Timeline of Iranian History( www.cultureofiran.com )
Before 3000BC. Settlements in dry farming areas, including Mesopotamia and Susa in Iran, and presence of far reaching trade.
3000-2000 BC. Migration of semi-nomadic pastoral tribes, and permanent settlements in
Zagros Mountains in modern Kurdistan and Luristan. Major Mesopotamian City states
dominated the area
2000-1000 BC. The arrival of semi-nomadic populations, including the Indo-Iranians tribes.
1000 BC. Iranian groups such as Medes, were already organized into small states or tribes in western Iran, and expanded into northwestern Iran
800BC. By the second half of the eight-century BC, the Iranians constituted the majority in many regions of western and northwestern Iran. Medes consolidated their power.
728 – 550 BC. Medes form the first Iranian dynasty in the region. The beginning of Jewish settlements in Iran
550 - 330BCBC. Achaemenid Persians create the first major empire, and Persian speaking groups dominate the entire region. Aramaic is used extensively but, Persians maintain Old Persian language and their own cuneiform writing
330 – 130 BC. Greek conquest of Iran and formation of Greek colonies in Iranian territories. Greek language and culture becomes popular. Iran becomes part of the Seleucid Empire.
247BC – 224AD. Parthian tribes, an Iranian group, end the Greek rule, Middle Persian is developed, and Zoroastrianism is promoted. Christians settle in Iran and Parthians battle Romans and invaders from the east.
224 - 651 AD. The last major Iranian group, Sasanian, rule Iran, Middle Persian is fully developed, and a Zoroastrian church is established. Centuries of wars with Rome and Byzantine weakens the empire, and Iran falls to the Arab/Muslims.
622: Prophet Muhammad fearing for his life migrated from Mecca to Medina. This date is the beginning of Islamic Lunar calendar.
642: The Sassanian Empire falls to the Muslim armies of Arabia.
661: Ali, the Prophet Mohammad's son-in-law and the fourth and last of the early caliphs is assassinated. His death creates a major schism in Islam between the Sunni and Shi'ite sects. The Umayyad clan emerges as the rulers of the new Muslim Empire.
680: Imam Hussein, Ali's son, was killed by the Umayyad army in Karbala. His death becomes the most important Shi‘ite mourning event.
696: Arabic had become the dominant language of the Islamic world.
750: The Abbasids end Umayyad rule with help from the Persians.
821: Tahirids, a local dynasty from Iran practically end the Arab domination of Iran. Their rule ends in 873.
867:The Saffarids of Sistan establish Iranian dominance in the eastern Iranian territories until their collapse in 903.
873: The Samanids become the first truly Iranian group ruling Iran until 999. Persian becomes the official langue of the court and replaces Arabic.
1010: The Persian epic, the “Book of Kings” is composed. The book (Shahnameh) has been instrumental in the revival and continuity of the Persian language and culture.
945: The Buyid leaders, from north-central Iran, defeated the Arab armies. They later captured Baghdad. They collapsed by 1055, but their influence remained for centuries.
1000: The beginningsof theTurkish dominance in Iran and the emergence of the Saljuq Dynasty.
1220: The Mongol invasion. Chingiz Khan and his armies devastated Iran. He died in 1227 and his empire was divided between his close kin.
1258: The Mongols sacked Baghdad and ended the Abbasid Caliphate. The Il-Khanid dynasty gained control of the Persian territories of the Mongols.
1295: Ghazan Khan, the Mongol Emperor of Iran from the Ilkhanid dynasty converts to Islam.
1405: Timur (Tamerlane) conquered most of Persia and its surrounding areas. The Timurid dynasty of Iran collapses in 1501.
1501: The conquest of Tabriz by Shah Ismail I and the establishment of the Safavid rule in Iran and Shi’i as the state religion.
1514: The Ottomans had a decisive victory in the battle of Chalidran and Iran lost eastern Anatolia.
1507: The Portuguese invaded the Hurmuz Island and port in the Persian Gulf and started a century of rivalry with the British.
1526: Rebellion by the Rumlu and Ustalju Turkmen tribes. Takkalu tribes also rebelled and attacked Tabriz in 1531.
1555: A peace treaty between the Ottomans and Iran divided Armenia and Georgia between the two countries. The Eastern parts of these countries remained part of Iran.
1587: Shah Abbas the Great assumes the throne. He defeated all rebellious groups in Iran and consolidated central power.
1590: Shah Abbas I was forced to give away many territories in Armenia, Georgia, and parts of Azerbaijan and Luristan to the Ottomans
1597: Shah Abbas I ended the Uzbek invasion of Iran. He welcomed Europeans including the British in order to modernize his army and expand trade and unified the coinage in the country.
1642: Shah Abbas II (1642-1666) tried to implement bureaucratic reform and reduce the power of clergy. He established trade with the East India Company and gave asylum to several thousand Uzbeks in Iran.
