a liberal Islamic movement, was murdered.
(SFC, 12/10/98, p.C2)
1988 The film “The Cyclist" was
directed by Mohsen Makhmalbaf. It was about an Afghani refugee who
raises money for his dying wife by riding a bicycle for 7 days as
people bet on him.
(SFEC, 4/23/00, DB p.52)
1988 Iran began paying
unrelated living donors for their kidneys. After 11 years it had
eliminated its kidney transplant waiting list.
(Econ, 10/11/08, p.81)
1989 Feb 14, Iran's Ayatollah
Khomeini called on Muslims to kill Salman Rushdie, author of "The
Satanic Verses," a novel condemned as blasphemous. Several
translators of the book were later killed or wounded.
(TMC, 1994, p.1989)(SFEC, 8/31/97, p.A2)(AP,
1989 Feb 17, Iran's President
Ali Khamenei said Salman Rushdie, author of "The Satanic Verses,"
could save himself from a death sentence pronounced by Ayatollah
Khomeini if he were to apologize for his book, which was regarded as
1989 Feb 19, Iran's Ayatollah
Khomeini rejected the apology of "Satanic Verses" author Salman
Rushdie, exhorting Muslims to "send him to hell" for committing
1989 Feb 20, Members of the
European Economic Community decided to withdraw their top diplomats
from Iran to protest Ayatollah Khomeini's order for Muslims to kill
author Salman Rushdie.
1989 Feb 21, President Bush
called Ayatollah Khomeini's death warrant against "Satanic Verses"
author Salman Rushdie "deeply offensive to the norms of civilized
1989 Feb 22, Iran's Ayatollah
Khomeini, who had sentenced author Salman Rushdie to death, said
economic sanctions would not change his stance, and that publication
of Rushdie's "The Satanic Verses" was a sign from God that Iran
should not reach out to the West.
1989 Feb 24, Writer Salman
Rushdie was sentenced to death by the Iranian government for writing
1989 Mar 7, Britain dropped
diplomatic relations with Iran over Salmon Rushdie's book.
1989 Jun 3, Ayatollah Ruhollah
Khomeini (89), Iran's spiritual and supreme leader, died.
(AP, 6/3/97)(SFC, 8/15/97, p.A15)
1989 Jun 20, Soviet President
Mikhail S. Gorbachev greeted the speaker of Iran's parliament,
Hashemi Rafsanjani, who was visiting Moscow.
1989 Jul 13, Abdul Rahman
Qassemlu, Kurd leader in Iran, was murdered.
1989 Aug 3, Hashemi Rafsanjani
was sworn in as president of Iran.
1989 Aug 4, Iranian President
Hashemi Rafsanjani offered to help end the hostage crisis in
Lebanon, prompting President Bush to say he was "encouraged."
1989 Nov 3, A Lebanese magazine
reported that the United States had been secretly selling arms to
Iran in the hope of securing the release of American hostages held
by pro-Iranian groups in Lebanon. This was the start of the Iran
1989 Nov 4, Iran marked the
10th anniversary of the seizure of the U.S. Embassy.
1989 Grand Ayatollah Hossein
Ali Montazeri protested the execution of thousands of political
prisoners. This frustrated Ayatollah Khomeini and caused him to dump
Montazeri as heir apparent.
(WSJ, 1/13/98, p.A20)
1990 Mar 15, Iraq executed
London-based journalist Farzad Bazoft, claiming he was a spy.
1990 Jun 21, An estimated
50,000 Iranians were killed in a magnitude 7.3 to 7.7 earthquake.
The earthquake killed some 35,000 people in Gilan and neighboring
(SFC, 3/1/97, p.C1)(AP, 6/21/00)(AP, 6/22/02)
1990 Jun 27, Salman Rushdie,
condemned to death by Iran, contributed $8600 to help their
1990 Sep 10, Iran agreed to
resume full diplomatic ties with onetime enemy Iraq.
1990 Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Iranian
director, made his film "Time of Love," a depiction of adultery in
(SFC, 5/14/97, p.E6)
1990 The Fertility Regulation
Council was established.
(SFC, 5/15/98, p.D2)
1990 Kazem Rajavi, exiled
Iranian opposition leader, was shot to death in Geneva.
1991 Jan 28, The US military
reported that more than 60 Iraqi fighter-bombers had taken refuge in
Iran, where they were impounded by the Iranian government.
1991 Apr 1, Iran released
British hostage Roger Cooper after 5 years.
1991 Aug 6, Former Iranian PM
Shahpour Bakhtiar and his chief of staff were killed in Bakhtiar’s
residence outside Paris. Their bodies were found 2 days later. In
1994 Ali Vakili Rad was arrested in Switzerland and sentenced to
life in prison for stabbing Shapour Bakhtiar to death. In 2010
France issued a deportation order to send Rad back to Iran shortly
after Tehran freed a young French academic accused of spying.
(AP, 8/8/01)(AP, 5/17/10)
1991 Oct 7, Former assistant
secretary of state Elliott Abrams pleaded guilty to withholding
information from Congress in the Iran-Contra scandal.
1991 Dec 13, Iran’s Pres. Akbar
Hashemi Rafsanjani visited Sudan with some 157 officials. He signed
agreements to train Sudan’s Popular Defense Forces, a version of
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, and agreed to pay China $300 million
for weapons ordered for Sudan.
(Econ, 4/4/09, p.50)(http://tinyurl.com/d6ruxp)
1991 In Iran Majid Majidi
directed his film “Baduk." It was about children kidnapped by a
(SFC, 7/9/02, p.D2)
1991 The Iranian film "The
Legend of Sigh" was directed by Tamineh Milani.
(SFEC, 11/28/99, DB p.57)
1991 Iran’s government began
fighting elements of the Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK).
(WSJ, 7/11/96, p.A10)
1991 142 aircraft were flown to
Iran from Iraq to escape destruction at the outset of the Gulf War.
Tehran repainted the planes and used them for its own forces. In
1997 Iraq appealed to the UN for help in getting the planes back.
(WSJ, 9/23/97, p.A1)
1991 Iran’s first nuclear
reactor was supplied by China.
(SFC, 9/18/06, p.A1)
1992 Apr, The Iranian
Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK), a militant opposition group, attacked
Iranian assets in 13 countries simultaneously.
1992 Sep, In Germany Sadiq
Sarafkindi and three other exiled Iranian Kurdish dissidents were
slain at the Mykonos restaurant in Berlin. In 1997 a German court
concluded that the murders were sponsored by the top political
leadership of Iran and orchestrated by a secretive “Committee for
special Operations," and carried out by the Iranian Vevak security
(SFC, 4/11/97, p.A1)
1992 Nov 4, Iran's Islamic
Republic News Agency announced the arrest of American businessman
Milton Meier, who had lived in Iran for 17 years, on charges of
illegal business dealings and espionage.
1992 Nov 23, Iran added a
Russian-built submarine to its navy, becoming the first Gulf nation
to field a submarine.
1993 Mar 16, Mohammed Hussein
Nagdi, Iran diplomat, resistance fighter, was murdered in Rome,
1993 New laws withdrew food
coupons and subsidized health insurance from families after the
birth of a 3rd child.
(SFC, 5/15/98, p.D2)
1994 Jul 18, In Buenos Aires a
terrorist attack killed 85 people at the city’s Jewish Center, the
Argentine Israelite Mutual Aid Society (AMIA). Some 300 people were
injured. In 1996 three senior policemen and a retired officer were
charged in connection to the bombing. Iran denied any role. Police
inspector, Juan Jose Ribelli, accepted a $2.5 million several days
before the attack for providing the car in which the bomb exploded.
It was later revealed that he and his colleagues sold protection to
car thieves in return for stolen goods. In 2000 Ahmad Behbahani (32)
told a 60 Minutes journalist from a refugee camp in Turkey that Iran
was behind the 1994 bombing in Argentina. In 2002 it was reported
that Iran paid Pres. Menem $10 million to cover up Iran’s
involvement. In 2004 a federal court acquitted 5 men of being
accessories to the bombing. [see Nov 9, 2005] In 2009 a court ruled
that Carlos Alberto Telledin, accused of loading the van with
explosives, should be tried again for his participation in the
bombing. In 2015 ex-President Carlos Menem, a former top judge and
several other officials went on trial for allegedly derailing the
(WSJ, 8/1/96 p.A1)(WSJ, 11/24/97,
p.A1)(SFC,12/9/97, p.B10)(HN, 7/18/98)(SFC, 6/6/00, p.A10)(SFC,
7/22/02, p.A1)(SFC, 9/3/04, p.A18)(NYT, 10/8/04, p.A12)(SSFC,
12/20/09, p.A31)(AP, 8/6/15)
1994 Iran banned satellite TV
(Econ., 5/30/20, p.40)
1994 A 2-hr pre-nuptial class
was made mandatory for all Iranian couples planning marriage.
(SFC, 5/15/98, p.D2)
1995 Mar 15, President Clinton
issued an executive order formally blocking a $1 billion contract
between Conoco and Iran to develop a huge offshore oil tract in the
1995 Apr 30, President Clinton
announced he would end U.S. trade and investment with Iran,
denouncing the Tehran government as "inspiration and paymaster to
1995 May 4, An Iranian nuclear
official said spent fuel from Iran's Russian-made reactors,
potential raw material for nuclear bombs, would be returned to
Russia for safeguarding.
