Chronology of Iranian History Part 4

1974 The Encyclopaedia Iranica is founded by Eḥsan Yāršāṭer; the first volume is published in 1982.

1974 Ḵosrow Golsorḵi (b. 1941), poet, art critic, and leftist political activist is executed.

1974 Moḥammad Hejāzi (b. 1901), novelist, short story writer admired for his prose style, conservative senator, author of Āyineh (1959) and Zibā (1961), dies.

1974 Henrik Samuel Nyberg (b. 1889), eminent Swedish scholar of Semitic and Iranian studies, professor at Uppsala University, author of Hilfsbuch des Pehlevi (2 vols., 1928-31; English revised version as A Manual of Pahlavi, 2 vols., 1964-74), and Die Religionen des alten Iran (1938), dies.

1974 Robert Charles Zaehner (b. 1913), British scholar of Zoroastrianism and Indian religions, diplomat, professor at the University of Oxford, author of Teachings of the Magi: a compendium of Zoroastrian beliefs (1956), Hindu and Muslim Mysticism (1960), Dawn and Twilight of Zoroastrianism (1961), and Zurvan, a Zoroastrian Dilemma (1955), dies.

1975 Establishment of Ḥezb-e Rastāḵiz (Resurrection Party) by the Shah, reducing the country to a single party system, membership in which was viewed as every citizen’s civic duty.

1975 The dispute between Iran and Iraq over the Shaṭṭ-al-Arab waterway is settled by the Algiers Agreement, whereby the deepest level of water in the Shaṭṭ-al-Arab is to constitute the international boundary between the two countries.

1975 Sayyed Moḥammad Kāẓem ʿAṣṣār (b. 1885), professor of Islamic philosophy at the University of Tehran, dies; he had been forced to retire from his job at the University of Tehran on account of his refusal to abandon clerical dress in violation of express government orders; he was elected the dean of the Faculty of Theology after Reẓā Shah’s abdication.

1975 Murder of Marxist theoretician Bijan Jazani (b. 1937), in Evin prison.

1975 A military tribunal condemns 10 members of the Mojāhedin-e ḵalq to death, having been found guilty of the assassination of Brigadier General Zandipur and three American colonels.

1976 An Amnesty International Conference at The Hague criticizes Iran’s alleged human rights violations and its treatment of political prisoners.

1976 A new Persian calendar is adopted, calculated on the basis of the founding of the Persian Empire in 6th century B.C. As of March 21, 1976, the new year is dated 2535 of the šāhanšāhi era, with the change lauded by nationalists and resented by the clergy; on the eve of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Persia reverts back to the previous calendar.

1976 In a heavy and organized security forces operation, the Fedāʾiān-e ḵalq, a leftist guerilla group, suffer heavy losses of their top leadership and are significantly weakened as a force.

1976 Jimmy Carter is elected President of the United States. His harsh criticism of the Shah’s record on human rights in Iran is cause for alarm in the Iranian regime and leads to a liberalization policy that enables opposition groups in Iran to mobilize their resources against the regime.

1976 Emil Benveniste (b. 1902), eminent French Indo-Europeanist and Iranist, one of the foremost linguists of his era, the author of numerous works on Old and Middle Iranian languages including a revised and enlarged edition of Meillet’s Grammaire du vieux-perse (1931), author of Le vocabulaire des institutions indo-européennes (1969), and Études sogdiennes (1979), dies.

1977 40 poets and writers sign a declaration demanding freedom of expression and an end to censorship. This marks the beginning of a campaign of open letters by writers, artists, professionals, and intellectuals, addressed to the prime minister in a harsh, criticial tone.

1977 53 judges and lawyers sign an open letter to the Royal Court demanding human rights guarantees.

1977 Mojtabā Minovi (b. 1903), noted scholar of Persian literature and history who began his career with the BBC Persian radio service, editor of an excellent edition of Kalila o Demna (1964), and author of Ferdowsi o šeʿr-e u (1967), dies, and his library is donated to the public.

1977 ʿAli Šariʿati (b. 1933), religious thinker, writer, and activist with popular appeal whose work combined Islamic and Western thought into a radical analysis of Islam and Shiʿism, dies.

1977 In response to popular discontent, the Shah dismisses Amir-Abbās Hoveydā after 13 years as prime minister.

1977 Jamšid Āmuzegār, a former minister of health, minister of labor, and minister of finance, with a reputation for rectitude, assumes the premiership.

1977 Āmuzegār approves the release of 343 political prisoners.

1977 The National Front (Jebha-ye melli) and Freedom Movement (Neżhat-e āzādi) resume their political activities having been dormant for more than a decade.

1977 The militant ulema, under Ayatollah Khomeini’s leadership, distribute thousands of copies of cassette tapes of a speech given by Ayatollah Khomeini on the occasion of the 40th day of his son’s death, calling for the people to mobilize a revolution against the Shah’s regime.

1977 The Iranian Writers Guild, emboldened by the promise of human rights reforms, sponsor ten nights of poetry reading at the German-Iranian Cultural Institute, with thousands of students and intellectuals in attendance; the proceedings are published as Dah šab-e šeʿr (1978).

1977 President Carter welcomes the Shah to the White House; clashes between the Shah’s supporters and opponents outside the gates lead to the release of tear gas on the demonstrators by police.

1977 On New Year’s Eve, 1978, President Carter visits the Shah in Tehran and refers to Iran as “an island of stability in a turbulent corner of the world.” Reassured that he enjoys Carter’s support, the Shah orders the publication of a harsh and humiliating newspaper article in the daily Eṭṭelāʿāt about Ayatollah Khomeini.

1977 Iosif Mikhailovich Oranskiĭ (b. 1923), prominent Russian linguist, expert in Iranian languages, author of Iranskie yazyki (1963; French tr. by Joyce Blau as Les langues iraniennes, 1977), dies.