1709: The Ghilzai Afghans rebelled and occupied Qandahar and established a local kingdom.
1721: Peter the Great, the Russian ruler occupied Baku and increased Russian influence in the area.
1722: Mahmud, a Ghilzai Afghan attacked Iran. He captured Isfahan and ended Safavid rule. Iran lost Afghan territories.
1736: Nadir Afshar deposed the last Safavid claimant to the throne and declared himself the new Shah. He invaded India in 1738. A brilliant military strategist, his reign was very violent and turbulent.
1750: Karim Khan Zand ruled over most parts of Iran. He died in 1779 and his short rule was relatively peaceful and he improved the security.
1783: Empress Catherine II signed a treaty with the ruler of Georgia and made the area a Russian protectorate.
1794: The last Zand ruler was defeated by the leader of the Qajar Oghuz tribes.
1796: Agha Muhammad Khan Qajar declared himself the new Shah and founded the Qajar Dynasty. By his death in 1797 he had managed to consolidate his power and created a powerful central authority.
1813: The Treaty of Gulistan; after a disastrous war with Russia, under this treaty, Iran lost what are now the Republics of Azerbaijan, Daghistan and Georgia for good.
1828: Under the Treaty of Turkmanchi, Iran was forced to cede part of Persian Armenia (modern Erivan and Nakhichevan) to Russia and allow the Russians to have a navy in the Caspian Sea.
1848: Muhammad Shah Qajar dies.
1848: Nasir al-Din Shah assumes the throne with help from his tutor and advisor Amir Kabir. The leaders of the Babi sect announce total independence from Islam and declare Babism a new religion.
1851: The institute of technology the first modern institution of higher learning in Iran opens. Amir Kabir, the reformist prime minister is assassinated by an order from Nasir al-Din Shah. The Babi persecutions continue.
1857: Iran unsuccessfully tries to reclaim Heart from the British. Great Britain imposes the treaty of Paris instead and ends all claims by Iran over territories in Afghanistan.
1872: Nasir al-Din Shah gives a major economic concession to Baron Reuter. The concessions create major uproar in the country.
1878: Russians are employed to train a Cossack regiment. Nasir al-Din Shah opens the first museum in the country and places royal collection on display.
1889: The British-controlled Imperial Bank of Iran opens. The bank prints the first Iranian bank notes.
1890: The start of selling concessions to the foreign powers by the Shah. The first issue of the Newspaper called “Law” (Qanun) is published in London and is smuggled to Iran.
1891: A tobacco concession is made to an Englishman, Major Talbot. The concession is the beginning of civil unrest in Iran.
1892: The Shah is forced to cancel the tobacco concession.
1896: Nasir al-Din Shah is assassinated. His son, Muzzafar al-Din Shah becomes the new king.
1852: Nasir al-Din Shah survives an assassination attempt on his life.
1857: After a failed attempt to regain Heart, the shah is forced by the British to recognize Afghan independence.
1861: Iran loses the province of Merv to the British in Afghanistan.
1873: Nasir al Din Shah starts his first European journey.
1878: The Shah travels to Russia. He asks for Russia’s help to set up a Cossack Brigade in Iran.
1879: The first modern police force with help from Austria was formed. The Cossack Brigade under the command of Russian officers starts functioning.
1888: Sir Henry Drummond Wolf arrives in Iran from England and begins obtaining economic concessions.
1896: Nasir al-din Shah is assassinated.
1897: The Society of Learning is formed by leading intellectuals in Tehran and attracts many prominent supporters.
1904: The first National library is founded in Tehran.
1905: The start of protests that lead to the establishment of a constitutional monarchy in Iran. The uproar was caused by the flogging of two respectable merchants in Tehran.
1906: Muzzafar al-Din Shah is forced to accept the convocation of a national assembly. Iran officially becomes a constitutional monarchy. He died five days later.
1908: The new Shah, Muhammad Ali attacks and bombs the new parliament with help from the Russian officers of the Cossack Brigade.
1909: Tabriz is occupied by the Russians in April. Muhammad Ali Shah is defeated and the constitution is reinstated in July. The Shah is forced to abdicate in favor of his minor son Ahmad Shah.
1910: Democrats gain more control in the parliament by making an alliance with the Bakhtiyari. Mujahedin are disarmed, Shaikh Khazal and Solet Qashqa’i start collaboration.
1917: The Russian Revolution transforms Russia into a communist country.
1918: Northern Azerbaijan in Russia is declared the Republic of Azerbaijan. The Kurdish leader,Simqu starts a rebellion in Iranian Kurdistan, it ended in 1922.
He was responsible for the last major massacre of Christians in Iran.
1919: The Anglo-Iranian Agreement is drawn in London. Known as Vosouq Contract it was declared illegal by the Iranian nationalists since the parliament was not in session.