1995 The Iranian film "Pari"
was produced. It was directed by Dariush Mehrjui and adopted from
J.D. Salinger’s “Franny and Zooey." UD showing was barred in 1998
due to copyright.
(SFC, 11/23/98, p.E2)
1995 The film “The Snowman" was
directed by Davoud Mirbaqeri. It was about an Iranian man who
dresses as a woman in order to obtain an American visa.
(SFEC, 4/23/00, DB p.52)
1995 Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Iranian
director, made his film “Salaam Cinema." He used a documentary
technique to make his film on auditioning actors.
(SFC, 5/14/97, p.E6)
1995 The film "The White
Balloon" was directed by Jafar Panahi of Iran.
(SFC, 1/30/98, p.E17)
1995 Iran awarded a $1 billion
contract to the American oil firm Conoco, but US Pres. Clinton
scuttled the deal and subsequently banned US companies from most
forms of trading with Iran. He accused Tehran of continued support
for international terrorism. Iran then awarded the oil contract to
the French firm Total.
(SFC, 4/14/96, p.A-14)
1995 The Taliban regained Herat
and Tajik commander Ismail Khan fled for exile in Iran. Khan
returned in 1997 and was captured by the Taliban and imprisoned for
nearly 3 years.
(SFC, 11/13/01, p.A2)
1995 Alireza Azmandian, US
educated engineer, returned to Iran to teach at Tehran Univ. and
opened a private office to promote positive thinking and self-help.
By 2008 he had published 2 self-help books and his business, The
Center for Technology of Thought, occupied an entire floor of a
(WSJ, 6/30/08, p.A1)
1996 Jan 30, Iran tested a
Chinese missile designed to attack ships by flying under their radar
and could be fired from boats with a range of miles.
(WSJ, 1/30/96, p.A-12)
1996 Apr 27, The southern
Iranian town of Baft, 350 miles Southeast of Tehran, was
invaded by millions of cockroaches, locusts, and grasshoppers.
(SFC, 4/27/96, p.A-7)
1996 May 14, Turkmenistan and
Iran opened a rail link.
(WSJ, 5/14/96, p.A-1)
1996 Jul 9, "The Iranians:
Persia, Islam and the Soul of a Nation" by Sandra Mackey was
reviewed and panned by Abbas Milani, author of "Tales of Two Cities:
A Persian Memoir."
(SFC, 7/9/96, p.B4)
1996 Jul 13, Tehran, Iran, has
been invaded by thousands of lizards and snakes over the past three
months. Military exercises nearby or rising levels of groundwater
have been cited as possible reasons.
(SFC, 7/13/96, p.A10)
1996 Aug 12, Iran and Turkey
agreed to connect their power networks.
(WSJ, 8/13/96, p.A7)
1996 Sep 24, Iran expected
delivery of its 3rd Russian-made submarine within 6 months, as part
of its navy buildup in the Persian Gulf.
(SFC, 9/24/96, p.A14)
1996 Sep, Iran delivered at
least $500,000 to Bosnian Pres. Alija Izetbegovic for his campaign.
(SFC, 12/31/96, p.A10)
1996 Nov 5, Government
officials announced that a gas pipeline would begin to be built in
March to carry gas from Iran to Turkey.
(SFC, 11/6/96, p.A25)
1996 Dec 5, The Parliament
passed legislation that banned the use of foreign words and names in
the country. Only Farsi language names would be allowed.
(WSJ, 12/6/96, p.A12)
1996 The US passed the
Iran-Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA). It barred US and foreign
investments of more than $40 million in the development of Iran’s
(SFEC, 7/27/97, p.D8)
1997 Feb 1, In Iran 5 people
were killed and 44 injured when worshipers stampeded at the entrance
to a mosque in Kermanshah.
(SFC, 2/3/97, p.C3)
1997 Feb 4, In northeastern
Iran 2 earthquakes with aftershocks killed at least 72 people. Some
43 villages were damaged. Another quake followed the next day.
(SFC, 2/5/97, p.A9)(SFC, 2/6/97, p.A1)
1997 Feb 28, A 6.1 earthquake
at Ardebil in northwest Iran struck at 4:27 p.m. local time. The
quake damaged 83 villages and killed at least 500 people.
(SFC, 3/1/97, p.C1)(SFEC, 3/2/97, p.A15)
1997 Mar 1, Rescue teams fought
snow, high winds and wild dogs as they tried to bring help to an
earthquake-devastated region in northwest Iran, where the death toll
was estimated at 3,000.
1997 Mar 14, A C-130 military
cargo plane crashed near Mashad in northeastern Iran and all 86
people aboard were believed killed.
(SFC, 3/15/97, p.A19)
1997 May 10, A 7.1 earthquake
hit in northeastern Iraq centered on the town of Qaen. More than
2,400 people were reported killed. The death toll was reduced to
1,560 with 60,000 left homeless.
(SFEC, 5/11/97, p.A1)(WSJ, 5/12/97, p.A1)(SFC,
1997 May 23, In Iran
presidential elections put conservative speaker Ali Akbar Nateq
Nouri against left-leaning cleric Mohammad Khatami (54). Former
Culture Minister Mohammad Khatemi won in a landslide over
hard-liners in the ruling Muslim clergy.
(WSJ, 3/20/97, p.A12)(AP, 5/23/98)(SFEC,
1997 Jun 22, Iran and Iraq
opened their border after 17 years and asked the UN for an
inspection post there, giving Iraq a 4th exit point for its goods.
(WSJ, 6/27/97, p.A11)
1997 Jun 27, A Tajikistan
formal peace accord was signed in Moscow that was brokered by Russia
and Iran. A power sharing arrangement was foreseen between Pres.
Emomali Rakhmanov and opposition leader Said Abdullo. The opposition
led by the Islamic Renaissance Party (IRPT) was guaranteed 30% of
government positions. Up to 150,000 people had been killed in
the 5-year civil war.
(WSJ, 6/30/97, p.A11)(SFC, 11/3/00, p.D2)(Econ,
11/11/06, p.50)(Econ., 3/14/15, p.42)
1997 Aug 13, In Tehran Ali Reza
Khoshruy Kuran Kordiyeh (“the vampire") was flogged and hung for the
rape, murder and burning of 9 women in a crime spree that began in
(SFC, 8/14/97, p.C3)
1997 Aug 23, Pres. Khatami
appointed the first woman vice-president, Masoumeh Ebtekar, and
ended an 18-year ban on commercial flights to Saudi Arabia.
(WSJ, 8/25/97, p.A1)(SFC, 5/28/98, p.A8)
1997 Sep 29, Iranian warplanes
bombed anti-Tehran rebel bases inside Iraq.
(WSJ, 9/30/97, p.A1)
1997 Sep 29, Turkish planes
attacked Kurdish rebel positions in northern Iraq and drove the
guerrillas toward the Iran border.
(WSJ, 9/30/97, p.A1)
1997 Oct 3, US Defense Sec.
William Cohen ordered the Nimitz Carrier Battle Group to the Persian
Gulf as a warning to Iran and Iraq to stop incursions into the
US-enforced “no-fly" zone in southern Iraq.
(SFC, 10/4/97, p.A8)
1997 Nov, Grand Ayatollah
Hossein Ali Montazeri criticized the hard-line religious leadership.
The authorities shut him off from contact with supporters.
(WSJ, 1/13/98, p.A20)
1997 Dec 8, In Iran leaders of
the 55-member Organization of the Islamic Conference gathered to
overcome historic divisions and promote Islamic solidarity.
1997 Dec 11, The 55-member
Organization of the Islamic conference ended their meeting in Iran
with the declaration that “the killing of innocents is strictly
forbidden in Islam." The group also called for full respect for the
dignity and rights of Muslim women and criticized Israel for “state
1997 Dec 14, Iran's new
president, Mohammad Khatami, called for a dialogue with the people
of the United States -- a nation reviled by his predecessors as "The
1997 Dec 29, Turkmenistan and
Iran activated a key 125 mile gas pipeline. Plans were to make it
part of a network to Europe but for now the gas was only bound to
1997 The film "Gabbeh" by
Mohsen Makhmalbaf was in Farsi and set in southeastern Iran.
(SFC, 9/29/97, p.E2)
1997 The Iranian film "A Moment
of Innocence" was shown at the SF Film Festival. It was based on a
1974 incident where the director, Mohsen Makmalbaf, tried to disarm
one of the Shah’s police.
(SFC, 4/23/97, p.D1)
1997 The film “Taste of Cherry"
was directed by Abbas Kiarostami. It was about a man looking for
someone to bury him.
(SFEC, 4/23/00, DB p.52)
1997 The US State Dept.
designated the Iranian National Liberation Army (NLA), the armed
wing of the Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK), a terrorist organization.
(SFC, 5/6/00, p.A14)
1997 Iran carried out 199
executions in this year.
(SFC, 4/23/98, p.A13)
1998 Jan 7, Pres. Mohhamad
Khatami endorsed cultural relations with the US but no political
ties in a preliminary effort to “crack the wall" of hostility
between the two countries.
(SFC, 1/8/98, p.A12)
1998 Feb 17, An Iranian crowd
cheered as U.S. wrestlers carried the Stars and Stripes into an
international meet in Tehran.