1977 Bābājān (Bobodzhan) Gafurovich Gafurov (b. 1908), one time head of the Communist Party of Tajikistan, a promoter of Tajik history, literature, and interests, and a member of Encyclopaedia Iranica’s International Advisory Board, dies.


January 9 : Police open fire into a crowd in Qom protesting against a humiliating article published about Ayatollah Khomeini in the daily Eṭṭelāʿāt.

February18-19 : Anti-government demonstrations in Tabriz commemorate the 40th day of mourning for those martyred in Qom and signal the beginning of cyclical riots every 40 days in other cities that continue until the fall of the regime.

June5 : A general strike is called by the Freedom Movement (Nahżat-e āzādi), to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the 1963 religious uprising.

August20 : A fire at the Rex theater in Abadan results in over 400 fatalities; at the time the fire is largely blamed on SAVAK, the government’s intelligence bureau, leading to a snowballing of protest against the regime, but after the Revolution it was proved to have been started by a religious group.

August27 : Following serious urban riots in Mashad, Isfahan, and Shiraz in July and August, Jaʿfar Šarif-Emāmi, former speaker of the Senate, prime minister, and head of the Pahlavi Foundation, whose father was a cleric, is appointed prime minister of a reconciliation government.

September4 : Some 100,000 demonstrators calling for the return of Ayatollah Khomeini march in Tehran to mark the end of the holy month of Ramażān.

September8 : In Tehran several thousand demonstrators clash with troops. The death toll, in what comes to be known as “Black Friday,” is estimated at 164 people. The revolutionary propaganda at the time put the number at 8,000.

October1-8 : Strikes are stepped up in major industrial and service sectors, including the oil industry, hospitals, radio and television, power plants, postal services, public transport, steel industries, schools, and civil service offices.

October6 : Ayatollah Khomeini leaves Iraq and arrives in France where he receives vast media coverage; he uses the media spotlight to incite the revolution.

November5 : Following several riots throughout Tehran as demonstrators ransack and burn government buildings, banks, and stores, Šarif-Emāmi and his civilian Cabinet resign and are replaced by a military government headed by General Ḡolām-Reżā Azhāri, the armed forces Chief of Staff; martial law and censorship of the press are imposed by the new military government.

November19 : The government frees 210 political prisoners as the Shah renews his pledge to end martial law and schedule free elections.

December10-11 : Massive demonstrations are mobilized in Tehran and across the country; in Isfahan, demonstrators attack the offices of the SAVAK and set fire to banks, stores, movie theaters, and police stations.

December18 : Oil and other industrial workers stage a general strike in response to a call by Ayatollah Khomeini and the National Front.

December29 : Šāpur Baḵtiār, a prominent member of the National Front, is appointed prime minister after Ḡolām-Ḥosayn Sadiqi, a close collaborator of Moḥammad Moṣaddeq, declines the offer due to the Shah’s refusal to agree to remain in the country.

1978 Iran participates in its first Soccer World Cup in Argentina but fails to win a game and is eliminated in the first round.

1978 Georg Valentin Morgenstierne (b. 1892), eminent Norwegian philologist, expert on Iranian languages and Eastern Iranian dialects, professor at the University of Oslo, a member of the International Advisory Committee of Encyclopaedia Iranica, author of Indo-Iranian Frontier Languages (3 vols., 1929-67), and Irano-Dardica (1973), dies.

1978 John Andrew Boyle (b. 1916), British Orientalist, historian of Iran, translator of a section of Rašid-al-Din’s Jāmeʿ al-tawāriḵ, and an editor of Volume V of Cambridge History of Iran, dies.

1978 Henry Corbin (b. 1903), prominent French Iranist, philosopher, editor of a number of Persian texts, best known as a major interpreter of the Persian role in the development of Islamic thought, author of Avicenne et le récit visionnaire (1954), and L’homme de lumière dans le soufisme iranien (1971), dies.


January 1-2: Demonstrations and unrest continue throughout the country in opposition to the new government of Šāpur Baḵtiār.

January 13: The formation of nine-member Regency Council sets the stage for the Shah’s departure.

January 16: The Shah, together with Queen Farah and their children, leave Iran, ostensibly for an extended vacation in Egypt, handing power to prime minister Šāpur Baḵtiār.

January 25: As some 150,000 people demonstrate in Tehran in support of premier Baḵtiār they are attacked by opposition forces.

January 26-29: Mass demonstrations take place in Tehran and major provincial towns against the Baḵtiār government.

February 1: Ayatollah Khomeini returns to Iran and is welcomed by a huge crowd in Tehran amidst scenes of great jubilation.

February 5: Mehdi Bāzargān, a liberal devout Muslim, professor of engineering at the University of Tehran, a former member of the National Front and the leader of the Freedom Movement (Nahżat-e āzādi), is appointed prime minister of the provisional government by Ayatollah Khomeini.

February 11: The Army’s Supreme Council orders the troops back to their barracks. Military installations are occupied by revolutionary militia of various groups and army commanders are arrested.

February 16: General Neʿmat-Allāh Naṣiri, former head of SAVAK, along with three other high-ranking generals, are executed.

February 28: Premier Bāzargān threatens to resign if the Revolutionary Committees continue to interfere in governmental affairs.

March 30-31: The establishment of an Islamic Republic is approved in a nationwide referendum.

May 5: Ayatollah Khomeini orders the formation of the Revolutionary Guards (Sepāh-e pāsdārān).

April 7: Amir ʿAbbās Hoveydā (b. 1919), Iran’s longest serving prime minister (1965-1977), who had voluntarily surrendered himself to the authorities in the hope of receiving a trial, is executed on the order of Ayatollah Khomeini.

May 1: Assassination of a leading Islamic theologian, Mortażā Moṭahhari (b. 1920).

May 19: More than 100,000 people participate in a Tehran demonstration protesting the government’s censorship of the press and the closing down of Āyandagān daily newspaper.

June 7: The government nationalizes 37 private banks.

July 5: Virtually all of Iran’s large-scale industries are nationalized.

August 20: Ayatollah Khomeini orders the closing of 22 newspapers and magazines.

