Why did Iran Contra happen


From the occupation by British and Soviet troops and the 1979 revolution, the Iraq-Iran war, the death of the revolutionary leader Khomeini and the reform movement in 2009 via presidents such as Rafsanjani, Ahmadinejad and Rouhani to the international nuclear agreement of 2015: an overview of history Iran from 1941 to 2020.

Modern Iran

August 1941
British and Soviet troops occupy Iran.

September 16, 1941
The occupiers force Reza Shah Pahlavi to abdicate. He goes into exile in South Africa, where he dies in 1944. His son, Mohammed Reza, is enthroned by the occupying powers as his successor.

The Second World War ends in May 1945. The British withdrew from Iran by the end of 1945, the Soviet troops by May 1946.

April 29, 1951
Mohammed Mossadegh is appointed Prime Minister of Iran by Mohammed Reza Pahlavi; a few days later Parliament gave him confidence.

May 1951
The Iranian oil industry is nationalized under Mossadegh's leadership. Great Britain holds the majority in the oil company, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company; there is a conflict between Great Britain and Iran. Domestically, Mossadegh becomes the Shah's adversary.

19th August 1953
Mossadegh is overthrown; Parts of the Iranian army carry out a coup with the help of the US secret service CIA. Mossadegh was sentenced to three years in prison and then placed under house arrest. Mossadegh dies in 1967.

From 1957 the Shah built up the SAVAK secret service - also with foreign help.

May 9, 1961
The Shah dissolves Parliament (Majlis) on. Iran remains without popular representation for two years.

January 1963
The Shah puts reform plans to the vote in a referendum ("White Revolution"). The reforms include land reform. The reforms are accepted.

February 1963
Women are given the right to stand and vote by decree.

June 1963
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini appears publicly for the first time. The clergyman attacks the Shah in a speech. The occasion is an uprising initiated by religious students against the pro-American reform policy of the Shah. Khomeini is arrested; there are demonstrations that are also directed against the reform plans of the Shah.

November 1964
The government sends Ayatollah Khomeini into exile. He first went to Turkey, from 1965 to Iraq, and from 1978 to Paris.

June 2nd, 1967
Reza Shah visits Berlin. There are violent protests from students. On the fringes of the demonstration, Benno Ohnesorg was shot dead by a police officer.

The Shah passed a progressive family protection law that puts women in a better position, especially in the event of divorce.

October 1971
The Shah has a pompous celebration of the 2500th anniversary of the Iranian monarchy. The luxurious celebration in the middle of the desert in Persepolis, the capital of the ancient Persian Empire, is heavily criticized by the population.

March 2nd 1975
The Shah forces all remaining parties to dissolve and leads the unity party Rastakhiz (Renewal) a.

January 7, 1978
Khomeini is denigrated in a newspaper article in the state-controlled press. Theology students organize demonstrations, which are crushed by the police.

There are repeated anti-Shah demonstrations and nationwide strikes; Hundreds of thousands of people gather in Tehran. The police and the army repeatedly attack the protesters, sometimes brutally; there are thousands dead.

The mass protest is carried out by a wide variety of groups: Liberals and conservatives, secular and religious, left and right. Ayatollah Khomeini becomes her integration figure.

September 8, 1978
A mass demonstration in Tehran is violently broken up. The number of victims is still unclear. The day is known as "Black Friday" and paves the way for the "Islamic Revolution".

The Islamic Republic

January 16, 1979
Mohammed Reza Shah flees into exile. He dies in Cairo in 1980.

1st February 1979
Ayatollah Khomeini returns to Tehran from exile. He is received euphorically by millions of people.

30./31. March 1979
In a referendum, the population speaks out against the monarchy and in favor of the establishment of an Islamic republic.

4th November 1979
Students occupy the US embassy in Tehran and take over 50 embassy staff hostage. Khomeini approves the action. The hostage detention does not end until January 1981.

2nd / 3rd December 1979
The people of Iran adopt the new constitution in a referendum. The constitution gives the religious leader far-reaching powers; In addition to Islamic elements, it also defines republican elements.

From 1980 parliamentary elections take place every four years.

September 22, 1980
Iraq invades Iran. An eight-year war between the two neighboring countries begins (Iraq-Iran war). It claims hundreds of thousands of deaths on both sides.

This is followed by the Islamization of the judiciary, schools and universities as well as the economy and the media; an Islamic dress code applies to women from now on, and gender segregation on public transport; much of the economy is nationalized.

Critics of the Islamic Republic are threatened and arrested. Oppositionists are also murdered.

Fall 1986
The Iran-Contra affair became known: the USA had sold weapons to Iran, and the proceeds from the secret arms deal went to the Contra rebels in Nicaragua.

July 1988
There is a ceasefire between Iraq and Iran.

July-December 1988
After the war, Iran's economy is down and the people are tired of the war. For fear of taking a domestic political risk, the leadership has political inmates murdered in the central prisons. They include left-wing prisoners and, above all, supporters of the People's Mojahedin who originally fought against the Shah together with Khomeini. More than 2,000 prisoners are said to have been executed, the exact number is uncertain.

February 14, 1989
Ayatollah Khomeini issues a fatwa, a kind of legal opinion, against the British-Indian author Salman Rushdie and calls for his murder. Khomeini accuses Rushdie of mocking the prophet Mohammed and Islamic traditions with his novel "The Satanic Verses".