1998 Feb, Iran began to close
down shipments of illicit Iraqi oil.
(SFC, 3/16/98, p.A8)
1998 Mar 14, In Iran a 6.4
earthquake hit in the southeast and at least 5 people were killed
and thousands left homeless.
(SFEC, 3/15/98, p.A22)(AP, 3/14/99)
1998 Apr 2, Iran and Iraq began
a war prisoner exchange involving nearly 6000 men, mostly Iraqis.
(WSJ, 4/3/98, p.A1)
1998 Apr 4,Gholamhossein
Karbaschi, the mayor of Tehran, was arrested by the judiciary on
charges of corruption. He was convicted and began a 2 year sentence
in May 1999.
(SFC, 4/798, p.A12)(WSJ, 5/7/99, p.A1)
1998 Apr 5, Iran and Iraq
exchanged 1,589 prisoners of war, bringing the number to over 4,000.
Up to 30,000 prisoners were thought to be held by both sides.
(SFC, 4/6/98, p.A16)
1998 Apr 10, An earthquake in
the northeast killed 12 people and left 1,500 homeless in the
(SFEC, 4/12/98, p.A16)
1998 Apr 14, The Clinton
administration agreed to create a Persian-language radio service to
transmit anti-government propaganda into Iran. $1 million was also
pledged to Voice of America for non-propaganda Persian-language
programming. Radio Azadi (Radio Liberty) initially broadcast for 3
hours daily from Prague, Czechoslovakia. In 2002 the name was
changed to Radio Farda and programming increased to a 24-hour cycle.
(SFC, 4/15/98, p.A12)(WSJ, 6/13/08, p.A10)
1998 Apr 15, Mayor Karbaschi of
Tehran was freed from prison on bail.
(SFC, 4/16/98, p.A12)
1998 Apr 22, The UN Commission
on Human Rights called on Iran to halt torture, amputations and
(SFC, 4/23/98, p.A13)
1998 May 15, The population was
estimated at 63 million.
(SFC, 5/15/98, p.D2)
1998 Jun 17, In Israel Nahum
Manbar, an Israeli businessman, was convicted of endangering
security through the sale of $16 million in information and chemical
weapons components to Iran. Manbar was sentenced to 16 years in July
1998 for selling materials to make nerve and mustard gas to Iran but
insisted he acted with the approval of the Israeli authorities. He
had been arrested in March the previous year. He was released from
jail in 2011.
(SFC, 6/18/98, p.A20)(AFP, 10/31/11)
1998 Jun 20, Iran reversed its
opposition to a UN plan, passed the previous day, permitting Iraq to
spend $300 million of revenues from the oil-for-food program to buy
spare parts to rebuild its oil industry.
(SFEC, 6/21/98, p.A25)
1998 Jun 21, In the soccer
World Cup Iran knocked out the US team 2-1.
(SFC, 6/22/98, p.A8)
1998 Jul 11, Mayor Karbaschi
gave a 4-hour defense statement at the close of his trial in Tehran.
He was accused of misappropriating public funds.
(SFEC, 7/12/98, p.A17)
1998 Jul 22, Iran conducted a
successful Shahab 3 missile test with a medium-range of 800 miles.
(SFC, 7/23/98, p.A1)(SFEC, 11/1/98, p.A23)
1998 Jul 23, Tehran’s Mayor
Karbaschi was convicted and sentenced to 5 years in prison for
(WSJ, 7/24/98, p.A1)
1998 Jul 27, It was reported
that Russia and Iran were supporting The Northern Alliance of rebel
groups fighting against the Taliban.
(SFC, 7/27/98, p.A9)
1998 Jul, Iraq and Iran agreed
to allow 12,000 Iranians to visit shrines in Iraq each month.
(SFEC, 8/16/98, p.A24)
1998 Aug 8, The first daily
newspaper dedicated to women’s issues, the daily Zan, was launched
by Faezeh Hashemi. She was the daughter of former Pres. Akbar
(SFEC, 8/9/98, p.A16)
1998 Aug 8, In Afghanistan the
Taliban overran Mazar-i-Sharif and killed 9 of 11 diplomats from
Iran. 8 of the dead were diplomats, the 9th was a journalist.
(SFC, 9/11/98, p.D4)(SFC, 9/18/98, p.D8)
1998 Sep 2, Iran began war
games with 70,000 soldiers near the Afghanistan border.
(SFC, 9/3/98, p.C2)
1998 Sep 10, US wrestler Sam
Henson took first place in the World Wrestling Championships in
Iran. He defeated Namik Abdullavev of Azerbaijan. Iranians stood for
the US anthem for the first time in 19 years.
(SFC, 9/11/98, p.D4)
1998 Sep 22, In NYC Mohammad
Khatami, Pres. of Iran, said that the 10-year fatwa (religious edict
for the death of Rushdie) dispute over author Salman Rushdie is
(SFC, 9/23/98, p.A11)(SFC, 9/25/98, p.A13)
1998 Sep 28, Two senior Iranian
clerics claimed that the $2.5 million reward for Rushdie’s death was
a fatwa that must be enforced.
(SFC, 9/29/98, p.A10)
1998 Sep 29, In Iran security
officials raided homes and offices of members of the Baha’i faith.
It was an effort to shut down the Bahai Institute of Higher
(SFC, 10/30/98, p.A20)
1998 Oct 5, In Iran the Islamic
authorities told a group of writers to give up efforts to reactivate
an independent association of authors.
(SFC, 10/6/98, p.A12)
1998 Oct 7, It was reported
that Mehdi Mozaffari, an Iranian scholar at the Univ. of Aarhus in
Denmark, had published “Fatwa: Violence and Discourtesy." He made
the case that there was never a true fatwa (religious edict) issued
by Ayatollah Khomeini against Salman Rushdie.
(SFC, 10/7/98, p.A10)
1998 Oct 7, The 12-member
Guardian Council published the list of candidates eligible to run
for the Assembly of Experts. The experts select Iran’s spiritual
leader. 126 were approved of 396 who applied for the Oct 23
(SFC, 10/8/98, p.C16)
1998 Oct 8, Iran border troops
claimed a victory and said it inflicted heavy casualties over
Taliban militia. The Taliban denied any fighting.
(USAT, 10/9/98, p.14A)
1998 Oct 12, In Iran the
Khordad Foundation raised its reward for the killing of Salman
Rushdie to $2.8 million.
(SFC, 10/13/98, p.A11)
1998 Oct 23, Voters selected
the 86-member Assembly of Experts, who in turn will select the
supreme leader of the country. Candidates for the Assembly were
tested and graded on Islamic law by the 12-member Council of
Guardians, who were in turn appointed by the supreme leader. The
turnout was low and Conservatives won at least 54 of the 86 seats.
(WSJ, 10/22/98, p.A1)(SFC, 10/24/98, p.A14)(SFC,
1998 Nov 13, A village was
leveled in Fars province and 5 people were killed after 5 strong
earthquakes hit the area.
(SFC, 11/21/98, p.A6)
1998 Nov 22, Dariush Forouhar
and his wife Parvenah were found stabbed to death in their home in
Tehran. He was the leader of the nationalist Iran Nation Party and
they were outspoken critics of the Islamic government. In 2000
former agents of the Intelligence Ministry confessed to playing
roles in the 1998 killings of 4 writers and dissidents.
(SFC, 11/24/98, p.A14)(SFC, 1/3/01, p.A12)
1998 Dec 7, Pres. Clinton
announced the removal of Iran from the list of drug problem
countries due to an energetic campaign to eliminate opium poppies.
(SFC, 12/8/98, p.A12)
1998 Dec 9, In Iran the body of
Mohammed Mokhtari, a prominent writer missing for a week, was found.
It appeared that he was murdered by strangulation. Shortly later
Mohammad Jafar Pouyandeh (45), another dissident writer, was
reported missing. Pouyandeh was later found murdered.
(SFC, 12/10/98, p.C2)(SFC, 12/11/98, p.A22)(SFC,
1998 Dec 14, Authorities
arrested several suspects in the recent string of murders of
opposition figures. Pirouz Davani, leader of the United Left, and
Rostami Hamedani, an activist with Davani, were reported missing.
(SFC, 12/15/98, p.A14)
1998 Dec 17, US and British
forces launched more missiles on the 2nd day of attacks against
Iraq. The strikes included some 100 cruise missiles with 2,000 pound
warheads. At least 25 people were killed and 75 injured over 2 days.
Pres. Boris Yeltsin withdrew the Russian ambassador from Washington
and demanded an immediate end to military action. France and Italy
expressed strong opposition while Germany rallied to support the US
and Britain. A stray US missile hit Khorramshahr, Iran. The US later
(SFC, 12/18/98, p.A1,3)(SFC, 12/21/98, p.A20)
1998 Dec 21, The World
Association of Newspapers awarded the 1999 Golden Pen of Freedom
award to exiled Iranian writer Faraj Sarkuhi, former editor of the
cultural journal Adineh.
