Breaking News
Investing Pro 0
Last Call for Cyber Monday! Save Now on Claim 60% OFF

Timeline: U.S.-Iran relations from 1953 coup to 2023 detainee swap deal

Published Sep 18, 2023 04:53AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: USA and Iranian flags are seen in this illustration taken, September 8, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/file photo

DUBAI (Reuters) - The United States and Iran are to free five detainees each under an exchange agreement that also involves the transfer of $6 billion of unfrozen Iranian assets from South Korea to accounts in Qatar.

The deal removes one major irritant between Iran and the U.S., whose animosity dates back to the Central Intelligence Agency's orchestration of the overthrow of Iran’s popular Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh in 1953 and restoration of the Shah, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, who became a staunch U.S. ally.

Following is a chronology of major events in relations between the Iran and the United States:

1953 - The CIA helps orchestrate overthrow of Iran’s popular Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh, restoring to power Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi.

1957 - The U.S. and Iran sign an agreement on civil nuclear cooperation.

1967 - The U.S. provides Iran with a nuclear reactor along with weapons-grade 93% enriched uranium fuel.

1968 - Iran signs the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty which permits it to have a civil nuclear program in return for a commitment not to acquire nuclear weapons.

1979 - Iran’s Islamic Revolution forces U.S.-backed shah to flee. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returns from exile and becomes supreme religious guide. Fundamentalist students seize the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and hold staff hostage.

1980 - The U.S. cuts diplomatic ties with Iran, seizes Iranian assets and bans most trade with Tehran. Hostage rescue mission ordered by President Jimmy Carter fails.

1981 - Iran releases 52 U.S. hostages minutes after Carter steps down and Ronald Reagan is inaugurated as U.S. president.

1984 - U.S. lists Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism.

1986 - Reagan reveals secret arms deal with Tehran in violation of U.S. arms embargo.

1988 - U.S. warship Vincennes mistakenly shoots down Iranian passenger plane over the Gulf, killing all 290 aboard.

2002 - President George W. Bush declares that Iran, Iraq and North Korea are an "axis of evil." U.S. officials accuse Tehran of operating secret nuclear weapons program.

2009 - Britain, France and the United States announce that Iran is building a secret uranium-enrichment site at Fordow.

2012 - U.S. law gives President Barack Obama the power to sanction foreign banks if they fail to significantly reduce imports of Iranian oil. Iranian oil sales drop, sparking an economic downturn.

U.S. and Iranian officials begin secret talks, which intensify in 2013, on the nuclear issue.

2013 - Hassan Rouhani is elected Iran’s president on a platform of improving Iran’s relations with the world and its economy.

2015 - Iran and six major powers reach a nuclear agreement, under which Tehran agrees to curb its nuclear work in return for sanctions relief.

2018 - President Donald Trump withdraws from the nuclear deal in May, and reimposes crippling economic sanctions on Iran.

2019 - In April, the U.S. designates the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a "terrorist organization".

In May, Iran says it will increase enriched uranium production, bucking its commitments under the nuclear accord.

In September, Saudi Arabia’s state-run oil company is attacked by drones and missiles believed to be from Iran; Tehran denies involvement.

2020 - Iran vows harsh revenge after a U.S. air strike in Baghdad kills special forces commander Qassem Soleimani, architect of Iran's military influence in the Middle East.

2021 - U.S. and Iranian officials hold six rounds of indirect nuclear talks in Vienna between April and June. A new round begins on Nov. 29 after a five-month hiatus triggered by the election of Iran's hardline president Ebrahim Raisi.

2022 - Indirect talks between Tehran and Washington stall in September, leading both sides to sketch out steps that could free some detained U.S. citizens and unfreeze some Iranian assets abroad.

2023 - In August, Iran and the United States agree a swap of detainees and the unfreezing of $6 billion of Iranian assets in South Korea.

Timeline: U.S.-Iran relations from 1953 coup to 2023 detainee swap deal

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.
  • Any comment you publish, together with your profile, will be public on and may be indexed and available through third party search engines, such as Google.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email