Era of reconstruction

June 3, 1989
Khomeini dies. The Council of Experts elects the previous President and cleric Ali Khamenei as his successor. Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani is elected Iran's new president; the clergyman is considered a pragmatist and belongs to the conservative camp.

Around 80 intellectuals, artists and politicians critical of the government are murdered. The systematic series of killings is known as chain killings. A department of the secret service is held responsible. Extensive clarification has been delayed to this day.

June 1993
Rafsanjani is re-elected as president. Its promised economic liberalization remains unsuccessful; corruption rises, inflation rises and income distribution deteriorates.

April 30, 1995
US President Bill Clinton is imposing sanctions on Iran, in particular a trade embargo and a ban on American investments in the country. The sanctions serve as leverage against Iran's controversial nuclear program.

Reform era

May 1997
Mohammed Khatami is elected president. He is considered a liberal clergyman and leads the reform camp. Domestically, he strengthens the freedom of the press and freedom of expression, internationally he relies on willingness to talk.

June 2001
Khatami is re-elected as president. He continues to rely on consensus between the various political camps, and the reform movement keeps coming to a standstill. Many of his followers, whom he finds mainly among students, turn away disappointed.

March 20, 2003
US and UK troops invade neighboring Iraq; Dictator Saddam Hussein is overthrown. After the end of the Iraq war, a power vacuum developed that Iran used for itself and supported allied militias.

Neoconservatism and Repression

June 2005
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, mayor of Tehran since 2003, wins the election as president. He is considered a conservative hardliner.

June 12, 2009
Ahmadinejad runs again for the presidential election and wins. His opponents include Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi. After the vote, allegations of manipulation are raised; there are protests.

After election day there are mass demonstrations in Tehran and other cities in Iran. Many demonstrators wear green, the color of the opposition election camp: the protests are known as the "Green Movement". In the course of the protests there were arrests and violent clashes with the security forces. According to official information, there are 43 dead; the opposition speaks of over 100 dead.

June 19, 2009
During Friday prayers, the spiritual leader Ayatollah Khamenei stands behind Ahmadinejad and emphasizes the legitimacy of the presidential election. Khamenei calls for an immediate end to the demonstrations.

June-October 2009
According to Amnesty International, an estimated 5,000 people will be arrested by the end of 2009. Some of the prisoners are tortured, and some die as a result. There are also show trials that end with imprisonment and death sentences. Ahmadinejad's opponents Mousavi and Karroubi are still under house arrest to this day.

June 9, 2010
The UN Security Council is tightening sanctions in the nuclear dispute with Iran. It is the fourth round of sanctions since 2006. Among other things, the new round will tighten the arms embargo and restrict trade and financial transactions with Iran. The sanctions also affect the Iranian Revolutionary Guard for the first time: These include a travel ban for members of the paramilitary troops. The West accuses Iran of building atomic bombs. Iran's government, on the other hand, speaks of a civilian character of the nuclear program.

March 8, 2011
Ayatollah Mahdavi Kani is elected Chairman of the Expert Council. This constitutional body also elects the spiritual head of Iran. Before that, Ayatollah Rafsanjani, who has long been considered a possible heir to Ayatollah Khamenei, has renounced another candidacy for chairman. Rafsanjani (President 1989-1997) campaigns for the Green Movement and supports the opposition politicians Mousavi and Karroubi.

The international nuclear deal

From 2012, Tehran will provide military and financial support to the Syrian army and dictator Bashar al-Assad during the civil war in Syria.

14th of June 2013
Hassan Rouhani, a liberal legal scholar and security expert, is elected president.

July 14, 2015
After many years of diplomatic negotiations, Iran, the five permanent representatives of the UN Security Council (China, France, Great Britain, Russia, USA) and Germany sign the international nuclear agreement (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, JCPoA) in Vienna. The compromise stipulates that Iran will accept strict conditions and tight transparency measures for its nuclear activities, in return the sanctions against the country will be formally lifted.

20th May 2017
Rouhani is re-elected as president.

December 2017 / January 2018
There are numerous demonstrations across the country. The protests are directed against unemployment, non-payment of wages and rising food prices.

May 8, 2018
US President Donald Trump cancels the international nuclear deal. As of August, the US government will reinstate sanctions against Iran.

May 8, 2019
One year after the US unilaterally terminated the nuclear agreement, Iran announced that it would no longer comply with all the rules of the agreement.

May / June 2019
There are attacks on oil tankers in front of and in the Strait of Hormuz; the suspicion is directed against Iran, which rejects the allegations.

November 2019
At first there were peaceful protests in various cities against an increase in petrol prices. Later banks and government institutions are attacked; it is unclear who is responsible for the attacks. The security forces are using force. The official death toll is twelve; Amnesty International speaks of over 300 deaths.

January 3, 2020
On the night of January 2-3, the high-ranking Iranian general Qassem Soleimani was deliberately killed in an air strike by the US military in Iraq. In the days before, the situation in Iraq has worsened. On December 27, 2018, a US citizen was killed and several injured in a missile attack. The US blames Iranian-backed militias and has launched air strikes in response, killing an estimated 25 militia fighters. Violent protests broke out in front of the US embassy in Baghdad. In retaliation, the United States responded by killing Soleimani. After Soleimani's death, Tehran threatens to take countermeasures. Attacks on US bases in Iraq follow.


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