Iran Timeline

Events

Reformers Control the Legislature

2000

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.

Elections Winner

2001

President Khatami wins reelection.

American President George W. Bush Speech

2002

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.”

Iran agrees to nuclear facilities.

2003

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

2004

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 wins presidential elections.

2005

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.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sends a letter to President Bush

2006

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.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accuses Israel

2007

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 United States announces new economic sanctions against Iran targeted to impact the country’s military and halt Tehran’s disputed nuclear program.
A U.S. National Intelligence Estimate report finds that Iran stopped developing nuclear weapons in 2003, but continues to enrich uranium and could still develop atomic arms in the future.

International Atomic Energy Agency releases a report

2008

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

2009

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.