See also Islam
and Middle East
See also Judaism
8.0, Iran-West nuclear deal, abrogated by
US President Trump, 2013-18
7.0, Iran nuclear crisis, 2007-12
6.0, Conservatives gain power, 2000-05
5.0, Salman Rushdie affair, 1988-98
4.0, Death of Ayatollah Khomeini, 1989
3.0, US Hostage Crisis 1979-81
2.0, Fall of the Shah of Iran 1977-79
1.0, Mossadeq, Iranian Oil Crisis 1951-54
0.0, World War Two
-1.0, Modernisation of Iran, 1925-35
-2.0, Beginning of the Iranian Oil Industry,
-3.0, Shah Muzaffar ed Din; Russia and UK
compete for influence over Persia, 1853-1907
-4.0, Persian weakness; invasions by Afghan
and Russian forces, 1719-25
-5.0, Shah Abbas I, 1587-1629
-6.0, Shah Tahmasp I, 1524-76
8/1/2020, An airliner with 176 people on board crashed with
no survivors shortly after taking off from Tehran on a flight to Ukraine. The
plane blew up in mid-air, sparking speculation that it had been hit by a
missile. The incident, early in the morning whilst still dark, coincided with a
limited Iranian missile strike against US bases in Iraq, in a low-key revenge
attack for the assassination of Qassem Soleimani on 3/1/2020.
3/1/2020, Early this morning, a US drone strike on Baghdad
Airport killed Qassem
Soleimani, head of the Iranian Al Quds air force, along with three
other senior Iranian officials.
19/7/2019, Iran seized a British-owned tanker in the Persian
Gulf. A second vessel was also arrested, but the captain was �warned� and then
allowed on his way. This followed the seizure of an Iranian tanker at
Gibraltar, allegedly taking oil to Syria in defiance of EU sanctions. Iran
alleged that the British tanker had entered the Gulf the wrong way, collided
with a fishing boat, and then ignored its distress signal.
nuclear deal, abrogated by US President Trump, 2013-18
6/8/2018, US President
Trump signed an executive order imposing sanctions on Iran, and
cancelling the nuclear deal that had been signed in 2015.
8/5/2018, President Trump
of the US unilaterally pulled out of the Iran Nuclear Deal, arranged
by his predecessor President Obama, under which Iran received
financial aid in return for curbing its nuclear missiles programme.
28/12/2017, Several days
of protest began in Tehran in anti-government protests, angered by a
and Iran re-opened their embassies in each other�s capitals. This followed a
nuclear agreement between Iran and the USA organised by US President Obama (but not yet ratified by US
14/7/2015, Iran and the
West reached a nuclear deal. Tehran agreed to limit its nuclear activirty in
return for the lifting of Western sanctins against ot.
2013, Hassan Rouhani, a moderate, won the Iranian
24/11/2013, Iran and the
US reached a deal on Iran�s nuclear programme and sanctions on Iran.
7.0, Iran nuclear crisis, 2007-12
7/9/2012, Canada cut
diplomatic ties with Iran, over Iran�s support for Syrian Government nuclear
plans and human rights abuses.
9/2/2012, Iran suspended
oil exports to Britain and France in retaliation for sanctions imposed by
the EU in January 2012.
23/1/2012, The EU imposed
sanctions on Iran because of continued Iranian enrichment of uranium.
2009, Iran admitted building a uranium enrichment plant
but said it was �for peaceful purposes�. The country also test-fired missiles
that could reach Israel and US bases in the Gulf.
2007, The Iran nuclear crisis continued, with Iran
decalring it had begun full-scale nuclear fuel production.
11/4/2006, Iran�s President, Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad, announced that his country has �joined the club of
gain power, 2000-05
26/10/2005, The Iranian
Ahmadinejab, called for Israel to be �wiped off the map� at a �World
without Zionism� conference in Tehran.
2005, The ultra-conservative Mayor of Tehran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejab, won the
Iranian Presidential elections.
Iranian elections, Conservative candidates won 149 seats in the Parliament
compared to just� 65 for the Reformists.
The senior constitutional bodies, the Council of Guardians, had banned most
reformists from standing.
measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale hit Bam, SE Iran. Over 25,000 killed and
7/11/2002, Iran banned advertising of American products.
18/2/2000, In elections to
the Majlis (Parliament) in Iran, reformers won a landslide victory. However
Conservative clerics refused to yield power.
7/7/1999, In Tehran, university students demanded liberal reforms. This led to
rioting as Islamist vigilantes, the Ansar-e-Hizbollah, attacked the campus,
killing 8. Pro-democracy protestors marched in Tehran on 12/7/1999.
23/5/1997, In Iran, Hojjat al-Islam Seyyed Khatami
was elected President. He won a landslide victory gaining 22 million out of 30
earthquake near Ardekul, north east Iran, killed over 2,400 people.
In elections to the Majlis, conservative candidates lost ground to more liberal
The USA imposed sanctions on Iran over its alleged support for international
11/6/1993, Ali Akbar Rafsanjani, Reformist,
was re-elected for a second term as President of Iran.
