aside PRIMER ON MIDDLE EAST, PART XXII / IRAN

Iran is the perfect example of what happens when the US attempts to instill reforms in the Middle East from the west’s  vision of “WHAT IS BEST.”  

Inman Khomeini
Imam Khomeini

BBC News published the following 7/14 /15 Iran timeline- profile in the Middle East section:

A chronology of key events from 1951:

1951 “April – Parliament votes to nationalize the oil industry, which is dominated by the British-owned Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. Britain imposes an embargo and a blockade, halting oil exports and hitting the economy. A power struggle between the Shah and Mossadeq ensues and the Shah flees the country in August 1953.”

1953 “August – Mossadeq is overthrown in a coup engineered by the British and American intelligence services (CIA). General Fazlollah Zahedi is proclaimed as prime minister and the Shah returns.” (This is partly why Iran does not trust the west.)

Tehran, Iran
Tehran, Iran

Campaign to modernize

1963 “January – The Shah embarks on a campaign to modernize and westernize the country (with a Shia majority). He launches the ‘White Revolution’, a program of land reform and social and economic modernization. During the late 1960’s the Shah became increasingly dependent on the secret police (SAVAK) in controlling those opposition movements critical of his reforms.” (Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, was imprisoned by the Shah in 1963 for his opposition to these reforms and was later expelled to live in exile for 14 years.)

1978 “September – The Shah’s policies alienate the clergy and his authoritarian rule leads to riots, strikes and mass demonstrations. Martial law is imposed.”

Shah of Iran
Shah of Iran

Shah exiled, Khomeini returns

1979 “January – As the political situation deteriorates, the Shah and his family are forced into exile.”

1979 “February – The Islamic fundamentalist, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, returns to Iran following 14 years of exile in Iraq and France for opposing the regime.”(Sharia law is enforced.)

1979′ April – The Islamic Republic of Iran is proclaimed following a referendum.”

1979″ November – Islamic militants take 52 Americans hostage inside the US embassy in Tehran. They demand the extradition of the Shah, in the US at the time for medical treatment, to face trial in Iran.”

1980 “January – Abolhasan Bani-Sadr is elected the first president of the Islamic Republic. His government begins work on a major nationalization program.”

U.S. President Barack Obama talks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during a phone call in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington September 27, 2013. REUTERS/Pete Souza
U.S. President Barack Obama talks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during a phone call in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington September 27, 2013. REUTERS/Pete Souza

1980 “July – The exiled Shah dies of cancer in Egypt.”

Iran-Iraq war

1980  “September – Start of Iran-Iraq war which lasts for eight years.”

1981 “January – The American hostages are released ending 444 days in captivity.”

1981 “June – Bani-Sadr is dismissed, he later flees to France.”

1985 – “After the US and Soviet Union halted arms supplies, the US attempted to win the release of hostages in Lebanon by offering secret arms deals, this would later become known as the Iran-Contra affair.”

1988 “July – 290 passengers and the crew of an Iran Air Airbus are mistakenly shot down by the USS Vincennes.”

IRAN
IRAN

Ceasefire

1988 “July – Iran accepts a ceasefire agreement with Iraq following negotiations in Geneva under the aegis of the UN.”

1989 “February – Ayatollah Khomeini issues a religious edict (fatwa) ordering Muslims to kill British author, Salman Rushdie, for his novel, ‘The Satanic Verses’, considered blasphemous to Islam.”

1989 “June – Ayatollah Khomeini dies. On 4 June, President Khamene’i is appointed as new supreme leader.”

1989 “August – Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani is sworn in as the new president.”

1989 “November – The US releases 567 million dollars of frozen Iranian assets.”

TEHRAN PARK
TEHRAN PARK

Major earthquake kills thousands

1990 “June – A major earthquake strikes Iran, killing approximately 40,000 people.”

1990 – “Iran remains neutral following Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.”

1990 “September – Iran and Iraq resume diplomatic ties.”

US imposes sanctions

1995 -” US imposes oil and trade sanctions over Iran’s alleged sponsorship of “terrorism”, seeking to acquire nuclear arms and hostility to the Middle East process. Iran denies the charges.”

1997 May -” Mohammad Khatami wins the presidential election with 70% of the vote, beating the conservative ruling elite.”

1998 “September – Iran deploys thousands of troops on its border with Afghanistan after the Taleban admits killing eight Iranian diplomats and a journalist in Mazar-e Sharif.”