1920: the Jangali militants announced the formation of the Persian Soviet Republic in Gilan. Shaikh Muhammad Khiyabani established the Republic of Azadistan in Tabriz. The military forces sent from Tehran crushed both movements.
1920-1921: An Iranian-Russian treaty is agreed between the two countries. The terms were highly favorable to Iran. The Iranian government declares that the treaty with Russia is not valid until all Russian troops leave Iran. The matter remains open.
1921: In February 1921, colonel Reza Khan with three to four thousand troops from the Cossack Brigade marched from Qazvin to Tehran and executed a bloodless coup d’etat.
1921: Reza Khan occupies the capital on February 21st and proclaims a journalist, Sayyid Zia, as the Prime Minister. Ahmad Shah appoints Reza Khan as the commander of the army. Azerbaijan and Jangali movements were defeated.
1921: The ‘Treaty of Sevres’ is signed between the Allied Forces. Kurdistan and other Ottoman territories are divided up between Turkey, Syria and Iraq. The Bakhtiyari loosetheir governorship and by 1923 their titles are abolished.
1922: Reza Khan re-organizes the army and defeats the Kurdish, Shahsevan and Kuhgiluya rebellions.
1923: Reza Khan is appointed prime minister by the parliament. The treaty of Lausanne, confirms the Treaty of Sevres despite major protest by the Kurds. Kamal Ataturk (father of Turkey) became the first president of the new republic, after abdication of the last Ottoman Sultan.
1924: The Republic of Turkmenistan was founded in the Soviet Union.
1925: OnDecember 12, Reza Khan is officially declared by the parliament as the new King and the last Qajar king abdicates in his favor
1926: On April 25th – Reza Shah is crowned and the Pahlavi era begins. Mohammad Reza, the Shah's eldest son, is proclaimed Crown Prince.
1927: The Swiss educated minister of Justice, Davar, introduces more secular laws and transforms the judicial system. The compulsory military service for male adults is introduced.
1928: The parliament outlaws traditional ethnic clothing for all males, with the exception of registered clergymen. The government starts introducing new modern dress requirements.
1929: The first railway system in Iran, the Trans-Iranian Railway is inaugurated.
1932: Labor organizers are arrested throughout the country. The arrests started in 1927 and by 1932, 150 people were in jail.
1933: Iran signs a new oil contract with the Anglo-Iranian oil company and increases its shares of the profits from 16 to 20 percent.
1935: The name Iran is adopted as the country's official name in foreign correspondence.
1933: The Qashqa’i face extensive military campaigns, raids and the parliament enacts a law merging all the major tribal groups of Iran into a single confederacy. The first modern university in Iran, Tehran University is established.
1934: The tribal representation in parliament is officially abolished. All tribal titles are eliminated and the use of Kurdish dialects is prohibited in schools. Baha’i schools loose their license to teach.
1936: Reza Shah, his wife and daughters attended the graduation ceremony at the Women’s Teacher Training College in Tehran. All women were advised to come unveiled. Emancipation of women was officially inaugurated.
1937: Iran, Iraq and Turkey sign a pact recognizing the existing borders and end hostilities. Azerbaijan is divided into two separate provinces.
1938: Armenian schools are closed down for a short period.
1940: A prominent Zoroastrian is gunned down, because his son in Germany, despite his father’s opposition, was broadcasting pro-Nazi sentiments.
1941: Iran is occupied by the Allied Forces. Reza Shah is forced to abdicate in favor of the crown prince.
1942: The Kurdish chiefs are released from detention. A Tribal Commission is formed in Tehran and migratory routes are restored.
1945: The Provincial Government of Azerbaijan is formed. It is followed by the Mahabad Republic of Kurdistan.
1941: Mohammad Reza Shah ascends to the throne following his father’s forced abdication.
1943: Elections for the crucial 14th parliament starts. The Tudeh Party presented 23 candidates, eight won in the elections.
1944: On international workers day in May, the Tudeh party announces the merger of four union federations into the first major trade union in Iran. With sixty affiliates and close to one hundred thousand members, the Tudeh Party reaches its peak during this period.
1946: The Prime Minister, Qavam, signs the Northern Oil Concession with the Russians. The parliament rejects the agreement. Russian forces evacuate Iranian Azerbaijan. Three Tudeh Party members are appointed cabinet ministers by the Qavam. Major strikes are organized by the Tudeh Party and several labor leaders are arrested.
1947: Parts of British/India Baluchistan is annexed to Pakistan by the British.
1950: The Prime Minister Ali Razmara is assassinated after 9 months in office. He
is succeeded by the nationalist, Mohammad Musaddiq. The Iranian government
1951: The parliament nationalizes the oil industry in April. The Anglo-Iranian Oil Company is disabled and Shah and Musaddiq collide. Britain boycotts the purchase of Iranian oil.