10/4/1993, Iran said income from tourism rose by 50% over the past year.
Rushdie affair, 1988-98
Tehran lifted the fatwa imposed on author Salman Rushdie for his book The Satanic Verses.
14/2/1993, Iran again called on Britain to hand over Salman Rushdie,
sentenced to death by Ayatollah Khomeini
on 14/2/1989 for his book The Satanic Verses.
2/11/1992, Iran increased the reward for killing Salman Rushdie.
27/9/1990, Britain resumed diplomatic relations with
Iran, which had been suspended over the Rushdie affair.
12/9/1990, In Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei
denounced the presence of US troops in Saudi Arabia. He called the struggle
against the US a �holy war�.
5/6/1990, Iran demanded that Britain hand over Salman Rushdie
to British Muslims.
14/2/1989, Ayatollah Khomeini issued a �fatwa�
ordering Muslims to kill Salman Rushdie.
had published the �Satanic Verses�
which angered Muslims worldwide. On 7/3/1989 Iran severed relations with the
12/2/1989, 12 people died in riots in Pakistan over Salman
Rushdie�s �Satanic Verses�.
14/1/1989, British Muslims held public burnings of Salman
Rushdie�s The Satanic Verses.
8/11/1988, Salman Rushdie won the Whitbread Prize for his
book, The Satanic Verses.
21/6/1990, Earthquake hit Iran, 7.7 on the Richter scale,
destroyed towns across 100 square miles of Gilan Province, NW Iran. Over 40,000
died and 100,000 were injured.
28/7/1989, In Iran, Rafsajani became the new
4.0, Death of Ayatollah Khomeini, 1989
There was hysteria at the funeral of Ayatollah Khomenei
Ali Khamenei was appointed Supreme Leader of
3/6/1989, Death of the Ayatollah Khomeini, religious leader of Iran.
Born in 1900, Khomeini
attended several Islamic schools before moving to the city of Soq in 1922 where
he became a Shiite scholar. Khomeini�s spite against Western influences
and his advocacy of Islamic purity won him many followers and in the 1950s he
was acclaimed as an Ayatollah, or major religious leader. Thrown out of Iran in
1964 he continued his fight against the Shah in exile. In 1979 his influence
caused massive riots in Tehran, forcing the departure of the Shah. Unpopular in
the West, Khomeini is mainly remembered for reinstating Islamic punishments and
for a long and exhausting war with Iraq.
3/7/1988, The US cruiser Vincennes mistakenly shot down an
Iranian airliner, killing 286 people on a flight from Bandar Abbas to Dubai.
The US believed the aircraft was a fighter plane.
18/4/1988, The USA retaliated against Iran for its mining of the
Gulf. After warning the Iranians to evacuate, US warships destroyed Iranian oil
platforms at Sirri and Sisan. Iranian boats fired back and were sunk by the US.
21/9/1987, The US seized
an Iranian ship in the Gulf.
was re-elected President.
4/3/1984, The speaker of the Iranian Parliament claimed that
400 Iranian soldiers had been killed by Iraqi chemical weapons.
See Iraq for Iran - Iraq War 1980-88
29/10/1981, Hosein Musavi became Prime Minister of Iran.
2/10/1981, Hojatoleslam Ali Khameini was elected
President of Iran.
11/9/1981, In Tehran, a grenade killed one of Khomeini�s aides, Ayatollah Madani.
30/8/1981, In Tehran, a bomb attack killed President Ali
Rajai, Prime Minister Hojatolislam Bahonar, and Colonel
24/7/1981, Muhammad Ali Rajai was elected President of
28/6/1981. In Tehran, a bomb attack killed Ayatollah
Beheshti, the Chief Justice and Head of the Islamic Republican
Party, also four other Government Ministers.
3.0, US Hostage
29/6/1981, Iranian President Abolhassan Bani-Sadr left Iran
for France after being denounced by Ayatollah Khomeini, because he opposed the taking
of US hostages.
21/1/1981. The US hostages in Iran were released. 50 men and 2
women were flown out of Iran after 444 days in captivity.� The US had agreed to freeze the assets of the
deposed Shah, end trade sanctions, and unfreeze Iranian assets in the USA.� The hostages were flown to Algiers, then to Wiesbaden,
to be greeted by Ex-President Carter. Ths hostage crisis began when the US
allowed the ailing Shah of Iran to enter for medical treatment.
31/10/1980, The eldest son of the late Shah of Iran, Mohammed Reza
Shah, proclaimed himself as the rightful heir to the Peacock Throne.
See Iraq for more
events of Iran-Iraq War
invaded Iran, making initial territorial gains. But by 1981 these were lost and
Iran occupied some border areas of Iraq. The Iranians could not capture
Baghdad or Basra, despite sending 250,000 men into battle. Iraq probably
responded with poison gas. In 1984 the action switched to the Persian Gulf.