(SFC, 12/22/98, p.C4)
1998 The Iranian film "Children
of Heaven" starred Mir Farrokh Hashemian and was directed by Majid
Majidi and was nominated for an Oscar
(WSJ, 1/22/99, p.W3)(SFC, 2/5/99, p.C3)(SFEC,
11/28/99, DB p.56)
1998 The Iranian film "The
Mirror" starred Mina Mohammad-Khani and was directed by Jafar
Panahi. It was about a young girl lost on the streets of Tehran.
(SFC, 1/15/99, p.D6)
1998 The Iranian film "Two
Women" was directed by Tahmineh Milani.
(SFC, 3/24/00, p.C3)
1998 Christiane Bird, writer
for the NY Daily News, spent 3 months in Iran and in 2001 authored
her travelogue “"Neither East Nor West."
(WSJ, 4/27/01, p.W12)
1999 Jan 3, Some 327,000
registered as candidates to the 200,000 local posts for the Feb 26
elections, the first since the 1979 revolution.
(WSJ, 1/5/98, p.A1)
1999 Jan 5, In Iran the
Intelligence Ministry said that rogue intelligence officers were
responsible for 5 killings last year of government critics.
(SFC, 1/6/99, p.A6)
1999 Feb 9, In Iran the head of
the intelligence ministry, Qorbanali Dorri-Najafabadi, resigned
along with 3 deputies due to last year's killings of dissident
writers and politicians.
(SFC, 2/10/99, p.A10)
1999 Feb 11, Pres. Khatami
marked the 20th anniversary of the revolution that toppled the shah
and called for reduction of tensions with the outside world.
(SFC, 2/12/99, p.A17)
1999 Feb 24, In Iran 3 Kurds
died while fighting police during a protest over the capture of
(WSJ, 2/25/99, p.A1)
1999 Feb 25, In Iran Pres.
Khatami supported 50 candidates that hard-liners attempted to
disqualify from local elections.
(SFC, 2/26/99, p.E3)
1999 Feb 26, Elections were
planned for cities, towns and village councils. These were the first
elections since the 1979 revolution.
(WSJ, 12/29/98, p.A1)
1999 Mar 11, Pope John Paul II
met with Mohammad Khatami of Iran.
(SFC, 3/12/99, p.A14)
1999 Apr 10, In Iran Gen'l. Ali
Sayyad Shirazi, deputy chief of the joint staff command of the
Iranian armed forces, was gunned down in front of his home in Tehran
by men dressed as city cleaners. The murder was attributed to
terrorists, a euphemism for the opposition Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK).
In 2007 French judicial authorities said they have the authority to
investigate the case because the political wing of the People's
Mujahedeen is based in Auvers-Sur-Oise, north of Paris.
(SFEC, 4/11/99, p.A11)(AP, 9/18/07)
1999 Apr 22, The Parliament
began proceedings to impeach culture minister Ayatollah Mohajerani
for excessive media freedom.
(SFC, 4/23/99, p.D3)
1999 Apr 28, The US announced
that it would allow US firms to sell food and medicine to Iran,
Sudan and Libya.
(SFC, 4/29/99, p.A3)
1999 Apr, 13 members of the
Jewish community in Fars province were detained on charges of spying
for the US and Israel.
(SFC, 6/9/99, p.C4)
1999 May 7, A series of
earthquakes hit southern Iran and at least 26 people were killed in
(SFC, 5/8/99, p.C14)
1999 May 12, Pres. Khatami
began a tour of the Arab world with a visit to Syria.
(SFEC, 5/16/99, p.A24)
1999 May 14, Pres. Khatami
arrived in Saudi Arabia. He was the first Iranian leader to visit
there since 1979.
(SFEC, 5/16/99, p.A24)
1999 May 17, In Iran the
judiciary set a $20,000 legal limit on the diyeh (blood money), the
amount a killer can pay to a victim's family to avoid execution.
(SFC, 5/18/99, p.C12)
1999 May 18, Britain and Iran
agreed to exchange ambassadors for the 1st time in 20 years.
(SFC, 5/19/99, p.A12)
1999 May 26, It was reported
that the Iranian Parliament had earlier this year reauthorized Pres.
Khatami's $100 million annual budget to support radical groups
opposed to the Middle East peace process.
(WSJ, 5/26/99, p.A22)
1999 Jun 10, In Iraq a truck
bomb killed 6 members of an Iraq-based Iranian opposition group, the
Mujahadeen-e Khalq (MEK), which recently claimed to have killed a
top general in Tehran.
(WSJ, 6/10/99, p.A1)
1999 Jun 11, Iraq accused Iran
of firing 3 Scud-B missiles on the Ashraf camp of the Mujahedeen-e
Khalq (MEK) guerrilla group, located 50 miles from the Iranian
(SFC, 6/12/99, p.C1)
1999 Jun 11, Ayatollah Mohammad
Yazi told worshipers that the world should pay him heed as the
highest justice official in Iran and that 13 Iranian Jews would be
tried under Islamic law for treason.
(SFC, 6/22/99, p.A11)
1999 Jun 21, It was reported
that Saeed Ememi, a central suspect in a series of murders of
Iranian intellectuals and dissidents, had committed suicide in jail.
(SFC, 6/21/99, p.A10)
1999 Jun 23, Iran announced
that it had set up a $128 million fund for compensations to
dispossessed owners of large plants seized in 1979. Property of the
former royal Pahlavi family and 50 others was not included.
(SFC, 6/24/99, p.A12)
1999 Jul 7, In Iran the
parliament approved general outlines for new press restrictions.
(SFC, 7/8/99, p.A9)
1999 Jul 9, In Iran police and
vigilantes attacked a student rally protesting a ban of the daily
Salam in Tehran.
(SFC, 7/10/99, p.A10)
1999 Jul 10, In Iran some
25,000 gather to protest against Ayatollah Ali Khomenei in Tehran.
(SFEC, 7/11/99, p.A17)
1999 Jul 11, In Iran some
10,000 students demonstrated in Tehran with protests in other major
cities. Two security chiefs responsible for the raid on a student
dormitory, that prompted the demonstrations, were fired.
(SFC, 7/12/99, p.A8)
1999 Jul 12, In Iran student
protests spread to 18 cities across the country. In Tehran security
forces and fundamentalist vigilantes emptied Tehran Univ. in a
campaign to crush the demonstrations.
(SFC, 7/13/99, p.A8)
1999 Jul 13, In Tehran police
fired tear gas at thousands of protesters as street battles spread
across the city. Tens of thousands of security forces countered the
(SFC, 7/14/99, p.A1)
1999 Jul 14, Iranian
hard-liners answered a week of pro-democracy rallies with one of
their own, sending 100,000 people into the streets of Tehran.
(SFC, 7/15/99, p.A1)(AP, 7/14/00)
1999 Jul 17, In Iran the Select
Council of Sit-In Students called off student protests and faxed a
communiqué to news organizations calling for meetings with
(SFEC, 7/18/99, p.A21)
1999 Jul 17, The front page of
the Economist featured a photograph of Ahmad Batebi (21), an Iranian
student, holding aloft a T-shirt bespattered with the blood of a
fellow protester. He was soon arrested and told “you have signed
your death warrant." A global outcry reduced his sentence to 15
years. In 2008 he escaped to Iraq and then moved to America.
(Econ, 7/12/08, p.18)
1999 Jul 18, British ambassador
Nick Browne presented his credentials to Pres. Khatami following a
decade-long break in relations.
(SFC, 7/19/99, p.A12)(SFC, 2/9/02, p.A9)
1999 Jul 19, In Iran the secret
police alleged that student leader Manouchehr Mohammadi had
confessed to serving US-based "spies and Zionists."
(SFC, 7/20/99, p.A12)
1999 Jul 22, In Iran The
Culture and Islamic Guidance Ministry moved against 3 newspapers for
printing a secret letter from the Revolutionary Guards warning that
their patience with "insults against the system" was running out.
(SFC, 7/22/99, p.A13)
1999 Jul 27, The US eased
sanctions against Iran, Libya and Sudan to allow the sale of food,
medicine and medical equipment.
(SFC, 7/27/99, p.A5)
1999 Aug 4, In Iran the daily
Salam newspaper was banned for 5 years and publisher
Mousavi-Khoeiniha was barred from journalism.
(SFC, 8/5/99, p.A14)
1999 Aug 13, Iran agreed under
pressure to join Turkey for simultaneous military operations against
(SFC, 8/14/99, p.A10)
1999 Oct 7, In Iran the Asr-e
Azadegan began publishing. It replaced the Neshat, which was closed
by conservative clerics after 149 editions.
(SFEC, 10/10/99, p.A26)
1999 Nov 2, In southeastern
Iraq a missile hit the Habib camp of the dissident Mujahedeen-e
Khalq (MEK) near the border. At least 5 people were killed and Iran
was blamed for the attack.
(SFC, 11/4/99, p.A18)
1999 Nov 4, Some ten-thousand
Iranian students rallied outside the former US Embassy in Tehran to
mark the 20th anniversary of its seizure by Islamic militants.
1999 Nov 12, A clerical jury
found Abdollah Nouri, a former interior minister and director of the
Khordad newspaper, guilty on 15 counts of sacrilegious articles and
insulting the government.