IRAN
IRAN

Student protests

1999 July – “Pro-democracy students at Tehran University demonstrate following the closure of the reformist newspaper ‘Salam’. Clashes with security forces lead to six days of rioting and the arrest of more than 1,000 students.”

2000 February – “Majlis elections. Liberals and supporters of Khatami wrest control of parliament from conservatives for the first time.”

2000 April – “The judiciary, following the adoption of a new press law, bans the publication of 16 reformist newspapers.”

2000 May – “Inauguration of the Sixth parliament.”

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (left) and Sultan Qaboos of Oman
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (left) and Sultan Qaboos of Oman

Khatami’s second term

2001 June -” President Khatami re-elected.”

2002 January – “US President George Bush describes Iraq, Iran and North Korea as an “axis of evil”, warning of the proliferation of long-range missiles being developed in these countries. The speech causes outrage in Iran and is condemned by reformists and conservatives alike.”

“2002 September – Russian technicians begin construction of Iran’s first nuclear reactor at Bushehr despite strong objections from US.”

2003 June – “Thousands attend student-led protests in Tehran against clerical establishment.”

Student protests in Iran
Student protests in Iran

2003 September – “UN nuclear watchdog, IAEA, gives Tehran weeks to prove it is not pursuing an atomic weapons program.”

2003 October – “Shirin Ebadi becomes Iran’s first Nobel Peace Prize winner; lawyer and human rights campaigner became Iran’s first female judge in 1975 but was forced to resign after 1979 revolution.”

2003 November – “Iran says it is suspending its uranium enrichment programme and will allow tougher UN inspections of its nuclear facilities. IAEA concludes there is no evidence of a weapons program.”

2003 December – “40,000 people are killed in an earthquake in south-east Iran; the city of Bam is devastated.”

Kharanaq old city, Iran.
Kharanaq old city, Iran.

Conservative resurgence

2004 February – “Conservatives regain control of parliament in elections. Thousands of reformist candidates were disqualified by the hardline Council of Guardians before the polls.”

Nuclear crisis

2005 August-September – “Tehran says it has resumed uranium conversion at its Isfahan plant and insists the program is for peaceful purposes. IAEA finds Iran in violation of the nuclear Non-Proliferation agreement.”

“2004 June – Iran is rebuked by the IAEA for failing to fully cooperate with an inquiry into its nuclear activities.”

“2004 November – Iran agrees to suspend most of its uranium enrichment under a deal with the EU.”

2005 June – “Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Tehran’s ultra-conservative mayor, wins a run-off vote in presidential elections, defeating cleric and former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.”

IRAN MARKET
IRAN MARKET

2006 January – “Iran breaks IAEA seals at its Natanz nuclear research facility.”

“Bomb attacks in the southern city of Ahvaz – the scene of sporadic unrest in recent months – kill eight people and injure more than 40.”

2006 February – “IAEA votes to report Iran to the UN Security Council over its nuclear activities. Iran resumes uranium enrichment at Natanz.”

2006 April – “Iran says it has succeeded in enriching uranium at its Natanz facility.”

2006 31 August – “UN Security Council deadline for Iran to halt its work on nuclear fuel passes. IAEA says Tehran has failed to suspend the program.”

Iranian soldier at the Strait of Hormuz
Iranian soldier at the Strait of Hormuz

Holocaust denial

2006 December – “Iran hosts a controversial conference on the Holocaust; delegates include Holocaust deniers.”

“UN Security Council votes to impose sanctions on Iran’s trade in sensitive nuclear materials and technology. Iran condemns the resolution and vows to speed up uranium enrichment work.”

2007 February – “IAEA says Iran failed to meet a deadline to suspend uranium enrichment, exposing Tehran to possible new sanctions.”

2007 March – “Diplomatic stand-off with Britain after Iran detains 15 British sailors and marines patrolling the mouth of the Shatt al-Arab waterway separating Iran and Iraq.”

TEHRAN, IRAN
TEHRAN, IRAN

Proliferation Treaty.

2007 April – “President Ahmadinejad says Iran can produce nuclear fuel on an industrial scale.”

“IAEA says Iran has begun making nuclear fuel in its underground uranium enrichment plant. It also says that Iran has started up more than 1,300 centrifuge machines.”