Iraq attacked ships visiting Iranian ports, probably hoping for an Iranian
blockade of Iraqi oil exports, which would have angered the West. Iran attacked
ships serving Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, to deter them from supporting Iraq. Iran
suffered more, as its tanker oil revenues plummeted. By March 1988 Iranian gains in Iraq had been recaptured and the border
was virtually unchanged; Iran then agreed to a ceasefire.
22/9/1980. Iraqi aircraft attacked Iranian bases after
some weeks of fighting on the Iran-Iraq border. Iraqi troops also entered
Iranian territory.� This was the beginning of the Gulf War; Iraq wanted total control of the Shatt-El-Arab
waterway, for oil exports, but Iran claimed their mutual border ran down the
middle of this waterway.
26/7/1980. The deposed Shah of Iran died in a Cairo hospital after a long battle with
cancer, aged 60.
11//6/1980. A hostage from the US Embassy in Tehran, Richard Queen,
was released due to illness.
5/5/1980. The Iranian Embassy in London was stormed by the SAS to rescue
30/4/1980. In London, 6 armed men took over the Iranian Embassy, taking 25 people
hostage. They threatened to blow up the embassy if 91 prisoners in Iran were
not released. On 5/5/1980 a Special Air Service (SAS) team stormed the embassy,
rescuing the hostages. 4 terrorists died, another died later, and one was
24/4/1980. The US attempt to rescue the hostages held
in Iran, Operation Eagle Claw, ended in fiasco. President
Carter had to make a statement to the world.� 90 commandos had taken off under cover of
darkness from Pakistan with 8 Sikorsky helicopters and 6 Hercules transport
planes. Three helicopters suffered mechanical failure in the desert dust of
eastern Iran. The mission was abandoned but on taking off again from the desert
8 American servicemen died when another US helicopter collided with one of the
Hercules planes. The burnt out planes and the bodies of the soldiers were
abandoned where they fell. The Iranians were jubilant, and the Ayatollah
Khalkhali displayed and mutilated the bodies at a macabre press
conference in the Embassy.
7/4/1980, The US severed diplomatic relations
with Iran and imposed economic sanctions, as the hostage crisis, which began on
8/3/1980. President Jimmy
Carter refused to apologise for past US actions in Iran in return for the release of 53 hostages. See 4/11/1979. On 7/4/1980
the US severed relations with Iran.
4/2/1980, Iran elected
its first post-Revolution president, Abolhassan Bani-Sadr.
2/12/1979, Iran adopted a new Islamic
warned that if the US attacked Iran the hostages would be killed.
ordered the release of 13 female and Black hostages being held at the US
Embassy in Tehran.
However the remaining 53 were to stand trial for espionage.
14/11/1979, Iranian assets in the USA were frozen.
4/11/1979. Iranian demonstrators, and 100
Revolutionary Guards, seized the American
Embassy in Tehran, beginning a hostage crisis. 90 personnel, 63 of them Americans, were taken
hostage as the return of the Shah for trial was demanded, see 8/3/1980. On
22/10/1979 the Shah had entered the US
for hospital treatment and Iranian students wanted him extradited to Iran. On 12/11/1979
the US stopped all oil
imports from Iran.
On 14/11/1979 President Jimmy Carter ordered all Iranian assets within
2.0, Fall of the
Shah of Iran 1977-79
22/10/1979, The deposed Shah of Iran, Reza Pahlavi,
went to the USA for medical treatment, see 4/11/1979.
23/8/1979. In Iran, troops
clashed with Kurdish rebels.
23/7/1979, In Iran,
Khomeini banned the broadcasting of
13/5/1979. The Chief of the Central Islamic Revolutionary Court said
that anyone who killed the Shah of Iran or his family or aides (all of whom had
fled abroad) would be acting on the orders of his court. On 18/5/1979 an
Iranian newspaper offered a free trip to Mecca for anyone who killed the exiled
7/5/1979. Tehran lowered the minimum age of marriage
to 13 for boys and 15 for girls.
voted by a 98% majority to make their country an Islamic Republic; the Shah
was officially deposed.
8/3/1979, Women in Tehran demonstrated against
of former regime members
16/2/1979, The new government of Iran carried out its first
executions of members of the Shah's regime.
15/2/1979. In Iran, 4 Iranian army generals were executed by firing
squad; two members of the Shah�s government were executed the following day.
11/2/1979, In Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini set up a
10/2/1979, The Iranian Army mutinied against its
leader and joined the Iranian Revolution. Khomeini
now also controlled the law courts and government administration.
3/2/1979, Khomeini created the Council of the Iranian
1/2/1979. Ayatollah Khomeini
returned to Iran after 14 year�s exile in France, at the invitation of Bakhtiar.
16/1/1979. The Shah of Iran and
Empress Farah fled to Egypt
following months of riots.
The Shah of Iran appointed Dr Shakpur Bakhtiar as Prime Minister, in a
concession to popular discontent.
Iranian Prime Minister General Azhari
resigned. He had been appointed to halt the Islamist protests on the streets of
Iran, but despite the use of the army, police and secret police he had not
achieved this. Demonstrators continued to call for the Shah tp be deposed, and
for the return of Ayatollah Khomeini from exile.