(SFC, 11/12/99, p.D2)
1999 Nov 21, Afghanistan and
Iran resumed trade following recently imposed UN restrictions on
(SFC, 11/22/99, p.A14)
1999 Nov 27, In Iran Muslim
reform cleric Abdollah Nouri was sentenced to 5 years in jail and 5
years banishment from political activity due to his demands for an
end to authoritarian rule by the religious hierarchy. His Khordad
newspaper was also ordered closed.
(SFEC, 11/28/99, p.A21)
1999 Dec 13, Morteza Amini
Moqadam (17) stabbed to death Hadi Mohebbi (22) in a quarrel about
smoking in public. Moqadam was convicted of murder and sentenced to
be hanged Jan 2, but Mohebbi's father told authorities to spare his
life just before the execution.
(SFC, 1/3/00, p.A10)
1999 Dec 26, In Iran members of
the opposition Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK) crossed from Iraq and
attacked Republican Guard barracks in Khuzestan.
(SFC, 12/27/99, p.A13)
1999 Dec 31, In Iran Supreme
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called for the destruction of Israel during
demonstrations for "Al-Quds Day." Al-Quds is the Arabic name for
(SFC, 1/1/00, p.D4)
1999 The Iranian film "The
Apple" was directed by Samira Makhmalbaf (18). It was about twin
sisters confined to their home since birth.
(SFC, 3/26/99, p.C6)(SFEC, 4/23/00, DB p.52)
1999 The documentary film
"Divorce Iranian Style" was directed by Kim Longinotto and Ziba
Mir-Hosseini. It was filmed in a Tehran family court.
(SFC, 5/24/99, p.D3)(SFC, 5/28/99, p.C6)
1999 The documentary film
"Friendly Persuasion" was about Iranian film.
(SFEC, 11/28/99, DB p.57)
1999 The Iranian film "Leila"
starred Leila Hatami and Ali Mosaffa. It was directed by Dariush
Mehrjui. It was about domestic life in contemporary Tehran.
(SFC, 12/17/99, p.C14)
1999 The Iranian film "Sweet
Agony" was a comedy about a camera crew filming a dysfunctional
family and premiered at the Fajr Film Festival.
(SFEC, 11/28/99, DB p.48)
1999 The Iranian film "Two
Women" was directed by Tahmineh Milani.
(SFEC, 11/28/99, DB p.56)
2000 Jan 11, Britain and Iran
signed a joint declaration to fight terrorism and drug trafficking,
promote trade and strengthen ties.
(SFC, 1/12/00, p.A11)
2000 Feb 5, In Iran a mortar
attack struck the Golbang publishing house in Tehran near government
offices. One person was killed and at least 4 injured. The attack
was presumed to be the work of the Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK).
(SFEC, 2/6/00, p.A27)
2000 Feb 18, In Iran
parliamentary elections were scheduled. Voters elected reform
candidates to at least 60% of the 290-member Majlis (parliament).
(SFC, 2/16/00, p.A8)(SFEC, 2/20/00, p.A24)
2000 Mar 12, In Iran Saeed
Hajjarian, a member of the municipal council of Tehran and a
supporter of Pres. Khatami, was shot and wounded by gunmen on a
(SFC, 3/13/00, p.A10)
2000 Mar 24, A US federal judge
ordered Iran to pay Terry Anderson $341 million for his seven years
(SFC, 3/25/00, p.A3)
2000 Mar 29, Iran joined the
OPEC oil increase to keep its market share.
(SFC, 3/30/00, p.A16)
2000 Apr 22, Iran arrested
reporter Akbar Ganji and charged him with spreading propaganda
against the Islamic system. He is author of the best-selling book
“Dungeon of Ghosts," a collection of his newspaper articles
published in early 2000, in which he implicated the former
president, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, and other leading conservative
figures in the "serial murders" of five writers and intellectuals in
(SSFC, 10/23/05, p.E3)
2000 Apr 23, In Iran 5 liberal
publications were shut down and Latif Safari, director of the banned
Neshat daily, was jailed.
(SFC, 4/24/00, p.A12)
2000 Apr 27, In Iran Islamic
hard-liners closed 3 more newspapers, including the daily run by the
brother of Pres. Khatami.
(SFC, 4/28/00, p.A19)
2000 May 1, In Iran Hamid
Tefileen, one of 13 Jewish men arrested for espionage, was displayed
on TV and admitted to being paid $500 a month by Israeli
(SFC, 5/2/00, p.A8)
2000 May 3, In Iran 2 more
Iranian Jews admitted, while on trial, that they had spied for
(SFC, 5/4/00, p.A16)
2000 May 5, Parliamentary
runoff elections were held.
(SFC, 5/6/00, p.C1)
2000 May 8, Two more Iranian
Jews confessed to spying for Israel.
(WSJ, 5/9/00, p.A1)
2000 May 16, In Iran the
Hammihan daily, a major reformist newspaper, was shut down on 17
counts of press law violations.
(SFC, 5/17/00, p.A18)
2000 May 18, The World Bank
approved 2 loans for Iran totaling $232 million.
(SFC, 5/19/00, p.D2)
2000 May 20, The 12-member
Council of Guardians declared that 26 reformers were winners in the
Feb elections along with 2 nonreformers.
(SFEC, 5/21/00, p.B11)
2000 May, The Iranian embassy
in Vienna granted refuge to Holocaust denier Wolfgang Frohlich.
2000 Jun 5, Houshang Golshiri
(63), writer and free speech advocate, died. His novels included
“Prince Ehtejab" and “King of the Benighted." His work was not
allowed to be published from 1982-1997.
(SFC, 6/13/00, p.F3)
2000 Jun 11, A former
hard-liner who has recently favored democratic reforms was elected
as the speaker of Iran's first reformist-dominated parliament in
more than 20 years.
2000 Jun 17, Thousands of dead
fish were reported to be spread over 5,400 acres of the dried up
Arjang Lagoon, near the city of Shiraz, due to a 2-year drought.
(SFC, 6/17/00, p.D8)
2000 Jul 1, In Iran a justice
officials said 3 of 13 Jews tried on charges for spying were
acquitted and that 10 were sentenced to fines, lashes and jail terms
from 4 to 13 years. An appeals court later annulled 2 of the 3
convictions against the defendants and reduce their jail terms.
(SFC, 7/1/00, p.A13)(SFEC, 7/2/00, p.A7)(SFC,
2000 Jul 8, A student march to
mark a bloody rally one year ago turned violent as police charged
thousands of students in Tehran.
(SFEC, 7/9/00, p.C11)
2000 Jul 15, Iran test-fired an
upgraded version of its 800-mil range, Shabab-3 missile.
(SFEC, 7/16/00, p.B9)
2000 Jul 23, Ahmad Shamlou,
playwright, journalist and poet, died at age 74.
(SFC, 7/25/00, p.A23)
2000 Aug 5, It was reported
that at least 1000 dogs were reported killed in Tehran over the last
month. Islam regarded dogs as impure.
(SFC, 8/5/00, p.A22)
2000 Aug 7, The daily Bahar
newspaper was closed by the hard-line judiciary for “disturbing
(SFC, 8/9/00, p.A14)
2000 Aug 12, Ebrahim Nabavi was
jailed by judge Saeed Mortazavi of the hard-line press court, as he
was being honored as a top satirist.
(SFC, 8/14/00, p.A12)
2000 Aug 13, Mohammad
Ghoochani, political writer, was jailed one day after receiving
honors as the best political writer.
(SFC, 8/14/00, p.A12)
2000 Aug 27, Fighting between
students and hard-liners in Khorramabad left a police officer dead.
(SFC, 8/30/00, p.B10)
2000 Sep 21, An Iranian appeals
court reduced the prison terms for 10 Jews convicted of
“cooperating" with Israel, in a case that had drawn international
2000 Nov 17, Jurgen Graf,
prominent Swiss revisionist author, arrived in Iran. He fled his
homeland rather than serve a 15-month prison sentence for "Holocaust
2000 Dec 28, Iran and Russia
announced an expanded military and security partnership.
(SFC, 12/29/00, p.A18)
2000 Gelareh Asayesh authored
"Saffron Sky: A Life Between Iran and America."
(SFEC, 1/23/00, BR p.4)
2000 Persis M. Karin and
Mohammad Mehdi Khorrami edited "A World Between: Poems, Short
Stories, and Essays by Iranian-Americans.
(SFEC, 1/23/00, BR p.4)
2000 Zia Atabay founded
National Iranian Television in Los Angeles (NITV). He targeted 75
million Iranians world-wide, including an estimated 25 million
households with satellite dishes in Iran.
(WSJ, 11/5/01, p.A10)
2000 US legislation called the
Iran Nonproliferation Act went into effect. By 2005 it impacted the
Int’l. Space Station project due to Russian weapons trade with Iran.
(Econ, 3/12/05, p.75)
2001 Jan 27, The Iran Republic
news Agency reported that 3 intelligence agents were sentenced to
death and 12 others to life in prison for their roles in murdering
dissident writers and intellectuals.
(SSFC, 1/28/01, p.A22)
2001 Mar 12, Russia and Iran
signed agreements in Moscow to increase their military and economic
(SFC, 3/13/01, p.A16)
2001 Mar 18, The judiciary
banned the nation’s only real opposition group and closed down 4
(SFC, 3/19/01, p.A9)
2001 Mar 20, Now-Ruz, the
traditional Afghan New Year, passed without fanfare. The holiday is
also observed in Iran.