2007 May -” IAEA says Iran could develop a nuclear weapon in three to eight years if it so chooses.”

2007 June – “Protests erupt after government imposes petrol rationing amid fears of possible UN sanctions.”

2007 July – “Iran announces plans to stop making cars that only run on petrol and switch to dual-fuel vehicles, which also run on gas.”

“Iran agrees to allow inspectors to visit the Arak nuclear plant following talks with the IAEA.”

Apadana Palace
Apadana Palace

New sanctions

2007 October – “US announces sweeping new sanctions against Iran, the toughest since it first imposed sanctions almost 30 years ago.”

2007 December – “A new US intelligence report plays down the perceived nuclear threat posed by Iran.”

2008 February – “Iran launches a research rocket to inaugurate a newly built space centre. Washington describes the launch as “unfortunate”.

2008 March – “President Ahmadinejad makes unprecedented official visit to Iraq, where he calls on foreign troops to leave. He also stresses his government’s desire to help rebuild Iraq and signs a number of cooperation agreements.”

IRAN PROTESTS
IRAN PROTESTS

“Conservatives win over two-thirds of seats in parliamentary elections in which many pro-reform candidates were disbarred from standing. The conservatives include supporters of President Ahmadinejad as well as more pragmatic conservatives who oppose his confrontational foreign policy.”

“UN Security Council tightens economic and trade sanctions on Tehran.”

2008 May – “IAEA says Iran is still withholding information on its nuclear program.”

“Iran’s new parliament elects former nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani as its speaker.”

cartoon-full6 best iran

Incentives offered

2008 June – “EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana presents an offer of trade benefits, which Tehran says it will look at, but will reject if it demands suspension of uranium enrichment.”

2008 July – “Iran test-fires a new version of the Shahab-3, a long-range missile it says is capable of hitting targets in Israel.”

2008 August – “Informal deadline set by Western officials for Iran to respond to package of incentives in return for halt in nuclear activities passes without reply.”

“Iran says it has successfully launched a test rocket capable of carrying a satellite into space.”

2008 September – “UN Security Council passes unanimously a new resolution reaffirming demands that Iran stop enriching uranium, but imposes no new sanctions. The text was agreed after Russia said it would not support further sanctions.”

Bam, Iran
Bam, Iran

Relations with US

2008 November – “Parliament votes to dismiss the interior minister, Ali Kordan, who admitted that a degree he said he held from Oxford University was fake. The move is a blow to President Ahmadinejad ahead of next year’s presidential election.”

“In an unprecedented move, President Ahmadinejad congratulates US president-elect Barack Obama on his election win. Mr Obama has offered to open unconditional dialogue with Iran about its nuclear program.”

2008 December – “Police raid and close the office of a human rights group led by the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Shirin Ebadi. Officials say the centre is acting as an illegal political organization.”

Tehran in Iran
Tehran in Iran

2009 February – “Speaking on the 30th anniversary of the Islamic revolution in Iran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says he would welcome talks with the US as long as they are based on “mutual respect.”

2009 March – “Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei tells anti-Israel rally that US President Obama is following the “same misguided track” in Middle East as President Bush.”

2009 April – “An Iranian court finds Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi guilty of spying for the US. She is sentenced to eight years in prison.”

2009 May – “Iran rejects a US state department report saying it remains the “most active state sponsor of terrorism” in the world.”

“Jailed Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi is freed and returns to US.”

IRANIAN MOSQUE
IRANIAN MOSQUE

Election protests

2009 June – “Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is declared to have won a resounding victory in the 12 June presidential election. The rival candidates challenge the result, alleging vote-rigging. Their supporters take to the streets, and at least 30 people are killed and more than 1,000 arrested in the wave of protests that follow.”

“The Iranian authorities claim foreign interference is stoking the unrest, and single out Britain for criticism.”

2009 July – “President Ahmadinejad dismisses his most senior vice-president, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie, under pressure to do so by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.”

2009 August – “Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sworn in for second term as president, presents cabinet – the first since the founding of the Islamic Republic in 1979 to include women.”

“A number of senior opposition figures are accused of conspiring with foreign powers to organise unrest and are put on trial.”

“Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says there is no proof that opposition leaders blamed for the post-election unrest were agents of foreign powers.”

DIZIN, IRAN
DIZIN, IRAN

Missile tests

2009 September – “Iran admits that it is building a uranium enrichment plant near Qom, but insists it is for peaceful purposes.”

“The country test-fires a series of medium- and longer-range missiles that put Israel and US bases in the Gulf within potential striking range.”