In Tehran, demonstrators tried to attack the US Embassy.
16/12/1978. Civil war loomed in Iran as the Shah
refused to abdicate.
10/12/1978. In Iran,
marched in protest against the Shah.
28/11/1978, The Iranian Government banned religious
6/11/1978, As disorder increased in Iran, a military
government was appointed.
5/11/1978. Fierce fighting
in Tehran; the Prime Minister, Sharif-Emami, resigned. The British Embassy in
31/10/1978. Iranian oil-workers� strike halved production.
8/9/1978. In Iran, the Shah
imposed martial law in an attempt to quell growing
discontent; 122 died and 4,000 were wounded.. This followed demonstrations
against the Shah in which 58 died.�
General Gholam Ali Oveissi was appointed military governor of
Tehran. Reviled as the �butcher of Tehran� after his brutal response to riots
in 1963, he continued in that pattern. His security forces met a peaceful
demonstration in Jaleh Square with a hail of bullets, an incident known as
27/8/1978, The new Iranian Government of Sharif-Emami lifted the ban on
Muslims in Abadan, Iran set fire to a cinema, killing nearly 400 people.
15/5/1978 �Iranian students
rioted in Tabriz; troops were called in to quell the disturbances.
11/5/1978. Rioting in Tehran
as Muslims called for the removal of the Shah.
10/5/1978, Fundamentalist Islamic riots in Qom, Iran. 10 people killed.
7/1/1978, Riots erupted in the Iranian
city of Qom after a
government controlled newspaper made crude accusations against Khomeini, alleging that he had spied for the
British and written erotic poetry.
1977, Khomenei�s son died.
Subsequently, anti-Shah demonstrations
broke out during the period of mourning.
19/11/1977, Iranian police broke up a peaceful middle class and student
protest at Ayramehr University, where intellectuals had begun to challenge the
rule of the Shah
through letter writing, pamphlets and poetry readings. Students then protested
on the streets, where they were met by the Savak security forces.
1975, The Shah of Iran and Saddam Hussein
of Iraq concluded the Algiers Agreement.
Under its terms, Iraq
ceded ceded border areas north of the Shatt el Arab to Iran, and agreed that
the Iran-Iraq border should run down the middle of this waterway, not along the
Iranian low-water mark on the north. In return Iran ceased military assistance
to the Kurdish rebeks in northern Iraq. Saddam Hussein�s subsequent abrogation of this
Agreement effectively started the Iran-Iraq War (1980-88).
30/11/1971, Iran occupied the Tunbs islands in the Persian Gulf, one
day before the British
Protectorate over them expired. Iraq severed diplomatic relations with the UK
and Iran, alleging collusion.
31/8/1968. A major
earthquake in Iran killed over
26/10/1967. The Shah of Iran
and his wife were crowned in Tehran.
21/1/1965, Hassan Ali Mansur, 41-year old Prime Minister
of Iran, was fatally shot as he stepped out of his limousine to walk into the
parliament building in Tehran. Mohammed Bokhara'i, a 19-year-old student,
fired five shots and struck Mansur twice; he was a member of the Islamic
radical group Fada'iyan-e Islam, affiliated with Muslim clerics close to the
exiled Ayatollah Khomeini.
27/10/1964, In Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini
delivered a speech attacking the extent of US involvement in Iran, saying that
Iran was virtually a �colony of America�. Following this he was deported and took up
residence in the Shiite city of Najaf, Iraq.
1963, The Shah of Iran launched
the �White Revolution� a programme of land reform and economic modernisation.
Opposition was suppressed.
18/8/1962, Brothers Ahmad and Mahmaoud Khayami founded Iran� National to manufacture cars in Iran.
9/5/1961, Ali Amini, the new Prime Minister of Iran,
dissolved Parliament and banned political meetings.
Shah of Iran announced
on TV that he was divorcing his wife of seven years, Queen
Soraya, because she had not given him an
heir. She moved to Paris and became an actress.
1957, The Shah established the Savak,
a secret police force to control the opposition.
Trans-Iranian oil pipeline, from Abadan to Tehran, was completed.
28/10/1956, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran, was
24/2/1955, Turkey and Iraq signed the Baghdad Pact. This was an alliance
of mutual support against Communist activity within their borders or as an
external threat. Iran joined later in 1955.
Iranian Oil Crisis 1951-54
5/8/1954, In Iran,
an solution to the Abadan Crisis was announced. Iran retained
ownership of its oil but sgreed to sell only to a consortium of eight
international oil companies, and Iran and these eight companies shared the oil
profits. This Agreement �was signed by
the Shah on 29/10/1954.
21/12/1953, In Iran, Dr Muhammad Mossadeq
was sentenced to three years in prison. Iran was now a staunch ally of the USA.
22/8/1953, The Shah of Iran
returned to the throne, in a coup backed
by the UK and USA. Mossadegh was jailed as he
was now losing favour within Iran, as Western oil sanctions bit, causing
general poverty. The Shaw, compliant with the West, now organised a suitable
division of Iranian oil rveenues; 40% to the British, 40% to the USA, 6% to the
French and 14% to the Dutch.