September 9: The government appropriates two large daily newspapers, Eṭṭelāʿāt and Kayhān.

September 12: The Assembly of Experts approves a clause in the new Constitution that grants supreme powers to the Supreme Leader (wali-ye faqih), Ayatollah Khomeini.

November 4: The U.S. embassy is seized by radical students and 66 Americans are taken hostage. The seizure is in response to perceived U.S. interference in Iran’s internal affairs and its decision in October to admit the Shah for medical treatment in New York. The captors demand the Shah’s return in exchange for the release of hostages.

November 14: President Carter freezes some $10 billion in Iranian assets held in the United States.

December 3: Ratification of the new Islamic Constitution after a final endorsement from the Assembly of Experts (Majles-e ḵobragān).

1979 Ayatollah Maḥmud Tāleqāni (b. 1911), a leading political cleric, dies.

1979 Asghar Agha (Aṣḡar-āqā), a satirical and humorous anti-Islamic regime periodical, edited by Hādi Ḵorsandi, begins publication in London.

1979 Richard Ettinghausen (b. 1906), outstanding German expert of Islamic and Iranian art, professor of Islamic Art at New York University, Consultative Chairman of the Islamic Department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, author of From Byzantium to Sasanian Iran and the Islamic World: Three Modes of Artistic Influence (1972), and editor, with E. Yarshater, of Highlights of Persian Art (1979), dies.

1979 Cecil John Edmonds (b. 1889), British diplomat whose papers relating to his service in Iraq and Iran contain personal correspondence and notes on the tribes of Kurdistan spanning over 60 years (1913-77), and author of Kurds, Turks, and Arabs (1957), dies.

1979 George Glenn Cameron (b. 1905), American philologist and historian, founder of the Department of Near Eastern Studies at the University of Michigan, and author of Persepolis Treasury Tablets (1948), dies.

1979 Roman Ghirshman (b. 1895), outstanding French archeologist and historian of pre-Islamic Iran and its art and architecture, head of the French Archeological Mission to Iran (1931-72), excavator at Susa and elsewhere, author of numerous works on pre-Islamic Iranian art including Iran, des origines á l’Islam (1951), Parthes et Sassanides (1962), and Perses. Proto-iraniens. Mèdes-Achéménides (1963), dies.

1980 Abu’l-Ḥasan Baniṣadr is elected the first president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, with 75% of the vote.

1980 Iran and the United States sever diplomatic relations.

1980 The so-called “Cultural Revolution” begins to purge a large number of secular faculty and radical students; all institutions of higher education are closed down for two years and Islamic committees are formed to run the universities.

1980 Mohammad-Reżā Shah Pahlavi (b. 1919), dies. After seeking refuge in several countries and refused entry into the United States, President Anwar Sadat of Egypt invites him to Cairo. Suffering from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that he had kept secret from the Iranian people, he is eventually granted entry into the United States for medical treatment and hospitalized in New York. The United States’ admission of the Shah is extremely unpopular in Iran, and the Shah is urged to leave the country as soon as his treatment is complete in order to avoid further controversy. He lives for a short time in Panama before returning to Egypt, where he dies on July 27 and is buried in Cairo.

1980 Saddam Hussein announces that Iraq is unilaterally abroagating the 1975 Algiers Agreement.

1980 Iraqi divisions cross into Iran and the Iraqi air force bombard Tehran airports and other targets. Invading Iran from three fronts, Iraqi forces quickly occupy large areas of the provinces of Khuzestan, Kermnashah, and Ilam; the Abadan oil refinery is destroyed.

1980 A US attempt to rescue the embassy hostages in a clandestine mission fails when a rescue helicopters collides with a refueling plane in the Iranian desert, killing eight US servicemen.

1980 Sohrāb Sepehri (b. 1928), noted modernist poet and admired painter, author of Hajm-e sabz (1967), and Hašt ketāb (1976), dies.

1980 Richard Treadwell Hallock (b. 1906), Elamologist and Assyriologist, professor at the University of Chicago, researcher at the Oriental Institute who read the bulk of the Persepolis Elamite tablets, and author of Persepolis Foritification Tablets (1969), dies.

1980-81 Premiership of Moḥammad-ʿAli Rajāʾi.

1981 The US Embassy hostages are released after 444 days in captivity, with the planes carrying the hostages to freedom taking off from Iranian soil less than one hour after Ronald Reagan’s inauguration as the new President of the United States.

1981 Ayatollah Khomeini removes Baniṣadr from power, allegedly because of his sympathetic attitude towards the Mojāhedin-e ḵalq; Moḥammad-ʿAli Rajāʾi is named President and Baniṣadr flees to Paris where as a figurehead he joins the opposition movement The National Council of Resistance (Šurā-ye melli-e moqāwemat), established by Mojāhedin.

1981 A bomb at the Islamic Republican Party headquarters kills some 70 members of the ruling party including its leader, Ayatollah Sayyed-Moḥammad Behešti (b. 1928); the Mojāhedin-e ḵalq claim responsibility for the attack.

1981 Premiership of Moḥammad Jawād Bāhonar.

1981 A second bombing by the Mojāhedin-e ḵalq at the prime minister’s office kills both the President, Moḥammad ʿAli Rajāʾi and the prime minister, Moḥammad-Jawād Bāhonar.

1981 Premiership of Moḥammad-Reżā Mahdawi-Kani.

1981 Sayyed-ʿAli Ḵāmeneʾi is elected President.

1981 Naṣr-Allāh Falsafi (b. 1901), historian of the Safavid period, professor of history at the University of Tehran, author of Zendagāni-ye Šāh ʿAbbās-e Awwal (4 vols., 1954-67), and translator of several works from French, dies.

1981 The leading theologian, Moḥammad-Ḥosayn Ṭabāṭabāʾi (b. 1903), dies.

1981 ʿAli-Aṣḡar Ḥekmat (b. 1893), scholar, statesman, former minister of education and minister of foreign affairs, among other Cabinet posts, a major agent of the drive towards the modernization of Persia, and for years head of the preservation of national monuments and Persian UNESCO Commission of Iran, dies.

