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Timeline of Iranian History
Last Updated: October, 2009

Chapter Four Timeline

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 loose their 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: On December 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.

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