The Shah of Iran fled the country as Mossadeq gained support.
22/10/1952, Iran broke off diplomatic relations with Britain.
22/7/1952, After riots in
Tehran, Dr Muhammad Mossadeq was reappointed Prime
Minister with emergency powers for 6 months.
7/1952, �Mossadegh demanded control of the
Iranian armed forces; the Shah resisted this. There were major riots in Mossadegh�s
favour, alarming the Royalists who thought this signified that Iran was about
to become a Republic under Mossadegh.
4/10/1951, The Anglo-Iranian Oil Company removed its
personnel from Abadan for safety reasons.
27/9/1951, Iranian troops occupied
23/8/1951, British oil companies and workers prepared to leave
5/7/1951, The International Court of Justice ruled against
Iran (see 26/5/1951). US President Truman called for a compromise.
appealed to the International Court of Justice over the Iranian nationalisation
of the oil industry. On 5/7/1951 the Court ruled in Britain�s favour.
19/5/1951, Britain warned Iran against seizing British oil assets
there, 8 Britons died in riots there in April 1951.
30/4/1951. The day
after Mohammed Mossadeq took
office as Iran�s Prime Minister, Iran announced it was nationalising the Anglo-Iranian oil company,
set up in 1901 and covering oil concessions of some 480,000 square miles
(nationalisation took effect on 2/5/1951). In 1911 a pipeline was built to Abadan
which has since grown as a major oil-refining city. This area was vital from 1914 for fuel supplies to the British Army.This nationalisation violated the 1933 Oil
Britain protested strongly at the nationalisation but evacuated the
refineries on 3/10/1951.
28/4/1951, After a fortnight of rioting in Abadan,
the Iranian Government appointed Dr Muhammed Mossadeq as
7/3/1951, In Iran the Prime Minister, General Ali Razmara, was
assassinated by a militant nationalist.
28/1/1951, The Shah of
Iran ordered his Crown land to be sold to the farmers who lived and worked on
it. Ownership of some 2,000 small villages was turned over to its
residents. However large landowners resisted the move in the Iranian Majlis
(Parliament), fearing for the integrity of their own estates. The Shah
persisted with his policy and by 1958 over 500,000 acres of land had been shared out amongst
25,000 farmers, according to a law enacted in 1955. This law fixed the maximum landholding
allowed at 25 acres of irrgated land and 37 acres of non-irrigated land. The
Shah also began to redistribute large landholdings owned by the Iranian Government,
separate from the Crown. In 1959 the Shah attempted to enact a law forcing large private
landowners to sell to the Government, which would then redistribute this land
to small farmers on easy terms; the landowners blocked this measure in the
Majlis. By the early 1960s the Shah managed to get some of this private land
redistributed, in the so-called White
19/6/1947, Salman Rushdie was born.
25/4/1946, The USSR agreed
to withdraw its troops from Iran.
16/11/1945, The Communist
Azerbaijani Democratic Party began an uprising in Iran�s Azerbaijan Province.
0.0, World War Two � for
full chronology see France-Germany
15/12/1945. Iranian Azerbaijan declared itself an
independent republic, following a Communist-led revolt there against Tehran in November 1945.
On 11/12/1946 Iranian troops re-conquered the province.
16/9/1941. The Shah of Iran, Reza Khan Pahlavi, abdicated,
under pressure from the UK and USSR. His son, Reza Pahlavi, took over.
27/8/1941, Mohammad Ali Foroughi became Prime Minister of
Iran for the third time.
8/7/1937, Iraq, Turkey, Iran,
and Afghanistan signed a non-aggression
pact in Tehran.
-1.0, Modernisation of Iran,
Persia officially changed its name to Iran.
27/12/1934. In Tehran, the government declared that
�Persia� would now be known as Iran.
1933, British oil interests in
iran were protected by the 1933 Oil Convention,
but see 30/4/1951.
1928, Reza Khan passed the Uniformity
of Dress law, requiring all men to wear Western clothes, except the ulema, who could continue to wear their
cloaks and turbans, so long as they passed an examination, and also, later,
forbidding women to wear the Muslim veil Soldiers would rip the veil off any
women found wearing one and destroy it.
8/3/1927 Archaeologists discovered a 5,000-year-old
manicure kit in Iran.
18/2/1926, An Anglo-Persian oil treaty was signed,
giving another 25-year oil exploration contract to the Anglo-Persian Oil
13/12/1925, Reza Khan
was proclaimed Shah of Iran. This established the Pahlavi Dynasty. He started a
programme� of westernisation, but this made him increasingly reliant on Germany
31/10/1925, Persian Majles deposed the Shah, Sultan Ahmad.