1981-89 Premiership of Mir-Ḥosayn Mousawi.

1982 Musā Ḵiābāni, the leader of the Mojāhedin-e ḵalq, is killed in a fierce clash with Iranian security forces.

1982 During the course of the “Bayt al-Moqaddas” offensive, Iranian forces drive the Iraqis from large areas of Iranian territory.

1982 Iran recaptures the strategic town of Khorramshahr from the Iraqis.

1982 Iran rejects U.N. Security Council Resolution 514 appealing for a cease-fire and the withdrawal of both Iran and Iraq to internationally recognized borders.

1982 Ṣādeq Qoṭbzādeh, a former foreign minister of the Islamic Republic and head of the radio and television network, is executed, having been convicted of plotting a coup d’état against the regime.

1982 ʿAli Dašti (b. 1895), writer, journalist, scholar, parliamentarian, and senator, author of the novels Fetna (1944), and Jādu (1952), author of Bist o se sāl (1983), on the life of the Prophet of Islam, which was banned in the Islamic Republic, and a number of literary criticism monographs on Saʿdi, Ḥāfeẓ, and Omar Khayyam, among others, dies.

1983 A campaign of repression against the Tudeh Party, which had welcomed and collaborated with Ayatollah Khomeini and the Islamic Republic, leads to the arrest of the Party’s leadership and 1,000 other active members. Later, some leaders of the military branch of the party who had committed espionage for the Soviet Union, are tried and executed; the connection was disclosed by the Soviet diplomat, Vladimir Kuzichkin, who had defected to Iran.

1983 Soviet diplomats are expelled from Iran and the Tudeh Party is officially outlawed.

1983 The first five-year development plan (1983-88) is approved with priority given to agriculture.

1983 A law is passed requiring women to meet “Islamic standards of dress.”

1983 Universities are reopened for first time since 1980 under the strict supervision of Islamic authorities.

1983 Iran rejects a fourth U.N. Security Council Resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in the Iran-Iraq war, insisting that the war cannot end without the identification and punishment of Iraq as the aggressor.

1984 General Ḡolām-ʿAli Oveisi, a capable military commander of the Pahlavi Period who is considered to be a potential threat to the Islamic Republic, and his brother Ḡolām-Ḥosayn, are assassinated in Paris.

1984 Iraq launches chemical weapon attacks against Iranian cities.

1984 Laurence Paul Elwell-Sutton (b. 1912), British scholar of Iranian studies in the Islamic period, professor at Edinburgh University, author of Modern Iran (1944), Persian Oil: a study in power politics (1955), The Persian Metres (1976), A Bibliographical Guide to Iran (1983), and Vafsi Folk Tales (2004), dies.

1984 Vladimir Grigoriyevich Lukonin (b. 1932), Russian scholar of pre-Islamic Iranian studies and former head of the Oriental Department at the State Hermitage Museum, co-author with Muhammad Dandamayev of Culture and Social Institutions of Ancient Iran (English. ed., 1989), and co-author with Anatoli Ivanov of Lost Treasures of Persia: Persian art in the Hermitage Museum (1st US ed., 1996), dies.

1985 United States undertakes a clandestine attempt to exchange arms for hostages held in Lebanon, later to be known as the “Iran-Contra” affair.

1985 Ḡolām-Ḥosayn Sāʿedi (b. 1935), writer and playwright, author of ʿAzādārān-e bayal (1965), Čub be dasthā-ye Varazil (1965), and Ā-ye bā kolāh, Ā-ye bi kolāh (1967), dies.

1985 Ayatollah Moḥammad-Kāẓem Šariʿatmadāri (b. 1904), noted mojtahed who had been silenced for years on account of some unfavorable remarks made by him regarding the political theories of Ayatollah Khomeini, dies.

1985 Karl Jahn (b. 1906), scholar of Iranian history, professor at the University of Leiden, translator of sections of Rašid-al-Din’s Jāme-al-tawāriḵ on Ḡāzān Khan and the Ḡozz tribes as Geschichte Gazan-Han’s aus dem Ta’rih-i-mubarak-i-Gazani des Rashid al-Din (1940), and author of Die Geschichte der Oguzen des Rašid ad-Din (1969), dies.

1986 Iran launches the “Wa’l-Fajr 8” offensive against Iraq; 85,000 Iranian troops cross the Shatt-al-Arab waterway and occupy the Iraqi port of Fao, threatening Iraq’s only access to the Persian Gulf.

1986 U.N. Security Council Resolution 582 calls for an immediate cease-fire in the Iran-Iraq war; the lack of reference to Iraqi responsibility, however, leads to yet another Iranian rejection.

1986 The U.N. Security Council issues a statement condemning Iraq for the use of chemical weapons and condemning Iran for failing to agree to an end to hostilities.

1986 The Fourth National Census of Population and Housing is conducted; the population of the country totals just under 50 million, with 54% living in urban areas.

1986 The arms-for-hostages deals from August 1985 to November 1986, resulted in seven shipments of a total of 2,004 TOW and 18 HAWK missiles from the United States or Israel to Iran, and the release of three American hostages in Lebanon.

1986 Charles Kyrle Wilkinson (b. 1897), scholar of Islamic and Iranian art, Curator at the Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, excavator at Nišāpur, author of Nishapur: pottery of the early Islamic period (1973), and Nishapur: some early Islamic buildings and their decoration (1986), dies.

1986 Mark Jan Dresden (b. 1911), American Iranist of Dutch origin, philologist, expert on Middle Iranian languages, and professor of Iranian studies at the University of Pennsylvania, and editor of Denkart: a Pahlavi text (1966), dies.

1986 Georges Dumezil (b. 1898), prolific French philologist and historian of religion, proponent of the hypothesis of the tripartite religion of Indo-European nations and the tri-functional theory of their social classes, author of Naissance d’archanges (1945), which deals with the Aməša.Spəntas, who also wrote on Ossetic Nard saga, dies.

