Iranian Revolution - Persepolis Timeline


Consitution is Instated


Power of monarchs & rulers is limited

World War I

1914 - 1918

Although Persia (Iran) declared neutrality during the war, a great deal of fighting took place within its borders

Military Coup d'état

Feb 1921

In a military coup d'état directed by the British, military advisor Reza Khan seizes power

Reza Shah becomes Prime Minister


Persia is renamed to Iran


Nationalist Mohammad Mossadeq seizes power


Oil industry is nationalized

April 1951

Parliament votes to nationalize the oil industry. In reaction, the British government imposes an oil embargo which strikes a significant blow to the Iranian economy

Mossadeq is overthrown

August 1953

Mossadeq is overthrown in a coup instigated by British and American intelligence agencies and General Fazlollah Zahedi is proclaimed Prime Minister.

Modernization by Shah

January 1963

The Shah begins a long term project to modernize and westernize Iran and launches the "White Revolution", an initiative that aimed to implement various socio-economic reforms.

Secret Police (SAVAK) Stifles Opposition

1966 - 1978

The Shah becomes increasingly dependent on the secret police (SAVAK) to stifle criticism and any opposition to his reforms.


August 1978 - December 1978

Significant demonstrations and strikes cripple the Iranian government

Cinema Rex fire

August 1978

Cinema Rex is set on fire, killing 400 people

Mass Protests against Shah

September 1978

Mass riots and protests against the Shah's rule ensue. The Shah imposes martial law.

Black friday

September 8 1978

Protesters gathered in Tehran are shot & and killed by Iranian security forces under the Shah's martial law

Shah and his family are exiled

January 1979

Khomeini returns to Iran

February 1979

Islamic fundamentalist Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, returns to Iran and seizes power after 14 years of exile in France and Iraq for opposing the Shah

Islamic Republic of Iran is formed

April 1979

After a national referendum the Islamic Republic of Iran forms

Islamic militants take 52 Americans hostage

November 1979

52 Americans are held hostage at the US embassy in Iran. The Islamic militant captors demand the extradition of the Shah, who is in the US for medical treatment

Iran-Iraq War

September 1980 - August 1988

American Hostages are Released

January 1981

After 444 days in captivity, the American hostages are finally released

Ceasefire Agreement between Iraq & Iran

July 1988

Khomeini dies

June 1989

Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani is appointed new president

August 1989

Iran and Iraq resume diplomatic relations

September 1990