(SSFC, 3/18/01, p.A17)
2001 Apr 7, In Tehran 40-42
people were arrested including members of the opposition Freedom
Movement. The Revolutionary Court said some were linked to the
Iraq-based Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK).
(SFC, 4/9/01, p.A8)
2001 Apr 16, Iran and Saudi
Arabia signed a pact to fight terrorism and drug trafficking.
(SFC, 4/18/01, p.A13)
2001 Apr 18, Iran launched 56
Scud missiles against an Iraq-based opposition group. At least 3
People’s Mujahedeen- Khalq (MEK) camps were hit.
(WSJ, 4/19/01, p.A1)
2001 May 6, In Sari, Iran, the
Mottaqi stadium grandstand collapsed and killed several people with
(WSJ, 5/7/01, p.A1)
2001 May 17, A plane crashed in
Khorasan province and at least 29 people were killed. The dead
included Rahman Dadman, the transport minister, and 7 members of
(SFC, 5/18/01, p.A15)
2001 May 20, A power failure by
Tavanir, the state-owned utility, left almost the whole country
without electricity for several hours.
(SFC, 5/21/01, p.A10)
2001 May 20, In Tehran a woman
was stoned to death after her conviction for acting in pornographic
films was upheld by the Supreme Court.
(SFC, 5/22/01, p.A11)
2001 Jun 8, In Iran Pres.
Khatami was elected to a 2nd term with nearly 77% of the vote.
(SFC, 6/9/01, p.A8)(SFC, 6/11/01, p.A10)
2001 Jul 23, In Iran a 19th
woman was reported strangled in Mashad.
(DFP, 7/24/01, p.3A)
2001 Aug 2, Pres. Khatami was
confirmed for a 2nd 4-year term.
(SSFC, 8/5/01, p.A14)
2001 Aug 8, Pres. Khatami was
sworn in as president. Political in-fighting with conservatives
delayed the ceremony by 3 days.
(SFC, 8/9/01, p.A9)
2001 Aug 12, Flash floods
followed heavy rains and at least 181 people were killed. Kalaleh in
Golestan province was the hardest hit.
(SFC, 8/13/01, p.A12)(WSJ, 8/14/01, p.A1)
2001 Aug 30, Riots left 2
people dead in Sabzevar after the town failed to win
(WSJ, 8/31/01, p.)
2001 Aug 26, Film director
Tahmineh Milani was arrested on charges of supporting
counterrevolutionary and armed opposition groups. A relative said it
was due to her stand on the clerical oppression of women.
(WSJ, 8/31/01, p.A1)(SFC, 9/1/01, p.A10)
2001 Sep 15, Iran ordered its
security forces to seal off its 560-mile border with Afghanistan due
to terrorist attacks in the US.
(SSFC, 9/16/01, p.A7)
2001 Sep 21-Oct 2, In Tehran
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards opened the First Universal Exhibition of
Sacred Culture and Defense with a theme of Islamic revolution and
holy war. It commemorated the 21st anniversary of the war with Iraq.
(WSJ, 9/27/01, p.A1)
2001 Oct 2, In Russia Defense
Minister Sergei Ivanov signed a weapons framework agreement with
Iranian Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani for as much as $300 million.
(SFC, 10/3/01, p.A11)
2001 Oct 12, Iran defeated Iraq
1-0 in a soccer match. Demonstrations erupted after the game against
the Shiite theocracy and continued following successive soccer
matches. At least 2 thousand young people were arrested over the
next 2 weeks.
(WSJ, 10/30/01, p.A22)
2001 Dec 16, Abdullah
Ramezanzadeh, a Cabinet Secretary, was sentenced to 6 months in jail
for “spreading lies" against the conservative Guardian council.
(SFC, 12/18/01, p.A7)(WSJ, 12/17/01, p.A1)
2001 Dec 25, Hossein Loqmanian,
was jailed for 10 months for “insulting the judiciary." He was freed
Jan 15 following a walkout by the legislature.
(SFC, 1/16/02, p.A7)
2001 Reza Pahlavi, son of the
late Shah, launched a campaign for secular democracy via satellite
from NITV in Los Angeles.
(WSJ, 11/5/01, p.A10)
2002 Jan 8, Iran’s
Revolutionary Court began the closed door trial of 15 men charged
with plotting to overthrow the Islamic system
(SFC, 1/9/02, p.A5)
2002 Jan 27, Iran’s Pres.
Khatami met with Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri in Tehran as part
of an effort to restore ties.
(SFC, 2/1/02, p.A18)
2002 Jan 29, Pres. Bush made
his 1st State of the Union address and declared that the “war
against terror is only beginning." Bush singled out Iran, Iraq and
North Korea as an “axis of evil."
(SFC, 1/30/02, p.A1)(SFC, 1/31/02, p.A1)
2002 Feb 4, Israeli PM Peres
said Iran had put elite forces into Lebanon and had supplied
Hezbollah with 10,000 rockets with ranges of 13-44 miles.
(SFC, 2/5/02, p.A10)
2002 Feb 12, An Iran Air Tours
Tupelov Tu-154 crashed into the Sefid Kouh mountains near
Khorramabad killing all 119 on board.
(SFC, 2/13/02, p.A12)(AP, 2/11/03)
2002 Apr 5, Iran’s Ayatollah
Khamenei urged Islamic oil-producing countries to suspend oil
exports for a month to countries supporting Israel.
(SFC, 4/6/02, p.A10)
2002 Apr, The UN voted to
remove Iran from the list of countries assigned to a special
investigator to watch on human rights abuses.
(SFC, 7/27/02, p.A6)
2002 May 21, The US State Dept
issued its annual report on terrorism: “Patterns of Global Terrorism
2001." Iran was branded as the most active supporter of terrorism
due to increased support for Palestinian militants.
(SFC, 5/22/02, p.A12)
2002 Jun 22, A powerful
earthquake in northern Iran killed at least 500 people and injured
1,500, razing dozens of mountain villages whose mud-brick homes
crumbled to dust.
(Reuters, 6/22/02)(Reuters, 6/23/02)(AP, 6/22/03)
2002 Jun, Iran transferred 16
al Qaeda suspects to Saudi Arabia.
(SSFC, 8/11/02, p.A13)
2002 Jul 19, Tens of
thousands of Iranians took to the streets of the capital condemning
President Bush for criticizing their government with calls of "Death
to America" and "Death to Bush."
2002 Jul 27, In Iran a
hard-line court outlawed the leading reform-minded opposition party,
the Freedom Movement, and gave its leaders jail terms of up to 10
years and fines of more than $6,000. The court said Freedom Movement
leaders acted against national security with the intention of
"overthrowing the establishment."
2002 Aug 1, In Iran the
Education Ministry relaxed dress codes for girls in all-female
schools for the 1st time in 23 years.
(SFC, 8/3/02, p.A7)
2002 Aug 12, In northeastern
Iran torrential rains began and at least 35 people were drowned in
flash floods that washed away roads and swamped farm land.
2002 Aug 25, Iran's parliament
approved a bill giving women the right to sue for divorce, a similar
right already guaranteed for men.
2002 Sep 1, Some 600 Russian
specialists began work on a key phase of an $800 million project to
build a nuclear reactor at Bushehr, Iran.
(SFC, 9/2/02, p.A9)
2002 Sep 6, Iran reported the
successful test fire of a Fateh 110 A ballistic missile.
(SFC, 9/7/02, p.A5)
2002 Nov 6, In Iran University
professor Hashem Aghajari, was sentenced to death on charges of
insulting Islam's prophet and questioning the hard-line clergy's
interpretation of Islam. He was also was sentenced to 74 lashes,
banned from teaching for 10 years and exiled to three remote Iranian
cities for 8 years. The death sentence was overturned in 2003 and
reimposed May 3, 2004. The 2nd death sentence was again overturned.
Aghajari was released on bail July 31, 2004.
(AP, 11/7/02)(WSJ, 5/5/04, p.A1)(AP,
7/3/04)(SSFC, 8/1/04, p.A16)
2002 Nov 12, Thousands of
Iranian students ignored official warnings and demonstrated for the
fourth day running against a dissident's death sentence and to
demand freedom of speech and political reform.
2002 Dec 23, In central Iran a
Ukrainian An-140 aircraft, carrying Ukrainian and Russian aerospace
scientists from Turkey, flew into a mountainside while preparing to
land killing all 46 people on board. Airport officials said pilot
"carelessness" caused the plane to crash.
2002 Dec 30, A fire broke out
in an Iranian prison, killing 27 prisoners and injuring 50 others.
2002 Majid Majidi released his
film “Baran" in the US. It portrayed Afghan refugees in Iran.
(SFC, 7/9/02, p.D2)
2002 In Iran Shahla Jahed, who
had become what is known as a "temporary wife" of former soccer star
Nasser Mohammad Khani, was charged with stabbing his wife, Laleh
Saharkhizan, to death and convicted of murder in 2004 and again in
2009, after her appeal was denied. She was hanged on Dec 1, 2010.
2003 Jan 4, In southern Iran a
bus carrying university students overturned on a rain-slick road,
killing 15 people and injuring 18 others.
2003 Jan 14, In northeastern
Iran 2 buses collided in bad weather, killing 22 passengers and
injuring 40. Transportation Ministry figures show that more than
19,000 people were killed in road accidents in 2001.