1986 Maurice Sven Dimand (b. 1892), art historian, Curator of Near Eastern Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and author of A Handbook of Muhammadan Art (1947), dies.

1986 Otto Helmut Wolfgang Lentz (b. 1900), German Iranologist who specialized in Middle Iranian and New Persian dialects, and Iranian religion, professor of Iranian studies at the University of Hamburg, author of “Kulturschicten der Pamirtäler im Spiegel der Sprache,” in ZDMG 84 (1930), and “Wie weit verstehen wir die zarathustrischen Gāthās?” in ZDMG 105 (1955), dies.

1987 Iran launches the “Karbalā 5” offensive, one of the most vigorous operations in the Iran-Iraq war.

1987 Moẓaffar Baqāʾi Kermāni (b. 1912), activist politician, Majles deputy, professor of ethics at the Faculty of Letters of the University of Tehran, who was once a collaborator with Moḥammad Moṣaddeq but later became his opponent on account of Moṣaddeq’s repeated requests from Majles for full powers and his eventual dismissal of the Majles in 1953, dies after a prison term which physically subdued him.

1988 Ayatollah Khomeini announces the formation of a 13 member “Discretionary Council” (Šurā-ye maṣlaḥat) comprised of executive, legislative, and judicial leaders with the authority to overrule the veto power of the Guardianship Council. The new Council is empowered to review controversial bills in the event that Majles and the Guardianship Council fail to reach agreement on some theological or legal grounds.

1988 A United Nations investigation concludes that Iraq made extensive use of chemical weapons in its military operations in 1988, the final year of the Iran-Iraq war.

1988 An Iran Air commercial plane carrying 290 passengers and crew is shot down by US Navy warship USS Vincennes, which had allegedly mistaken the airliner for a hostile military jet.

1988 A ceasefire is signed between Iran and Iraq following UN-sponsored negotiations in Geneva. The recent military defeats caused by the shortage of arms, the intolerable war expenses, the isolation of Iran in the world, as well as the American presence in the Gulf and the downing of the Iran Air Airbus accelerated the decision by Ayatollah Khomeini to “drink the cup of poison,” accepting the ceasefire.

1988 Alessandro Bausani (b. 1921), prominent Italian polyglot historian of Persian literature, religion, and culture as well as the culture and literature of a number of other Muslim nations, including Urdu, Sindi, and Indonesian literatures, professor at the University of Rome, author of Persia Religiosa (1959; English tr. as Religion in Iran, 2000), Storia della Letteratura persiana (1960, with Antonino Pagliaro), and The Persians, from the earliest days to the twentieth century (English tr., 1971), dies.

1989 Ayatollah Khomeini issues a fatwā (legal pronouncement) of a death sentence against writer Salman Rushdie for his allegedly blasphemous depiction of the Prophet Moḥammed in his book The Satanic Verses.

1989 The 12 European Economic Community (EEC) countries recall their ambassadors from Tehran over the Salman Rushdie affair.

1989 Iran breaks off diplomatic relations with Britain over the Salman Rushdie affair.

1989 Ayatollah Ḥosayn-ʿAli Montaẓeri is dismissed from his position as the successor to Ayatollah Khomeini.

1989 Assassination in Vienna of ʿAbd-al-Raḥmān Qā-semlu, secretary-general of the opposition Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan, and two of his associates, by agents of the Iranian government.

1989 Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (b. 1902), leading theologian, political activist, patriarch of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, and Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran (1979-89), author of Welāyat-e faqih dar ḵosus-e hokumat-e Eslāmi (1979), and a Tawżiḥ al-masāʾel (1980) dies.

1989 Sayyed-ʿAli Ḵāmeneʾi, president of the Islamic Republic, is elected Supreme Leader (wali-e faqih) by the Assembly of Experts.

1989 Reputed theoretician of the Tudeh party, Ehsān Ṭabari (b. 1917), who after the Islamic Revolution showed support for Ayatollah Khomeini and the Islamic Revolution, and was later arrested and jailed, dies.

1989 Basil Gray (b. 1904), British art historian, Keeper of Oriental Antiquities at the British Museum, and author of Persian Painting (1961), dies.

1989 Wilhelm Eilers (b. 1906), outstanding German scholar of Iranian studies and Assyriology, professor of Oriental philology at the University of Würzburg who wrote on Iranian onomastics, lexicography, and dialects, and author of the very detailed and authoritative Deutsch-Persisches Wörterbuch (1959-71, incomplete), Iranische Ortsnamenstudien (1987), and Der Name Demawend (1988), dies.

1989–97 The cleric ʿAli-Akbar Hāšemi Rafsanjāni, a wealthy pistachio grower from Kerman, author of a book on Amir Kabir, active in the Islamic Revolution, a close confidant of Ayatollah Khomeini and former speaker of the Majles, is elected president. He is reelected in 1993.

1990 A major earthquake strikes western Iran, killing over 40,000 people, with Zanjan and Gilan provinces particularly hard hit.

1990 Iran remains neutral following Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.

1990 Diplomatic ties with Britain, which had been broken off over the Salman Rushdie affair, are resumed.

1990 Iran and Iraq resume diplomatic relations.

1990 Mehdi Aḵavān-Sāles (Ṯāleṯ, b. 1928), modernist poet whose poetry combines aspects of classical and modernist styles, author of Zemestān (1956), Pāʾiz dar zendān (1969), and Zendagi miguyad ammā bāz bāyad zist (1978), dies.

1990 Parviz Nātel-Ḵānlari (b. 1914), noted poet, essayist, scholar of Persian literature and phonology, professor of Persian literature at the University of Tehran, publisher and editor of Soḵan, a journal of considerable influence in the development of modern Persian literature, founding director of the Iran Cultural Foundation (Bonyād-e farhang-e Irān), minister of education in the Cabinet of ʿAlam, and senator, dies.