21/2/1921, Reza Khan (born 1878,of the Pahlevan clan), an
officer in the Iranian Army who had risen from the rank of Private to General,
occupied Tehran with 1,200 men. Iran was in chaos after the ravages of World
War One and its ruler Ahmad Shah, the last of the Qajar dynasty, was
young and incompetent,and the cabinet was weak and corrupt. Subsequently known
as Reza Shah
Pahlavi, he modernised the country, organised its transport links,
and retook control of Iran�s finances from foreign investors. His foreign
policy was to play the principal foreign powers in the region, the Soviet Union
and Britain, off against each other. This policy failed when Britain and Russia
became allies in World War Two in 1941. Britain and Russia jointly occupied
Iran in August 1941 so the Soviet war effort could be supplied. Reza Shah
then abdicated so his son, Mohammed Reza Shah, could adapt Iranian
foreign policy to the new situation, and continue the dynasty. Reza Shah
died in Johannesburg, South Africa, in June 1944.
1920, Tudeh, the Communist Party
of Iran, was founded. Bolshevik forces invaded the Caspian province of Gilan,
hoping for a pro-Soviet revolution. Other regions, including Khurasan,
Azerbaijan and Kurdistan, rebelled against central control. However in 1921 Reza Khan
seized power and signed a treatybwoth Russia, allowing for the withdrawal of
Bolshevik forces. By 1922 the four rebel provinces were back in Iranian
26/10/1919. Shah of
Reza Pahlavi, was born.
9/8/1919, Britain guaranteed to preserve the integrity of
7/8/1916. Iran formed an alliance with Britain and Russia.
For main European events of World War One see France-Germany
of the Iranian Oil Industry, 1908-09
1909, The Anglo-Persian Oil Company established a pipeline
terminus on the island of Abadan.
16/7/1909, Ali Kuh Khan,
leader of the Bakhtari tribe, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bakhtiari_people
deposed Ali Shah, the Shah of Persia.
The Russian Army then invaded northern Persia, occupying the city of Tabriz,
ostensibly on behalf of the deposed Shah. They antagonised the Bakhtari. Ali Kuh Khan
replaced the Shah with his son, 12-year-old Ahmad.
23/6/1908, Mohammed Ali
Shah of Persia mounted a successful coup with the help of the
Cossack brigade; he then imposed martial law in Tehran.
26/5/1908. Significant oil fields were found in Persia (Iran), the first oil
strike in the Middle East.
24/9/1911, William Morgan Shuster, an American serving as
Persia�s Treasurer-Generral and financial advisor, was dismissed after Russian
demands to oust him. The Persian National Assmebly (Majlis) had originally
resisted Russian presuure for this move, but a coup in Tehran this day suspended
the Majlis and Shuster
10/4/1909. British forces
landed at Tabriz, Iran, as famine
caused fears of unrest.
Shah of Persia survived an assassination attempt.
The new Shah of Persia attempted to depose the new liberal Chief Minister.
However, popular protests forced him to reverse this move.
-3.0, Shah Muzaffar ed Din;
Russia and UK compete for influence over Persia, 1853-1907
Persian Shah Muzaffar ud-Din died
aged 54 after a weak reign of 11 years. He was succeeded by his 35-year-old son
who reigned until 1909 as Mohammed Ali.
7/10/1906, The Shah opened the Persian Assembly.
15/5/1903, British Foreign Secretary Lord Lansdowne
announced that Britain would strongly resist the establishment of any fortified
base by another power on the Persian Gulf. This was aimed at countering
expansionist plans by Russia.
13/11/1902, Persia agreed preferential trade terms
favouring Russia, and discriminating against British goods.
18/8/1902, The Shah of Persia arrived in London on a
1901, The Shah of Persia granted
concessions over 1.2 million square kilometres to oil prospector William Knox
D�Arcy. These concessions were transferred to the Anglo-Persian Oil Company in 1909.
8/6/1896, Muzaffar ed Din was crowned Shah of Persia.
1/11/1856, Britain declared war on Persia, after
Persia invaded Afghanistan to try and recover Herat. In 1/1857 Britain seized
the port of Bushehr, and Persia sued for peace in 3/1857. Britain made no
demands on Persia except that it withdraw from all Afghan territory.
25/3/1853, Muzaffar ed Din, Shah of Persia from 8/6/1896,
was born (died 8/1/1907).
1/5/1896, Nasr-ed-Din, Shah of Persia, was
assassinated, aged 65. He was succeeded by his 43-year-old son, Muzaffar-ed-Din.
19/7/1849, Sayid Ali Mohammed, founder of the Bahai
religion, was executed in Persia by order of the Shah.
13/10/1848, Persia�s Kajar Shah Mohammed Ali died aged 38, after a
13-year reign during which he has nearly bankrupted the country and almost
precipitated a revolution. He was succeeded by his 17-year-old son, Nasr-ed-Din,
who reigned until 1896. He was assisted, until 1852, by the capable Finance
18/7/1823, The Treaty
of Erzerum was signed, between the Sultan of Ottoman Turkey and the Qajar
Shah of Persia; this Treaty defined their common frontier in lower Iraq.
However the two powers continued to dispute possession of the town of
Muhammara, at the mouth of the Karun River, a disagreement dating from 1812. In
1847 a second Treaty of Erzerum was signed, giving Muhammara to Persia.
12/11/1817, Baha�u�llah, founder of the Bahai faith, was born.