2003 Feb 9, Iran reported the
discovery of uranium reserves and planned production facilities for
peaceful use of nuclear energy.
(SFC, 2/10/03, p.A8)
2003 Feb 19, An Iranian
military plane carrying 275 members of the elite Revolutionary
Guards crashed in southeastern Iran, killing all on board.
(WSJ, 2/20/03, p.A1)(AP, 2/19/08)
2003 Mar 4, Iran called
for UN-supervised elections in neighboring Iraq and urged the
divided Iraqi opposition to reconcile with Pres. Saddam Hussein as
part of a plan aimed at averting a US-led war on Iraq.
2003 Mar 8, An
Argentine judge asked Interpol to arrest four Iranian diplomats,
accusing them of responsibility in a deadly terrorist attack that
destroyed a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires in 1994.
2003 Mar 31, In Tehran, Iran, a
pickup truck with extra fuel crashed into the British Embassy in an
apparent suicide attack. Police called it an accident.
(SFC, 4/1/03, p.A3)
2003 Mar, In 2007 British media
reported that Iran had offered to cut off aid and support for the
Lebanese Shiite militia Hezbollah and the Palestinian group Hamas,
and promised full transparency on its nuclear program in a secret
letter to the US soon after the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Iran also
offered to use its influence to support stabilization in Iraq, and
in return asked for a halt in hostile American behaviour, an
abolition of all sanctions, and the pursuit and repatriation of
members of the Mujahedeen Khalq (People's Mujahedeen MKO). Lawrence
Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Colin Powell, said: “As soon as
it got to the Vice-President's (Dick Cheney) office, the old mantra
of 'we don't talk to evil' ... reasserted itself."
2003 Apr 8, A US errant rocket
struck in Iran near the Iraqi border and killed a 13-year-old boy.
(SFC, 4/9/03, p.A21)
2003 Apr 11, Amnesty
International said at least 1,526 people were executed worldwide
last year, with 80 percent of all known executions carried out in
China (1,060), Iran (113) and the United States (71).
2003 May 24, In Iran some 130
reformist lawmakers called on Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
to accept democratic reforms for the ruling establishment to
2003 Jun 10, In Iran riot
police and hard-line vigilantes clashed with teenage demonstrators
who denounced supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
2003 Jun 13, In Iran
anti-government demonstrations took place for the third night in
2003 Jun 14, Iran's hard-line
judiciary arrested "scores" of pro-clergy militants, including a
vigilante leader, over attacks on a Tehran student dormitory sparked
by attacks on pro-reform supporters.
2003 Jun 19, In France more
Iranians set themselves on fire to protest a crackdown on an
Iraq-based anti-Tehran group. Maryam Rajavi, the leader of the
People's Mujahedeen Organization of Iran, was among 150 people
detained in a sweep of their European headquarters in suburban Paris
by hundreds of masked police this month. Most of those detained were
let go. In 2011 French investigators dropped terror charges against
24 members of the group.
(WSJ, 6/20/03, p.A1)(AP, 5/12/11)
2003 Jun 20, In Iran student
protests against Ayatollah Ali Khamenei spread to at least 8 other
(SFC, 6/21/03, p.A8)
2003 Jun 23, In Iran Zahra
Kazemi (54), a Montreal-based journalist, was detained after taking
pictures of Tehran's notorious Evin prison. She died Jul 11 of brain
hemorrhage from inflicted blows. Iran later admitted that she was
murdered while under police custody. Her family sought $14 million
in damages, but a 1985 Canadian law held that foreign states are
immune from the jurisdiction of Canadian courts.
(AP, 7/13/03)(SFC, 7/17/03, p.A7)(WSJ, 7/31/03,
p.A1)(SSFC, 12/6/09, p.A26)
2003 Jul 8, Ladan and Laleh
Bijani (29), Iranian twin sisters, joined at the head, died within
90 minutes of each other as neurosurgeons in Singapore worked into a
3rd day to separate them.
(AP, 7/7/03)(AP, 7/8/03)
2003 Jul 11, In Iran Zahra
Kazemi (54), a Montreal-based journalist, died of brain hemorrhage
from inflicted blows. [see Jun 23] Iran later admitted that she was
murdered while under police custody. In 2004 a closed trial was held
for a secret agent charged with the murder. Mohammad Reza Aghdam
Ahmadi pleaded innocent on July 17 and the trial was abruptly ended
the next day. The Tehran court acquitted Ahmadi.
(AP, 7/13/03)(SFC, 7/17/03, p.A7)(WSJ, 7/31/03,
p.A1)(SFC, 7/19/04, p.A8)(AP, 7/25/04)
2003 Jul 23, Iran acknowledged
that it was holding senior al Qaeda figures, but would not identify
(WSJ, 7/24/03, p.A1)
2003 cAug 17, Iranians in
Semirom clashed with police over consolidation of the central city
with less-affluent Shahreza. 8 people were left dead.
(WSJ, 8/18/03, p.A1)
2003 Sep 17, Iran's leading
dissident cleric, Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri,
criticized the country's hard-line Islamic leaders, saying they
should submit to elections and allow the country's young people to
choose their future.
2003 Sep 27, In western Iran a
bus plunged from a mountain road into a river, killing 21 passengers
and injuring 11.
2003 Oct 10, Human rights
activist Shirin Ebadi (56) won the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize. It was
the first peace prize for an Iranian, and first for a Muslim woman.
2003 Oct 18, In Iran 6 Islamic
vigilantes were sentenced to death for killing five people for
allegedly having illicit sexual relationships. Judge Abdolreza
Parvizi said he ordered the men to be hanged in public for the 2002
deaths of three men and two women in the city of Kerman.
2003 Oct 21, Iran agreed to
snap UN inspections of its nuclear sites and to freeze uranium
(AP, 10/21/03)(SFC, 10/22/03, p.A3)
2003 Nov 9, In central Iran a
crowded bus collided with a truck and a second truck then smashed
into the wreckage of the two vehicles, killing 36 people and
wounding 7 others.
2003 Nov 10, A top Iranian
official said that his country had suspended its enrichment of
uranium and sent a letter to the IAEA accepting additional
inspections of its nuclear facilities.
2003 Nov 26, The UN nuclear
watchdog agency, IAEA, condemned Iran over an 18-year cover-up of
its nuclear energy program and said future violations of
non-proliferation obligations would not be tolerated.
2003 Nov 26, Ayatollah Sadeq
Khalkhali (77), a judge known for sentencing hundreds of people to
death following Iran's revolution, died.
(AP, 11/27/03)(Econ, 12/13/03, p.86)
2003 Dec 5, Hard-line
vigilantes attacked a close aide to Iran's president as he was about
to give a speech, repeatedly punching and kicking him, his wife.
2003 Dec 8, Three tourists were
kidnapped in southeastern Iran while cycling from the historical
city of Bam to Zahedan. Drug smugglers demanded $6 million in
2003 Dec 10, The presidents of
Egypt and Iran met for the 1st time since 1979. Iran's rulers
authorized the signing of a UN nuclear deal.
(WSJ, 12/11/03, p.A1)
2003 Dec 10, The Nobel Prize
awards ceremony were held in Sweden and Norway. Iranian democracy
activist Shirin Ebadi, the first Muslim woman to win the Nobel Peace
Prize, accepted the award in Oslo, Norway.
(AP, 12/10/03)(AP, 12/10/08)
2003 Dec 18, Iran signed a key
accord opening its nuclear facilities to unfettered and unannounced
2003 Dec 26, A 6.6 earthquake
devastated the southeastern Iranian city of Bam, 630 miles southeast
of the capital Tehran. It leveled more than half the city's houses
and its historic mud-brick fortress. Some 31,000 people were killed
and over 10,000 injured. Iran appealed for international help and
promised to waive visas for foreign relief workers.
(AP, 12/27/03)(SFC, 12/30/03, p.A3)(AP,
1/2/04)(AP, 12/26/04)(AFP, 8/12/12)
2003 Dec 27, Governments around
the world rushed medical experts, rescue teams, water-purification
systems and tea to the earthquake-ravaged Iranian city of Bam.
2003 Geneive Abdo and Jonathan
Lyons authored “Answering Only to God: Faith and Freedom in
Twenty-First Century Iran."
(SSFC, 3/16/03, p.M4)
2004 Jan 1, Iranian officials
welcomed America's temporary lifting of sanctions against the
Persian state following the country's earthquake, and the foreign
minister said the embargo should end permanently.
2004 Jan 3, In Iran rescuers
pulled Sharbanou Mazandarani (97) from the rubble at Ban, 9 days
following the earthquake, as the death toll rose to about 35,000.
(SSFC, 1/4/04, p.A2)
2004 Jan 6, Egypt and Iran
agreed to restore diplomatic ties sundered in 1979.
(WSJ, 1/7/04, p.A1)
2004 Jan 7, In Iran a
57-year-old man was pulled from the rubble of Ban's earthquake,
barely conscious but still alive because he had a source of water
during the 13 days he was buried. He died 4 days later.