2009 October – “Five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany offer Iran proposal to enrich its uranium abroad.”

2009 November – “Iran refuses to accept the international proposal to end the dispute over its nuclear programme. UN nuclear watchdog IAEA passes a resolution condemning Iran for developing a second uranium enrichment site in secret.”

“Iran denounces the move as “political” and announces plans to create 10 more uranium enrichment facilities.”

2009 December – “Death of influential dissident cleric Grand Ayatollah Hoseyn Ali Montazeri triggers further clashes between opposition supporters and security forces. At least 8 people die in what is the worst violence since the contested presidential election.”

Iranian Protests
Iranian Protests

2010 January – “Iran executes two men arrested during the period of unrest that followed the disputed presidential election of June 2009. It also puts 16 people on trial over the Ashura Day opposition protests in December, when eight people were killed.”

“Iranian physics professor Masoud Ali-Mohammadi is killed in a bomb attack in Tehran. No group claims responsibility. The government accuses the US and Israel of his death, while Iranian opposition groups say Mr Mohammadi supported one of their candidates in last year’s presidential election.”

2010 February – “Iran says it is ready to send enriched uranium abroad for further enrichment under a deal agreed with the West. The US calls on Tehran to match its words with actions.”

“Opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi says the opposition will continue its peaceful struggle against the government.”

2010 May – “Iran reaches a deal to send uranium abroad for enrichment after mediation talks with Turkey and Brazil; Western states respond with skepticism, saying the agreement will not stop Iran from continuing to enrich uranium.”

IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL PLAYERS
IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL PLAYERS

More sanctions

2010 June – “UN Security Council imposes fourth round of sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme, including tighter financial curbs and an expanded arms embargo.”

2010 July – “International outcry as a woman is sentenced to death by stoning for adultery.”

“27 killed as suicide bombers attack a Shia mosque in Zahedan near the Pakistan border.”

2010 August – “In what Tehran describes as a milestone in its drive to produce nuclear energy, engineers begin loading fuel into the Bushehr nuclear power plant.”

2010 September – “Stuxnet – a computer worm which affects industrial systems and which may have been created by a nation-state – is reportedly detected in staff computers at the Bushehr nuclear plant.”

“Sarah Shourd, a US citizen caught hiking with two friends near the Iran-Iraq border, is freed after a year in prison. The three deny they were spying.”

“US imposes unprecedented sanctions against eight senior Iranian officials for human rights violations.”

2010 October – “A former British embassy employee jailed in 2009 for espionage has his sentence commuted.”

2010 December – “Main achievement of talks in Geneva between Iran and key world powers on Iran’s nuclear programme is to agree to hold another round of talks in Istanbul in January.”

“President Ahmadinejad sacks Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, thought to be his main opponent within Iranian leadership.”

2011 January – “Nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi says Iran now possesses technology needed to make fuel plates and rods for nuclear reactors.”

2011 February – “First mass opposition demonstrations in a year amid a wave of unrest rippling across the Middle East and North Africa.”

“Iran sends two warships through Suez Canal for first time since the Islamic Revolution, in what Israel describes as an act of provocation.”

PLAYERS AT TABLE FOR IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL
PLAYERS AT TABLE FOR IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL

Leadership rift

2011 April – “Rare public row between Supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei and President Ahmadinejad over the resignation of Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi.”

2011 May – “Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation says the generating unit at the Bushehr nuclear power plant has begun operating at a low level.”

2011 August – “Two US citizens arrested on the Iran-Iraq border in 2009 are found guilty of spying and sentenced to eight years in prison.”

2011 September – “Iran announces that the Bushehr nuclear power station has been connected to the national grid.”

2011 October – “The US accuses Iran of being behind an alleged plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to Washington. Tehran rejects the charges as part of an American propaganda campaign.”

2011 November/December – “Protesters attack the British embassy in Tehran after London imposes tighter economic sanctions. Britain evacuates its diplomatic staff and expels all Iranian diplomats, but ties are not severed.”

2012 January – “US imposes sanctions on Iran’s central bank, the main clearing-house for its oil export profits. Iranian threatens to block the transport of oil through the Strait of Hormuz.”

“Iran begins enriching uranium at its undergound Fordo plant, in what the US terms a “further escalation” in the nuclear row. The European Union imposes an oil embargo on Iran over its nuclear program.”

Tehran Protests
Tehran Protests

2012 February – “International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors leave Iran after being denied access to the Parchin site, south of Tehran.”

