The past couple of months have marked a water-shed moment in US-Iran relations since the hostility between the two states began during the Iranian Revolution in 1979. The historic phone call between Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and U.S. President Barack Obama back in September set the conciliatory mood for nuclear talks, which will continue in Geneva on Thursday. For Iranian skeptics/hardliners, their Supreme leader AyatollahAli Khamenei (who we all know calls the real shots), has spoken – giving his public support for President Hassan Rouhani’s nuclear negotiations.
It is a crucial moment in international relations between two critical regions. While there is a definite thaw in their relationship, a diplomatic resolution to the nuclear standoff between Iran and the U.S. rests on what culminates from current negotiations. Talks began a few weeks ago between Iran and six world powers – US, Russia, China, France, Germany and Britain
What’s on the table?
Iran wants sanctions lifted and an end to its isolation, while the US, along with the international community, wants a guarantee that Iran will never weaponize its nuclear program.
In order to fully understand why some remain skeptical about the two states becoming pals, Carbonated.TV prepared a slide show to illustrate the events that have defined the tumultuous relationship between the two nations since 1950.
Here are the highlights.
1951 Oct. US President Truman and Iranian PM Mohammad Mossadegh, who sought to move Iran to a full democracy and also nationalized the oil industry - largely owned by British Corporations.
1953 Aug: Democratically-elected Mossadeq is overthrown in a coup engineered by MI6 & CIA. Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who fled after the conflict with Mossadeeq in 1951, returns.
1963:The Shah embarks on a campaign to modernize and westernize the country. (Below) The US-backed Shah meets President Carter and other American officials/diplomats in1977.
1978 Dec: Anti-Shah demonstrators in Tehran. U.S. continually supplied arms to the increasingly unpopular Shah and the CIA-trained SAVAK, his repressive secret police.
1979 Jan/Feb: Iranian Revolution. The Shah and his family forced into exile. Islamic religious leader Ayatollah Khomeini returns after 14 years in exile and takes effective power.
1979 Nov: A mob of angry students overruns the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and takes 52 Americans hostages. The Islamic revolutionaries demand that the Shah (who was in the US at the time for medical treatment) face trial in Iran. Photo: Barry Rosen (hostage)
1979: A man holding a sign during a protest of the crisis in Washington, D.C. in 1979. The sign reads "Deport all Iranians" and "Get the hell out of my country" on the front, and "Release all Americans now" on the back.
1980 Sept: Iran-Iraq war, which lasts 8 years. US supports Iraq with economic aid, weapons and intelligence. It was found recently that the CIA aided Saddam in gas attacks.
1985/6, US makes weapons shipments to Iran - allegedly in exchange for help with US hostages in Lebanon, eventually leading to the biggest crisis of Reagan's presidency (Iran Contra Affair).
1988 Aug: US officials brief media after 290 passengers and crew of an Iran Air plane are mistakenly shot down and killed by the USS Vincennes. $61.8 million is paid as compensation to the victims’ families.
1995: The US imposes sanctions on Iran’s trade, oil, and its aviation imports, due to the Tehran administration’s alleged sponsorship of "terrorism" and drive to acquire nuclear arms.
2002 Jan: US President George Bush describes Iraq, Iran and North Korea as the "axis of evil", causing an outrage in Iran. His comments are condemned by reformists and conservatives alike.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran’s President between 2005 and 2012, inspects nuclear centrifuges. Since the 90s Iran has been a key focus for the US, EU and UN, who placed sanctions and embargos on the country – crippling its economy.
2011 Oct: The US accuses Iran of plotting to kill the Saudi Ambassador to Washington, Adel al-Jubeir. Tehran rejects the charges as part of an American propaganda campaign.
2013 September:President-elect, Hassan Rouhani, directly addresses the American nation for the very first time in a CNN interview.
Sept 2013, Obama and Rouhani hold a historic phone call in the highest level conversation between the estranged nations in more than three decades.