1990 ʿAli-Akbar Siāsi (b. 1895), professor of psychology, chairman of the progressive Irān-e Javān Society, a dean of the Faculty of Letters, minister of education and minister of foreign affairs, capable and dedicated president of the University of Tehran (1943-55), under whose direction the University became independent of the Ministry of Education and run by its own Council, known for his resistance to governmental interference and his refusal to dismiss a number of professors who belonged to the Tudeh Party, dies.

1990 Bertold Spüler (b. 1911), outstanding and prolific German historian of Iran, Central Asia, and the Mongols, professor at the University of Hamburg, author of Die Mongolen in Iran (1939) and Iran in frühislamischer Zeit (1952), and founding editor of the well-known multi-volume Handbuch der Orientalistik, dies.

1991 Šāpur Baḵtiār, last prime minister of Iran prior to the 1979 Revolution, is assassinated in Paris, allegedly by agents of the Islamic Republic.

1991 Ḡolām-Ḥosayn Ṣadiqi (b. 1905), respected professor of sociology, founder, with Ehsān Narāḡi, of the Institute of Social Research at the University of Tehran, a close associate of Dr. Moḥammad Moṣaddeq and his minister of interior, dies.

1992 ʿAli Amini (b. 1905), politician and former prime minister, whose Cabinet members included Ḥasan Arsanjāni who carried out the land reform and Moḥammad Deraḵšeš, who raised teachers’ salaries considerably, dies.

1992 Ayatollah Abu’l-Qāsem Ḵoʾi (b. 1900), a leading moderate Shiʿite theologian, dies. Ayatollah ʿAli Sistāni succeeds him.

1992 Four Kurdish opposition leaders, including Dr. Ṣādeq Šarafkandi, the secretary-general of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan, are assassinated in a Berlin restaurant. German newspapers publish a report that authorities have proof of the involvement of ʿAli Fallāḥiān, Iranian minister of intelligence, in the assassinations. In 1996, a German court issues an arrest warrant for Fallāḥiān and the judge states that he believes the murders had been approved at the highest levels of the Iranian government and with the knowledge of the foreign minister, the president, and the Supreme Leader.

1992 Walther Hinz (b. 1906), German Iranist of wide-ranging interests, including Old Persian, Iranian history, and the Elamite language, professor at the University of Göttingen, author of Iranische Reise. Eine Forschungsfahrt durch das heutige Persien (1938), Altiranische Funde und Forschungen (1969), and Darius und die Perser. Eine Kulturgeschichte der Achämeniden (2 vols., 1976-79), dies.

1993 Sayyed Abu’l-Qāsem Enjavi-Širāzi (b. 1921), literary scholar, man of letters, and writer best known for his studies of Persian folklore, author of Jašnhā o ādāb o moʿtaqedāt-e zemestān (1973), Mardom o Ferdowsi (1976), and Qeṣṣehā-ye Irāni (1978), dies.

1993 Annemarie von Gabain (b. 1901), German scholar of Central Asian and Turkic studies who wrote a number of works on various aspects of Iranian-Turkic contacts, dies.

1993 Louis Vanden Berghe (b. 1923), Belgian archeologist of Iran who identified a number of pre-Islamic remains in the Fars province, author of Bibliographie analytique de l’archéologie de l’Iran ancien (1979), dies.

1994 ʿAli-Akbar Saʿidi Sirjāni (b. 1931), liberal eassayist, social critic, poet, writer with a distinctive style, author of a satirical allegory, Afsānehā (1961), author of Dar āstin-e moraqqaʿ (1984), Ey kutah āstinān (1991), and Az Šayḵ-e Ṣanʿān tā marg dar zendān (1995), who had been arrested and jailed on account of his bold and mocking attacks on the Supreme Leader and the Islamic government, dies in prison; his family’s request for an autopsy is denied.

1994 Edith Porada (b. 1912), Austrian art historian of the ancient Middle East, professor at Columbia University, and author of The Art of Ancient Iran (1965), dies.

1995 Total trade ban with Iran imposed by the United States in response to Iran’s alleged sponsorship of terrorism.

1995 Mehdi Bāzargān (b. 1907), professor of engineering at the University of Tehran, a devout Muslim, the first prime minister appointed by Ayatollah Khomeini, and the leader of the Freedom Movement (Nahżat-e āzādi), dies.

1995 Peter Calmeyer (b. 1930), German archeologist, historian of Iranian art, a Deputy Director of the Tehran branch of the German Archeological Institute, and author of Datierbare Bronzen aus Luristan und Kirmanshah (1969), dies.

1996 Moḥammad-Jaʿfar Maḥjoub (b. 1924), noted scholar of Persian language and literature, professor at the University of Tehran, editor of numerous Persian literary works including Divān-e kāmel-e Iraj Mirzā (1989), and ʿObayd Zâkâni: Collected Works (1999), and author of Āyin-e Javānmardi (2000), dies.

1996 Ḥosayn Kāẓemi (b. 1924), capable painter and portraitist whose tableau inspired by Ṣādeq Hedāyat’s The Blind Owl is his best-known work, dies.

1996 Ḡazāleh ʿAlizādeh (b. 1948), novelist and author of Ḵāna-ye Edrisi-hā (1992), commits suicide.

1996 Sir Harold Walter Bailey (b. 1899), eminent and prolific British Iranist, Indo-Europeanist, prodigious linguist, professor of Sanskrit at Cambridge University, member of the Advisory Committee of the Encyclopaedia Iranica, principal founder of Ancient India and Iran Trust, especially noted for his extensive work on the Middle Iranian Saka language of Khotan, author of the etymological Dictionary of Khotan Saka (1979), and The Culture of the Sakas in Ancient Iranian Khotan (1982), dies.

1996 Geo Widengren (b. 1907), Swedish philologist, historian of Iranian religions, professor at Uppsala University, author of Mesopotamian elements in Manichaeism (1946), Iranisch-semitische Kulturbegegnung in parthischer Zeit (1960), Mani und der Manichaismus (1961), and Die Religionen Irans (1965), dies.