(AP, 1/8/04)(AP, 1/11/04)
2004 Jan 11, In Iran the
12-member Guardian Council, which comprises conservatives picked by
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, disqualified about 900
of the 1,700 people who wanted to contest seats in Tehran have been
disqualified. About 90 lawmakers began gathering in the lobby of the
legislature for five hours daily in a sit-in demonstration after the
Guardian Council barred the candidates from the Feb. 20 elections.
(AP, 1/12/04)(AP, 1/14/04)
2004 Jan 20, In Iran Hard-line
authorities said they were reinstating 200 candidates barred from
running in next month's legislative elections and will reconsider
the cases of thousands more after fierce opposition from reformists
who threatened to boycott the vote.
2004 Jan 21, Most of Iran's
ministers and vice presidents submitted resignations to protest the
barring of thousands of would-be candidates from upcoming elections.
The Guardian Council had just reinstated 200 of the disqualified
candidates and said it would reconsider the rest.
2004 Jan 27, In Malaysia an
Iranian asylum seeker set himself on fire in an apparent suicide
attempt outside the Kuala Lumpus headquarters of the UN refugee
2004 Jan 30, Iran's hard-line
Guardian Council reinstated a third of the candidates it had
disqualified from next month's legislative elections.
2004 Feb 1, More than a third
of the Iranian parliament resigned and the speaker delivered a
stinging rebuke to the hard-line Guardian Council for its
disqualification of hundreds of liberal candidates in upcoming
2004 Feb 18, In Neyshabur,
northeastern Iran, a 51-car train, carrying fuel, fertilizer and
industrial chemicals, derailed and exploded. It rolled out of a
switchyard and eventually reach a speed of more than 90 mph before
it derailed, caught fire and exploded. The explosions destroyed five
villages killing at least 200 people and injuring hundreds more.
(AP, 2/19/04)(AP, 4/23/04)
2004 Feb 19, A Japanese
consortium announced it will develop an Iranian oil field with
reserves of up to 26 billion barrels. The deal was opposed by the
United States because of fears the money could go to nuclear
2004 Feb 20, In Iran Islamic
hard-liners and reformers dueled during parliamentary elections.
2004 Feb 21, Iran's hard-line
Islamic rulers claimed that voters dealt reformers a decisive blow
with a strong turnout in disputed parliament elections, but partial
returns suggested the pro-reform boycott had an impact.
2004 Feb 22, In Iran hard-line
Islamic candidates appeared likely to take control in the liberal
stronghold of Tehran and held a wide lead nationwide after
parliamentary elections from which hundreds of liberal candidates
2004 Feb 23, In Iran
conservatives formally reclaimed control of parliament after
disputed elections that were boycotted by reformists who called the
vote a "historical fiasco" without free choice.
2004 Mar 13 Iran froze
inspections of its nuclear facilities after the U.N. atomic agency
censured Tehran for hiding suspect activities. Tehran relented two
2004 Mar 15, Iran relented and
decided to allow a visit at the end of this month, after temporarily
freezing out international nuclear inspectors.
2004 Apr 5, In northeastern
Iran an oil tanker truck and a passenger bus collided, killing 30
people and injuring 27.
2004 Apr 15, Gunmen killed a
high-ranking Iranian diplomat in Baghdad.
2004 Apr 21, The Iranian film
“Marmulak" (Lizard) premiered. It was a comedy about a fugitive
criminal disguised as a mullah.
(Econ, 5/8/04, p.45)
2004 Apr 28, Iran's Ayatollah
Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi ordered a ban on the use of torture for
(SFC, 4/29/04, p.A3)
2004 May 28, An earthquake
damaged homes in northern Iran. The toll from a 6.2 earthquake
reached 36 dead with 250 people injured.
(AP, 5/28/04)(AP, 5/30/04)
2004 May 29, In Iran the
Gov. Masoud Emami of Qazvin province was killed along with 7 others
when their helicopter crashed while surveying earthquake damage.
(SSFC, 5/30/04, p.A14)
2004 May, The Iranian
Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) closed down the new Tehran airport
to protest a government decision to ask a consortium of foreigners
(Turks) to run it.
(Econ, 6/19/04, p.46)
2004 Jun 5, Iranian officials
said police had killed at least 58 drug smugglers and confiscated
more than 50 tons of narcotics in the past two months.
2004 Jun 12, Iran said it would
reject international restrictions on its nuclear program and
challenged the world to accept Tehran as a member of the "nuclear
2004 Jun 18, The U.N. atomic
watchdog agency censured Iran for past cover-ups in its nuclear
program in a resolution, warning Tehran to be more forthcoming.
2004 Jun 21, Iran’s
Revolutionary Guards, known as Pasdaran, confiscated three British
military vessels and arrested eight armed crew members in the Shatt
al-Arab waterway. The men were released 2 days later.
(AP, 6/21/04)(SFC, 6/24/04, p.A12)(Econ, 4/7/07,
2004 Jun 24, In southern Iran a
tanker truck carrying gasoline crashed into packed buses and erupted
in flames, killing 71 people. 108 people were injured, many
suffering severe burns.
2004 Jun 28, Iran’s Deputy
Interior Minister Ali Asghar Ahmadi said two Iranian soldiers and
eight rebels were killed in clashes with Kurds. A pro-Kurdish news
agency said 16 soldiers and four rebels died.
2004 Jul 8, Iranian troops
killed two Turkish Kurdish rebels in clashes close to the Iraqi
border, amid reports of a major offensive by Tehran on Ankara's
2004 Jul 13, A confidant of
Osama bin Laden (Khaled bin Ouda bin Mohammed al-Harby) surrendered
to Saudi diplomats in Iran and was flown to Saudi Arabia.
2004 Jul 14, Canada pulled its
ambassador from Iran, which refused to admit observers to the trial
of a policeman over a Canadian journalist’s fatal beating.
(WSJ, 7/15/04, p.A1)
2004 Jul 20, In Iran a
prominent history professor twice condemned to death on blasphemy
charges was informed of a three year jail sentence for insulting
Islamic sacred beliefs.
2004 Jul 24, A Tehran court
acquitted the sole defendant in the July 10, 2003, murder of an
Iranian-Canadian photojournalist. Mohammad Reza Aghdam Ahmadi had
pleaded innocent on July 17 and the trial was abruptly ended the
2004 Jul 28, Iran's judiciary
claimed that an Iranian-Canadian photojournalist died (Jul 10, 2003)
in custody from a fall after her blood pressure dropped during a
2004 Aug 17, Iran said it would
destroy Israel's Dimona nuclear reactor if the Jewish state were to
attack Iran's nuclear facilities.
2004 Aug, In Khoramabad, Iran,
2 men were hanged for adultery. In 2005 the National Council of
Resistance of Iran showed video footage of the event in England. It
was shot by an opponent of the government.
2004 Sep 1, The U.N. atomic
watchdog agency said Iran has announced plans to turn tons of
uranium into a substance that can be used to make nuclear weapons.
2004 Sep 18, The UN atomic
watchdog agency demanded Iran suspend all uranium enrichment
activities and set a November timetable for compliance.
2004 Sep 21, Iran revealed that
it started converting tons of raw uranium as part of a process that
could be used to make nuclear arms.
2004 Oct 4, Iranian President
Mohammad Khatami arrived in Khartoum to start a three-day visit to
2004 Oct 5, Iran said its
missiles now have a range of more than 1,200 miles, a substantial
extension of their previously declared range.
2004 Oct 12, Iranian vice
president Mohammad Ali Abtahi, who was a close ally of reformist
President Mohammad Khatami, resigned, saying he could not work with
the conservative-dominated parliament.
2004 Oct 28, China and Iran
signed a memorandum of understanding for an oil and gas agreement
worth tens of billions of dollars.
(WSJ, 11/1/04, p.A1)
2004 Oct 31, Iran's parliament
unanimously approved the outline of a bill that would require the
government to resume uranium enrichment.
2004 Oct, In Iran Muhammad
Bijeh was sentenced to death for the rape and murder of some 20
boys, mostly rural migrants and Afghan refugees.
(Econ, 10/23/04, p.48)
2004 Nov 1, UN nuclear agency
chief Mohamed ElBaradei urged Iran to suspend uranium enrichment and
called on North Korea to dismantle its weapons program.
2004 Nov 2, State-run Indian
Oil Corp (IOC), the country's largest refiner, said it had signed an
agreement with Iran's Petropars to bid for a $3 billion project to
develop a gas field and set up a liquefaction plant in Iran.
2004 Nov 7, Iran and European
nations reached a preliminary agreement about Iran's nuclear program
at talks hoped to avoid a U.N. showdown. The UK, France and Germany
persuaded Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment program.
(AP, 11/7/04)(WSJ, 2/8/05, p.A1)
2004 Nov 15, The UN atomic
watchdog agency gave its support to Iran's agreement to suspend all
uranium enrichment activities.
2004 Dec 19, The Iranian Red
Crescent Society said heavy rains have caused flash floods that
killed at least 34 people and injured 43 others in southern Iran.
2004 In Iraq 850 US troops were
killed during this year.
(SFC, 12/31/07, p.A6)
2004 The Iranian government
seized some $200 million in assets from the Khoi Foundation, named
after the late Grand Ayatollah Abol-Qassem Mussavi Khoi. This
accelerated a growing trend for Shiite religious funds to move their
assets out to Iraq.
(WSJ, 9/14/05, p.A20)