Iran Hostage Crisis, 1979-81
Four Americans and two Iranians are held hostage by radical students at the American Embassy in Tehran, Iran, on Nov. 4, 1979. This was preceded by a violent coup in which the government was overthrown and an eight-year war in which the United States and Iran fight to the death. The government hires a team of CIA-backed militant exiles, the National Council of Resistance of Iran, to free the hostages. The position of president of the National Council of Resistance of Iran is filled by Iranian reformist Ayatollah Mousavi.
1989: The government is disarmed by Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who then reassembles a military unit under control of the office of the Supreme Leader. This new military unit dissolves the National Council of Resistance of Iran. Ayatollah Khatami is named Iran’s president in 1989.
1989: Leading opponents of Iran’s Shi’ite theocracy and its revolutionary leader, Ayatollah Khomeini, are eliminated from the country’s political arena. One among them is the president of Iran’s National Front for the Defense of the Revolution.
2006: On June 8, six Iranians are killed by a suicide bomber in an Iranian refugee camp on the Iraqi border. One month later, on June 24, another suicide bomber attacks the shrine of Ayatollah Reza Shah Pahlavi in southern Tehran. More than 30 people are killed. The Iranian government blames the attacks on Iraq and several Western organizations.
2007: A car bomb attack on June 25, 2007, on the branch of the judiciary that is in charge of executing prisoners kills eight court employees and a police officer. Iran claims Iraq is responsible for the car bomb attack. Another death toll of 25 is reported, but Iran says the death toll was low as most victims were set free.
2008: In a historic meeting between Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and President Barack Obama, the leaders of Iran and the United States agree to pursue talks after a decade of animosity.
2009: Iran announces a nuclear cooperation plan with Western countries, which is not accepted.
2011: Iranian forces clash with protesters who want economic reforms in Iran.