Summary of major events in Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution:
– Islamic Revolution –
On February 11, 1979, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returns to Tehran after 15 years of exile following the flight of Shah Mohamed Reza Pahlevi, who left the country on January 16 under street pressure against the regime.
On April 1st, the Islamic Republic is proclaimed.
– American hostages –
On November 4, 1979, Islamist students invade the US embassy in Tehran and demand the extradition of the shah, hospitalized in the North American country. They take 52 employees hostage for 444 days.
On April 7, 1980, Washington breaks diplomatic ties with Tehran and imposes a trade embargo, 10 months before the release of the last hostages.
– Iran-Iraq War –
On September 22, 1980, Iraq sends its military force into Iran’s territory, after Baghdad denounces the 1975 Algiers accords, which were supposed to end a border conflict between the two countries over the Shatt al-Arab river.
In August 1988, a ceasefire took effect after a war that left hundreds of thousands dead on both sides.
– From Khamenei to Khatami –
After Khomeini’s death on June 3, 1989, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, president since 1981, becomes the country’s supreme guide.
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was elected president in July of the same year and re-elected in 1993. This moderate conservative leads the country’s reconstruction after the war with Iraq and begins a policy of openness with the West.
On May 23, 1997, reformist Mohamad Khatami is elected president. His term, however, was marked by student protests and demonstrations. Re-elected in 2001, he spent eight years in a feud with obstruction by conservatives.
– Ahmadinejad, the ultra-conservative –
In early 2002, US President George W. Bush included Iran in the so-called “axis of evil” alongside Iraq and North Korea, accusing the country of wanting to “export terrorism” and produce weapons of mass destruction.
On June 25, 2005, Mahmud Ahmadinejad wins the presidential election. Iran resumes uranium enrichment program.
Ahmadinejad multiplies statements that question the Holocaust and says Israel should be “wiped off the map.”
In June 2009, his re-election, with fraud charges in the background, sparked a protest movement in the Islamic Republic that was violently repressed.
– Rohani, a moderate religious –
On June 15, 2013, Hassan Rohani, a supporter of greater flexibility towards the West, is elected president. The US government declares itself “willing to work with him”.
In September, Rohani and Barack Obama talk over the phone, something that hasn’t happened between presidents of Iran and the United States since 1979.
On July 14, 2015, an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program with the great powers ends 12 years of disputes over Tehran’s nuclear program.
The pact provides for a partial and progressive suspension of international sanctions against Iran, in exchange for guarantees that the country will never develop nuclear weapons.
– Break with Riad –
In early 2016, Riyadh and its allies break, or reduce, diplomatic relations with Tehran after a crisis triggered by the execution of a Shiite leader in Saudi Arabia, a Sunni kingdom.
Iran is accused of interfering in the affairs of Arab countries and stirring up conflicts, particularly those in Syria and Yemen.
– I wake up near the end –
On May 8, 2018, then-American President Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of the United States from the nuclear agreement and the reinstatement of sanctions against Tehran and against companies with ties to the Islamic Republic. Investors flee the country, which loses customers to which it exports oil.
As of May 2019, Tehran abandons most of the commitments of the Vienna agreement.
Since April 2021, negotiations have been taking place in Vienna to reinstate the United States, under the presidency of Joe Biden, to the agreement and for Iran to resume its commitments in exchange for a suspension of US sanctions.
– Repressed Objection –
In November 2019, more than 100 cities registered protests, harshly repressed, against the announcement of the increase in the price of gasoline, in the midst of an economic crisis. The official death toll is 230. Amnesty International (AI) cites at least 304 fatalities.
A wave of protests had already taken place between the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018 in several cities.
– Blows and attacks –
On January 3, 2020, General Qassem Soleimani, a maker of Iran’s Middle East strategy, was assassinated in an American drone strike in Baghdad. On the 8th, Iran launches missiles in retaliation against bases that house US military personnel in Iraq.
On November 27, an eminent nuclear physicist and deputy defense minister, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, is assassinated in an attack near Tehran, which Iran blames on Israel.
Starting in February 2021, Iran and Israel, which have been facing each other for several years directly or indirectly in Lebanon, Syria and the Gaza Strip, waged a battle at sea, with the exchange of accusations about attacks against ships on both sides.
– Ultra-conservative in the presidency –
On June 18, the ultra-conservative Ebrahim Raïssi, with no real competition after the veto of his main opponents, is elected president, in an atmosphere of widespread discontent over the economic and social crisis. On August 3 he takes office.
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