1953: Shah and his wife, Soraya are forced to live Iran.They come back after only a few days in Europe with the help of western countries, including United States. Musaddiq is overthrown and the Tudeh Party is banned.
1957: The first Tehran Jewish Congress is inaugurated and the World Jewish Congress is permitted to open an office in Tehran.
1962: Land Reform Act is implemented in Iran.
1963: The White Revolution or the Shah and People’s Revolution is officially proclaimed.
1960: The Shah is pressured by the Americans to permit independent candidates run for the twentieth parliament. The accusations of vote rigging force the authorities to stop the elections. The Prime Minister Eqbal is removed.
1961: Dr. Amini, the new Prime Minster dissolves the twentieth parliament. He exiles General Bakhtiyar, the head of the secret police (SAVAK).
1964: The clergy oppose Shah’s reforms and the outspoken Khomeini is exiled. Khomeini is sent to Turkey first and then Iraq, where he stays from 1965 to 1978.
1967: Shah is crowned as the king of kings in a lavish ceremony watched by the world media. He is granted the title Arya Mihr (the Light of the Aryans) by the parliament. Queen Farah becomes the first Iranian queen officially crowned by a king and becomes the regent to the throne.
1971: The anniversary of 2500 years of Iranian civilization is celebrated at Persepolis.
1973: The fourth development plan starting in 1968 ends and Iran enjoys a major industrial and infrastructure development.
1975: The Shah dissolves the two existing government backed parties. Iran officially becomes a one party system. The beginning of the Iranian calendar is changed from the Prophet Muhammad’s Hijrat to the start of the Achaemenid dynasty.
1978: In September massive demonstrations against shah leads to riots and strikes. Martial law is imposed.
1979: In January Shah and his family leave Iran and Pahlavi rule ended in Iran. Shah dies in Egypt in 1980 from cancer.
1979, January 16th: The Shah and his family are forced into exile. An interim government headed by Shapour Bakhtiyar is appointed by the shah.
1979, February 1st: Ayatollah Khomeini returns to Iran following almost15 years of exile in Iraq and a few months in France. The interim government is dismissed.
1979, April 1st: The Islamic Republic of Iran is proclaimed following a referendum. Kurdish uprising starts in Kurdistan. Azerbaijan opposes the referendum.
1979, November 4th: 52 Americans are taken hostage inside the US embassy by the militant students in Tehran. They demanded the extradition of the Shah who was receiving treatment in US for cancer.
1980: Thefirst president of the new republic, Bani Sadr is elected in January. Shah dies in Egypt in July. Iraq invades Iran in September. The American hostages are released after 444 days in captivity. Bani-Sadr is impeached by a vote of 177-1 in the parliament.
1981: Bani-Sadr, the first president elect is dismissed, he later flees to France. A massive bomb attack kills many leaders including the new president Rajai. Mujahedin Khalq group is blamed by the government. Khamenei is elected the 3rd president.
1982: Israel invades Lebanon. Iran sends Revolutionary Guards to Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.
1983: Kurds are defeated throughout Kurdistan.
1985: Khamenei is re- elected the President.
1988: Iran accepts a ceasefire agreement with Iraq following negotiations in Geneva under the aegis of the United Nations in July. Iraq mascaras thousands of Iraqi Kurds for supporting Iran.
1989: 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. Khomeini dies in June. Khamenei becomes the supreme leader. Rafsanjani another cleric becomes the president.
1990: Iran and Iraq resume diplomatic relations in September.
1991: Thousands of Kurds flee to Iran following attacks by Saddam Hussein, after invasion of Kuwait and his defeat.
1995: The US imposes oil and trade sanctions against Iran for alleged sponsorship of terrorism.
1996: The U.S. Congress imposes more sanctions on Iran and Libya.
1997: The moderate clergy, Mohammad Khatami, wins the presidential election by a 70% landslide. He is re-elected again in 2001.
1999: In July thousands of Pro-democracy students start massive demonstrations against the government. They were brutally oppressed.
2000: In the newly elected parliament, liberals and supporters of Khatami win 170 of the 290 seats. Hard-liners win only 44 seats.
2000: New Press law bans publication of many reformist newspapers. Women are given permission to lead religious congregations of women worshippers.
2002: US President George Bush proclaims Iraq, Iran and North Korea as an "axis of evil".
2003: Thousands attend student-led protests in Tehran against the government. The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to an Iranian woman, Shirin Ebadi in October.
2004: Conservatives gain control of the parliament in controversial elections. Kurdistan University announces the formation of the first Kurdish Language Department in Iran.
2005: A relatively unknown hardliner, Mr. Ahmadinezad a former militant guard and the mayor of Tehran is elected as the President of the Islamic Republic.