A Brief Timeline of Iran-United States Relations over the past 60+ years


1953: Mossadeq overthrown

-Orchestrated by intelligence agencies in Britain and the United States, Iran’s Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadeq is removed from office in a coup

1979: Iranian revolution

-Mohammed Reza Pahlevi, ruler of Iran, leaves the country after a long period of strikes and demonstrations opposing his leadership. Ayatollah Khomeini returns to Iran and the Islamic Republic of Iran is established.

1979-81: United States Embassy hostage crisis

-Hostages are held in captivity for 444 days

1980: Rescue mission for Tehran hostages fails

1981: After 444 days, Tehran frees United States hostages

1985-6: Iran-Contra scandal

-United States covertly sends weapons to Iran, presumably to gain help from Tehran in the release of United States hostages held in Lebanon

1988: Iranian passenger plane shot down

-A United States warship shoots down an Iranian airliner, apparently under the impression that it was a fighter jet, killing all 290 passengers on their way to Mecca.

1997-2005: Presidency of Khatami

-Mohammed Khatami is elected in 1997, and indicates that he is willing to speak with the United States to work on improving relations, although there is no progress

2002: The Axis of Evil

-United States President George Bush publicly states that Iran is involved in an “axis of evil” with North Korea and Iraq, which outrages the Iranian people

2002 onwards: Sanctions and fears of nuclear threat

2005-13: Presidency of Ahmadinejad

2013: Phone call between Obama and Rouhani

2014: United States and Iran talks on Iraq



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