2012 March-May – “Supporters of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei beat those of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in parliamentary polls boycotted by pro-reform groups.”

2012 May -” UN nuclear inspectors find traces of uranium enriched at 27% at Iran’s Fordo nuclear site, a day after Iran and world powers hold inconclusive talks on Iran’s nuclear programme in Baghdad.”

2012 June – “US exempts seven major customers – India, South Korea, Malaysia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Turkey – from economic sanctions in return for their cutting imports of Iranian oil.”

iran-deal-cartoon-luckovich

EU boycotts Iranian oil

2012 July – “European Union boycott of Iranian oil exports comes into effect.”

2012 September – “International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) quarterly report says Iran doubles production capacity at Fordo nuclear site and  hampered IAEA ability to inspect Parchin military site.”

“Canada breaks off diplomatic relations over Iran’s nuclear program and support for the Assad government in Syria.”

2012 October – “Iran’s rial currency falls to a new record low against the US dollar, having lost about losing 80% of its value since 2011 because of international sanctions. Riot police attack about 100 currency traders outside the Central Bank.”

“EU countries announce further sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme, focusing on banks, trade and crucial gas imports.”

2012 November – “Leaked IAEA report says Iran is ready to double output at the Fordo underground uranium enrichment facility.”

2013 January – “Iran tells IAEA it plans to upgrade uranium enrichment centrifuges at its Natanz plant, allowing it to refine uranium at a faster rate.”

“Iran arrests 11 journalists accused of co-operating with foreign Persian-language media organisations as part of a clampdown against the BBC and Voice of America in particular.”

2013 April – “Iran says it has begun operations at two uranium mines and a uranium ore-processing plant, furthering its capacity to produce nuclear material.”

US SRCRETARY OF STATE, JOHN KERRY AND IRAN'S PRESIDENT HASSAN ROUHANI
US SRCRETARY OF STATE, JOHN KERRY AND IRAN’S PRESIDENT HASSAN ROUHANI

Rouhani becomes president

2013 June -“Reformist-backed cleric Hassan Rouhani wins presidential election, gaining just over 50% of the vote.”

2013 September – “President Rouhani tells US broadcaster NBC that Iran will never build nuclear weapons, and repeats offer of “time-bound and results-oriented” talks on the nuclear question in his address to the UN General Assembly.”

2013 November – “Iran agrees to curb uranium enrichment above 5% and give UN inspectors better access in return for about $7bn in sanctions relief at talks with the P5+1 group – US, Britain, Russia, China, France and Germany – in Geneva.”

2014 January – “World powers and Iran begin implementing a deal on Iran’s nuclear program following intense talks in Geneva.”

2014 April – “The International Atomic Energy Agency says Iran has neutralised half of its higher-enriched uranium stockpile, as per a deal agreed earlier in the year.”

“The US refuses to issue a visa to Hamid Aboutalebi, Iran’s nominee for ambassador to the United Nations, over his involvement in the seizure of the US embassy in Tehran in 1979.”

IRAN'S CULTURAL CENTER
IRAN’S CULTURAL CENTER

Iraq crisis

2014 June – “President Rouhani says Iran is ready to assist the Iraqi government in its battle against extremist Sunni insurgents, amid reports that Iranian Revolutionary Guards are in Iraq providing military training and advice.”

“The UK says it plans to re-open the British embassy in Tehran. Full diplomatic relations with Iran were suspended after attacks on the embassy in 2011.”

2014 July – “The sixth and final round of nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 group begin in Vienna.”

2014 August – “Iran says it has shot down an Israeli drone near the Natanz uranium enrichment site.”

“Parliament dismisses pro-reform Science Minister Reza Faraji-Dana for allegedly supporting students and lecturers involved in the 2009-2010 election protests.”

2014 November – “Russia agrees to build up to eight nuclear reactors in Iran, in move that might ease Iranian demands to have own uranium enrichment.”

“Vienna negotiations on Iran’s nuclear programme fail to finalise preliminary deal signed in Geneva in November 2013. The two sides express confidence that remaining sticking points can be resolved, and agree a seven-month extension to the talks.”

Nuclear deal

2015 July – “After years of negotiations, world powers reach deal with Iran on limiting Iranian nuclear activity in return for lifting of international economic sanctions. The deal reportedly gives UN nuclear inspectors extensive but not automatic access to Iranian sites.”

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