1997 Donald Newton Wilber, author, scholar, archeologist, CIA agent (1948-70), author of Architecture of Islamic Iran: the Ilkhanid period (1955), Persian Gardens and Garden Pavilions (1962), Iran: Past and Present, from Monarchy to Islamic Republic (revised edition, 1981), and The Timurid Architecture of Iran and Turan (1988), dies.

1997 Moḥammad Khatami, presenting a liberal platform, is elected president of Iran in May in a landslide, garnering 70% of the popular vote.

1997 Ṭaʿm-e gilās (Taste of Cherry), a film by Iranian director ʿAbbās Kiārostami, wins the prestigious Palme d’Or award at the Cannes Film Festival.

1997 Aḥmad Tafażżoli, noted professor of pre-Islamic Iranian languages at the University of Tehran, scientific deputy-director of the Persian Academy of Language and Literature, frequent contributor to, and a Consulting Editor of Encyclopaedia Iranica, author of Vāža-nāma-ye minu-ye ḵarad (1969), Anthologie of Zadspram (1993), Tāriḵ-e adabiyāt-e Irān piš az Eslām (1997), and Sasanian Society (2000), recipient of an honorary doctorate from the University of St. Petersburg, dies under suspicious circumstances.

1997 Siāvoš Kasrāʾi (b. 1927), one of the noted lyric poets of modern Iran and author of Āraš-e kamāngir (2001), dies.

1997 Bozorg Alavi (b. 1904), noted novelist and short story writer, author of Češmhāyaš (1952; English tr. as Her Eyes, 1989) and several collections of short stories, and an erstwhile member of the Tudeh Party who had fled to East Germany where he taught Persian, dies.

1997 John David Yohannan (b. 1911), American scholar, professor of English and Comparative Literature at the City University of New York, author of Persian Poetry in England and America (1977), and The Poet Saʾdi (1987), dies.

1998 Iran participates in its second Soccer World Cup, held in France, having previously taken part in the 1978 games in Argentina; Iran defeats the United States 2-1 in the tournament for its first ever victory in a World Cup match, but fails to advance past the first round.

1998 The Iranian film Bačehā-ye āsemān (Children of Heaven), directed by Majid Majidi, is nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Film.

1998 Assad-Allāh Lājevardi, former head of Iran’s notorious Evin prison, is assassinated. The militant opposition group Mojāhedin-e ḵalq claim responsibility.

1998 Ṣādeq Čubak (b. 1916), the noted short-story writer and novelist, author of Tangsir (1963), Sang-e sabur (1967), and short story collections Ḵeyma-šab-bāzi (1968), of dies.

1998 Fritz Meier (b. 1912), prominent Swiss scholar of Islamic and Persian mysticism, author of Zwei Abhandlungen über die Naqshbandiyya (1994), and Essays on Islamic piety and mysticism (English tr., 1999), dies.

1999 World Association of Newspapers awards the 1999 Golden Pen of Freedom Award to exiled Iranian writer Faraj Sarkuhi, former editor of Ādineh journal, who had left Iran for Germany after his release from prison in 1998.

1999 Student supporters of the reformist President Khatami stage a sit-in at the Amirābād dormitories on the campus of the University of Tehran following the closure of the reformist newspaper, Salām. The peaceful sit-in is violently suppressed by fundametalist paramilitary forces.

1999 Iran and the United Kingdom agree to exchange ambassadors for the first time in 20 years.

1999 ʿAbd-al-Ḥosayn Zarrinkoub (b. 1922), prolific scholar of Persian literature and history, professor at the University of Tehran, author of, among others, Arzeš-e miraṯ-e Ṣufiyya (1963), Bā kāravān-e Ḥella (1964), Šeʿr-e bi doruḡ, šeʿr-e bi neqāb (1967), Tāriḵ-e mardom-e Irān (2 vols., 1985-88), Pella pella tā molāqāt-e ḵodā (1991), dies.

1999 Ḏabiḥ-Allāh Ṣafā (b. 1911), prolific historian of Persian literature, professor of Persian literature at the University of Tehran, and the author of, among others, HÂamāsa sarāʾi dar Irān (1945), the extensive history of Persian literature, Tāriḵ-e adabiyāt dar Irān (in 5 vols. and 8 parts, 1953-90), and the anthologies Ganj-e soḵan (poetry, 3 vols., 1960-61), and Ganjina-ye soḵan (prose, 3 vols., 1969), dies.

1999 Igor M. Diakonoff (b. 1915), prominent Russian historian of Iran and the ancient Middle East and its philology, author of Istorja Midii (History of Media, 1956), dies.

2000 The judiciary bans the publication of 16 reformist newspapers with the adoption of new Press Laws.

2000 Parviz Šāpur (b. 1924), acclaimed satirist and the author of a body of humorous kalemakāturs showing exceptional imagination and wit, dies.

2000 Yaḥyā Mahdawi (b. 1908), respected professor of Western philosophy, author of Fehrest-e noḵostin moṣannafāt-e Ebn Sinā (1954), and translator of a number of philosophy texts, who had donated his salary to the University of Tehran to be spent on the publication of books, dies.

2000 Aḥmad Šāmlou (b. 1925), modernist poet, known for his good declamation of Persian poetry, author of Āydā dar āyena (1964), Pariā o qeṣṣehā-ye doḵtarā-ye nana daryā (1988), written in the style of children’s stories, author of Havā-ye tāza (2000), dies.

2000 Nāder Nāderpur (b. 1929), outstanding modernist poet and imagist whose poetry combined the polish of classical poetry with modernist themes and motifs, who left Persia after the 1979 Revolution, residing first in Paris and then Los Angeles, author of the collections of poems Sorma-ye ḵoršid (1960), Ḵun o ḵākestar (1988), Morḡ-e āftāb (1995), and Zamin wa zamān (1996), dies in Los Angeles, from where he had often lamented his imposed exile.

