⟶ Updated 9 months ago ⟶
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Pro-reform candidates and allies of President Khatami win 189 of the 290 seats in parliament, setting the stage for reformers to control the legislature for the first time since the 1979 Islamic revolution. Conservatives win 54 seats, independents 42 and another five seats are reserved for religious minorities.
President Khatami wins reelection.
In his January State of the Union speech, American President George W. Bush refers to Iran as part of an “axis of evil,” saying the country is actively pursuing weapons of mass destruction. The speech is met with anger in Iran. Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi responds by calling President Bush’s comments “arrogant” and saying Iran sees them as “interference in its internal affairs.”
The International Atomic Energy Agency says Iran admits to plutonium production, but the agency says there is no evidence that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. Iran agrees to more rigorous U.N. inspections of nuclear facilities.
Conservatives reclaim control of Iran’s parliament after controversial elections that were boycotted by reformists. Iran’s government says it will consider re-starting its nuclear program.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the hardline Islamic mayor of Tehran, who campaigned as a champion of the poor and pledged to return to the values of the revolution of 1979, defeats one of Iran’s elder statesmen in presidential elections.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sends a letter to President Bush calling for ways to ease tensions over Iran’s nuclear program, but continues to defy U.N. deadlines to halt uranium enrichment activities. Ahmadinejad insists the nuclear program is for civilian energy purposes only.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visits the United States, and accuses Israel of occupation and racism during a speech to the U.N. General Assembly.
The International Atomic Energy Agency releases a report saying Iran’s suspected research into the development of nuclear weapons remained “a matter of serious concern.” European Union nations agree to impose new sanctions against Iran.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is declared the landslide victor in presidential elections, sparking protests by supporters of candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, who unsuccessfully appealed the results to Iran’s Guardian Council.
(Ali) Mohammad Khatami-Ardakani is elected to the presidency in a landslide victory amidst his pledges of political and social reforms as well as economic revitalization.
The shah flees Iran amid intensifying unrest.
Islamic nationalist Ayatollah Khomeini returns from France, where he was exiled for his opposition to the shah’s regime. He encourages the brewing revolution.
Iran and the United States sever diplomatic ties over the hostage crisis, and the U.S. Embassy becomes a training ground for the Revolutionary Guards Corps.
The shah dies in exile in Egypt.
Following negotiations mediated by Algeria, the U.S. hostages are released after 444 days of captivity.
The United States covertly seeks to sell arms to Iran in exchange for the release of seven American hostages being held by Iranian-backed militants in Lebanon, prompting the Iran-Contra scandal.
Rafsanjani wins reelection.
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