24/10/1813, The Treaty of Gulistan was signed between
Persia and Russia. Persia ceded territory to Russia, and recognised Russia as
having sole right of navigation on the Caspian Sea. Russia was also granted a
say in the succession of the Qajars.
4/5/1807, The Finkenstein Treaty was signed between France and Persia. The French
agreed to military aid and advice, to assist Persia in expelling the Russians
from Georgia. In return Persia promissed to assist France in any French
invasion of British-held India.
17/6/1797, Agha Mohammad
Khan, Shah of Persia, was assassinated. He was succeeded by his
nephew who ruled until 1835 as Fath Ali Shah.
1787, Tehran became
the capital of Iran under the rule of Agha Mohammed Khan Qajar.
1786, Start of the Qajar
Dynasty in Iran.
1747, Nadir Shah was assassinated by one of his own
tribesmen. A period of anarchy now ensured in Persia.
1736, The Persian Safavid
Dynasty, which had endured since 1502, ended
with the death of Shah Abbas III, aged 6. The Turkish Nadir Kuli,
who had effectively ruled Persia for the past decade, now became Nadir Shah
and ruled until 1747.
1734, The Russians were compelled to return Gilan to Persia.
1731, Shah Tahmasp II of Persia died after a brief
reign. He was succeeded by his 8-month-old son, who ruled for 5 years. The end
of his reign marked the end of the Safavid
Dynasty, which had endured since 1502.
1730, Persian Shah Ashtraf was assassinated after a defeat
near Shiraz, en route to Kandahar. He was succeeded by Tahmasp II.
1725, The insane Mir Mahmud Shah was succeeded at Isfahan by Ashraf Shah,
who defeated an invading Turkish army in 1726, and ruled until his
assassination in 1730.
-4.0, Persian weakness; invasions by Afghan and
Russian forces, 1719-25. See
1725, Afghan forces captured Tehran, defeating both
Persian and Russian forces. However a new strong Persoian military leader, Nadir Khan (1688 � 1747)
emerged and pushed back the Afghans, actually reversing their independence bid
untilNadir Khan�s assassination in 1747.
Russians occupied Gilan, on the south of the Caspian Sea,
compelling Persia to cede it, along with Mazandaran and Astaarabad, by Treaty
this day. Persia was then under the rule of the insane Mir Mahmud Shah, and Turkey and
Russia planned to divide the country between them. However see 1725 and 1734.
1721, A large Ghilzai Afghan army invaded Perrsia and by 1722 had captured
Kerman and Shiraz. The Afghans then advanced on the Persian capital Isfahan and
beseiuged it for 6 months. In 10/1722 Isfahan was forced through starvation to
Russians now also planned to capitalise on the weakness of Persia.
1719, The Afghans took Bam, and were not expelled until
1801. See Afghanistan,
lost to Persia through weak Persian rule.
1694, Shah Suleiman of Persia died after a dissolute
reign of 27 years. His 19-year-old son Husein succeeded him, and ruled until 1722.
1667, Shah Abbas II died aged 35 after a weak
25-year reign. He was succeeded by his dissolute son who ruled until 1694 as Shah Suleiman.
-5.0, Shah Abbas I, 1587-1629
1629, Abbas I (The Great), Shah of Persia, born 1571, died. He became
Shah in 1588, and established a standing army, achieving greater stability in
Persia. From 1598, he recovered Azerbaijan and parts of Armenia from the
Ottoman Turks, and Khurasan from the Uzbeks. He also transferred the Persian
capital from Qazvin to Isfahan.
1623, Abbas I, Shah of Persia, captured Baghdad after a year�s
1605, Abbas I, Shah of Persia, defeated the Turks at Bassora,
thereby extending Persian rule beyond the Euphrates River.
1597, Abbas I, Shah of Persia, decisively defeated the Uzbegs at
a major battle near Herat. They had been harassing the borders of Persia.
1587, Isfahan was made the capital of |Persia.
1586, The half-blind Shah of Persia, Mohammed Khudabanda, died after
a 9-year regn, He was succeeded by his 30-year-old son who ruled for 42 years
Abbas I. Under Abbas I, Persian territory was greatly
-6.0, Shah Tahmasp I, 1524-76
1576, End of the reign of Tahmasp I.
1567, The independendent Khanate of Gilan, on the southern shores of the Caspian Sea, was
incorporated into Persia by Tahmasp I. He deposed Khan Ahmed of Gilan, ending ther
Kargia dynasty which had lasted 205 years.
23/5/1524, Shah Ismail of Persia died aged 38. He was
succeeded by his eldest son, Tahmasp I, aged 10.
23/8/1514, At the Battle
of Chaldiran, Selim I , ruler of the Shia Muslim Ottoman
Empire, defeated the Sunni Muslim Persians under Shah Ismail I. Drawing on
lessons learnt from fighting European armies, the Ottoman Army was well
disciplined and equipped with heavy cannon and musket-armed infantry. In
contrast the smaller Persian Army relied on the cavalry charge and possessed no
artillery. The Safavid capital at Tabriz was taken by the Ottoman Turks,
forcing the Persians to move their capital further east. This battle was instrumental in fixing the present day frontier between
Turkey and Iran.