2000 Noṣrat Raḥmāni (b. 1929), modernist poet, author of Mardi ke dar ḡobār gom šod (1959), dies.

2000 Fereydun Moširi (b. 1927), prominent and popular modernist poet, particularly known for the ease and eloquence of his poems, author of Gonāh-e daryā (1957), Abr wa kuča (1966), Bahār rā bāvar kon (1968), and Yek āsemān paranda (1997), dies.

2000 Hušang Golširi (b. 1937), noted novelist and short story writer who gained fame with his novel Šāzdeh Eḥtejāb (1969), author of Meṯl-e hamiša (1969), Panj ganj (1989) and Āyinehā-ye dardār (1992), dies.

2001 Mohammad Khatami is re-elected president for a second term, garnering over 75% of the vote, despite the profound disappointments engendered among his supporters by his first term of office.

2001 Ronald E. Emmerick (b. 1937), Australian Iranist and philologist, an expert on the Khotanese language, professor of Iranian studies at the University of Hamburg, editor and translator of The Book of Zambasta: a Khotanese poem on Buddhism (1968), author of A guide to the literature of Khotan (1979), dies.

2001 David Neil Mackenzie (b. 1926), British Iranist and philologist, professor at the University of Göttingen, expert in Middle Persian, Chorasmian, and Kurdish, author of Kurdish Dialect Studies (2 vols., 1961-62), and A Concise Pahlavi Dictionary (1971), dies.

2001 Vasiliĭ Ivanovich Abaev (b. 1900), Ossetic linguist of the Soviet Union specializing in the diachronic study of Iranian languages, Ossetic in particular, author of Nartovskiĭ epos (Nard Epic, 1945), and Russko-osetinskiĭ slovar (Russian-Ossetic dictionary, 1950), dies.

2001 Ilya Gershevitch (b. 1914), British Iranist of Russian origin, philologist, staunch defender of W. B. Henning’s view of the date of Zoroaster (circa 6th century B.C.) and Bartholomae’s transcription scheme of Avestan, Reader of ancient Iranian languages at the University of Cambridge, and author of The Avestan Hymn to Mithra (1959), dies.

2002 Construction of Iran’s first nuclear reactor in Bushehr gets under way with the help of Russian technicians.

2002 Aḥmad Maḥmud (b. 1931), noted novelist whose fiction mostly depicts the fate of the poor and the oppressed of his native Khuzestan, author of Zamin-e suḵta (1982), Hamsāyahā (200?), and Madār-e ṣefr daraja (2001), dies.

2002 Jes Peter Asmussen (b. 1928), Danish scholar of Iranian philology and religion, professor of Iranian studies at the University of Copenhagen, and author of Xuāstvānīft. Studies in Manichaeism (1965), and Manichaean Literature (1975), dies.

2002 Tahsin Yazici (b. 1922), Turkish scholar and historian, one of the editors of Islam Ansiklopedisi, and a Consulting Editor of the Encyclopaedia Iranica for Perso-Turkish relations, dies.

2003 Shirin Ebadi, lawyer and human rights activist, becomes the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, a first for Iran.

2003 An earthquake in Bam, southeast Iran, results in an estimated 40,000 deaths and destruction of the town and its historic remains.

2003 Zahrā Kāẓemi, an Iranian-Canadian freelance journalist, is arrested after taking photographs of Tehran’s notorious Evin prison. Two days after her arrest she dies in hospital as a result of injuries suffered in an attack while in custody; government agents are suspected of the murder.

2003 Annemarie Schimmel (b. 1922), scholar of Islamic literature and mysticism, poet, art historian (calligraphy), whose research interests covered Persian, Turkish, Arabic, and Urdu literatures, author of Mystical Dimensions of Islam (1975), Triumphal Sun: a study of the works of Jalaloddin Rumi (1978), and A Two-Colored Brocade: The Imagery of Persian Poetry (1992), dies.

2003 Gerhard Doerfer (b. 1920), eminent German expert of Turkic and Mongolian languages and author of Turkische und mongolische Elemente im Neupersischen (4 vols., 1963-75), dies.

2004-05 Canada recalls its ambassador to Iran and in 2005 reiterates that until Iran agrees to an international investigation into Zahrā Kāẓemi’s death, Canada will not resume diplomatic relations with Iran.

2005 Moḥammad Deraḵšeš (b. 1915), founding director of Mehregān Club (Bāšgāh-e Mehregān), essayist, minister of education in ʿAli Amini’s Cabinet who substantially raised teachers’ salaries, and editor of Mehregān, an anti-Islamic Republic of Iran journal, dies.

2005 Šāhroḵ Meskoob (b. 1925), man of letters, member of the Tudeh Party in his youth but later a commentator and critic of the Party after abandoning it, scholar, translator and stylist, author of Sug-e Siāvaš (1971), Goftogu dar bāḡ (1992), Melliyat wa zabān (English transl. by M. Hillman as Iranian Nationality and the Persian Language, 1992) and Armaḡān-e mur (2005), the result of his studies on Ferdowsi’s Šāh-nāma, dies.

2005 Sir Denis Wright (b. 1911), diplomat and scholar, British ambassador to Iran (1963-71), a contributor to the Encyclopaedia Iranica, author of The English Among the Persians (1977), and The Persians Among the English (1985), dies.

2005 Karim Emāmi (b. 1930), man of letters, translator, editor, lexicographer, writer for Keyhān International, an editor with Franklin publications, founder of Zamina bookstore after the establishment of the Islamic Republic, devoted to the promotion of good books, translator of the Rubāʿiyāt of Omar Khayyām into English and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger into Persian, among many other translations, author of Az moṣāḥebat-e āftāb: zendagi o šeʿr-e Sohrāb Sepehri (1996, with Kāmyār ʿĀbedi), dies.

2005 Maḥmud Aḥmadinežād, the fundamentalist mayor of Tehran, is elected president of Iran, defeating ʿAli-Akbar Hāšemi Rafsanjāni.

Index of proper names that occur in the chronological table.