1512, Shi-ism became the State religion of Persia.
1501, Accession of Shah Ismail; start of the Safavid Empire.
1145, The Friday Mosque at Isfahan was constructed.
4/12/1131, (Iran) Omar Khayyam,
Persian poet and mathematician, born 5/15/1048, died at Nishapur.
1043, End of the Ziyarid
Dynasty in Persia.
628, Death of King Chosrau II �Parviz�, Sassanid King of Persia from 588. He was the
grandson of Chosrau I. Chosrau II came close to defeating the� Byzantine Empire in 626, when his armies stood
across the Bosphorus from Constantinople itself. However Emperor Hercaclius led a
counter-attack and defeated Chosrau II at Nineveh in 627. Subsequently Chosrau II was deposed and executed by his
II. Meanwhwhile Heraclius entered Jerusalem and restored the
�True Cross� to its rightful place in 630.
619, King Chosrau II took Egypt.
609, King Chosrau II attacked the Byzantine Empire, which was severely
weakened due to wars with the Goths and other Germanic tribes, and also the
Justinian Bubonic Plague � see Roman Empire. In 614 Chosrau II captured Jerusalem, acquiring Christianity�s
most Holy relics; fragments of wood said to come from the �True Cross�, the
�Holy Lance� that had pierced Jesus� side, and the �Sacred Sponge� that had refreshed
579, Death of King Khosrau I �Anushirvan�. A Sassanid King of Persia, he ruled from 531, succeeding his father, Kavadh I.
Persia overturned Abyssian rule in Yemen.
I died. He was succeeded by Khosrau I.
recovered the throne of Persia, deposing Djamasp.
was deposed and exiled by his brother Djamasp.
became King of Persia.
became King of Persia.
a warrior of Hira (Saudi Arabia), was instrumental in Bahram I
becoming ruler of Persia.
became King of Persia.
The Persian Shah Shapur II died aged 70. He had humiliated the Romans
and conquered Armenia.
started a war against the Romans.
son of Narseh,
became Shah of Persia.
Rome took the Kingdom of Armenia
from Persia, also capturing the Persian Harem. Galerius defeated the Persians,
who were also compelled toi cede western Mesopotamia and 5 provinces on the
eastern bank. There was then peace between Persia and Rome for 40 years.
became ruler of Persia. He ruled until 303. He attempted to recover Armenia from Rome,driving out the
Romans in 297; however he was defeated by Rome.
foiunder of Manichaeism, was
crucified by the Persians.
Persia defeated another Roman army. They captured the emperor Valerian and held
him in a cage for a year, before killing him.
The Sassanid Persians defeated a Roman army, killing the Emperor who was leading
Roman Emperor Gordian
III defeated a Persian army under Shapur I at the Battle of
I as King of Persia. Reigned to 271.
The Sassanid Dynasty, which lasted until
642, was begun by Prince Ardashir, grandson of Sassan.
Reigned to 241.
For conquests of Alexander the Great, see Greece
17/7/330 BCE, King Darius III was deposed and
killed by Bessus,
the satrap of Bactria. Bessus assumed the kingship as Artaxerxes IV.
336 BCE, Assassination of King Arses of Persia; accession of King Darius III.
338 BCE, King
Artaxerxes III was assassinated by poisoning; accession of his
younger son, King
358 BCE, Artaxerxes
III ended the Satraps
359 BCE, Accession of Artaxerxes III in Persia.
360 BCE, In Persia,the revolt of the Satraps
405 BCE, King
Darius II of Persia (424 � 405 BCE) died. Succeeded by Artaxerxes II,
who ruled until 359 BC.
408 BCE, Unsuccesful attempt by the Medes to throw off Persian rule.
424 BCE, Xerxes
II became King of Persia but was assassinated two months afterwards.
Succeeded by Darius
II, who died in 405 BCE.
424 BCE, Death of Artaxerxes II (ruled 465-424).
465 BCE, Death of Xerxes, King of Persia 485 � 465 BCE (born 519
BCE). Murdered by his bodyguards, his son Artaxerxes succeeded him.
469 BCE, Athenian forces won a major victory over Persia on the River
Eurymedon, establishing Athenian hegemony on the region.
480 BCE, King
Xerxes of Persia led an invasion force into Greece; however Athens and Sparta
set aside their differences to unite and fight him. The Greeks eventually won
and were left more powerful than before.
485 BCE, Death of King Darius I, King of Persia 521 � 485 BCE. He
was succeeded by his son, Xerxes.
Darius organised the Persian Empire into 20 Satrapies
(provinces). He also introduced economic measures, incuding tax reforms and a
common currency across the Empire, and a standing army. However after his death
See Jewish / Bible history for events in
Persia 500 BCE and earlier.
See Greece for events
of Greco-Persian wars, 5th century BCE
For ancient Middle East e.g. Persia, Babylonia, Assyria, see also Judaism
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