539 BC King Cyrus The Great of Persia marches into the city of Babylon, releasing the Jews from almost 70 years of exile and making the first Human Rights Declaration.
1256 Hulagu Khan captures and destroys the Hashshashin stronghold at Alamut in present-day Iran as part of the Mongol offensive on Islamic southwest Asia.
1722 The Safavid Empire of Iran is defeated by an army from Afghanistan at The Battle of Gulnabad, pushing Iran into anarchy.
1856 The Iranian city of Bushehr surrenders to occupying British forces.
1908 At Masjed Soleyman (مسجد سليمان) in southwest Persia, the first major commercial oil strike in the Middle East is made. The rights to the resource are quickly acquired by the United Kingdom.
1924 Teheran, Persia comes under martial law after the American vice-consul, Robert Imbrie, is killed by a religious mob enraged by rumors he had poisoned a fountain and killed several people.
1928 Boris Bazhanov defects through Iran. He is the only assistant of Joseph Stalin's secretariat to have defected from the Eastern Bloc.
1935 Shah Reza Pahlavi formally asks the international community to call Persia by its native name, Iran, which means 'Land of the Aryans.'
1946 Iran: Qazi Muhammad declares the independent people's Republic of Mahabad at Chuwarchira Square in the Kurdish city of Mahabad. He is the new president; Hadschi Baba Scheich is the prime minister.
1953 Cold War: the CIA helps to overthrow the government of Mohammed Mossadegh in Iran and reinstate the Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
1960 A severe earthquake shakes Lar in Fars province, Iran and kills more than 200 people.
1963 Movement of 15 Khordad: Protest against arrest of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini by Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. In several cities, masses of angry demonstrators are confronted by tanks and paratroopers.
1967 Protests in West Berlin against the arrival of the Shah of Iran turn into riots, during which Benno Ohnesorg is killed by a police officer. His death results in the founding of the terrorist group Movement 2 June.
1971 The start of the 2500-year celebration of Iran, celebrating the birth of Persia.
1971 Iran seizes the Greater and Lesser Tunbs from the United Arab Emirates.
1975 Algiers Accord: Iran and Iraq announce a settlement of their border dispute.
1978 An earthquake measuring 7.5 to 7.9 on the Richter scale hits the city of Tabas, Iran killing about 25,000 people.
1979 The Shah of Iran flees Iran with his family and relocates to Egypt.
1979 The Ayatollah Khomeini is welcomed back to Tehran, Iran after nearly 15 years of exile.
1979 Iran becomes an Islamic Republic by a 98% vote, officially overthrowing the Shah.
1979 Iran hostage crisis begins: a group of Iranians, mostly students, invades the US embassy in Tehran and takes 90 hostages (53 of whom are American).
1979 Iran hostage crisis: In response to the hostage situation in Tehran, US President Jimmy Carter orders a halt to all petroleum imports into the United States from Iran.
1979 Iran hostage crisis: US President Jimmy Carter issues Executive order 12170, freezing all Iranian assets in the United States in response to the hostage crisis.
1979 Iran hostage crisis: Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini orders the release of 13 female and black American hostages being held at the US Embassy in Tehran.
1980 Through cooperation between the U.S. and Canadian governments, six American diplomats secretly escape hostilities in Iran in the culmination of the Canadian caper.
1980 Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini names Abolhassan Banisadr as president of Iran.
1980 Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini states that Iran's parliament will decide the fate of the American embassy hostages.
1980 Operation Nimrod: The British Special Air Service storms the Iranian embassy in London after a six-day siege.
1980 The International Court of Justice calls for the release of United States embassy hostages in Tehran, Iran. The hostages would not be freed until the following January.
1980 Institution of sharia in Iran.
1980 Iraq invades Iran.
1981 Iran Hostage Crisis: United States and Iranian officials sign an agreement to release 52 American hostages after 14 months of captivity.
1981 Twenty minutes after Ronald Reagan is inaugurated, at age 69 the oldest man ever to be inaugurated as U.S. President, Iran releases 52 American hostages. It is the first Presidential inauguration to be held at the west front of the Capitol.
1981 A Richter Scale 6.9 magnitude earthquake at Golbaf, Iran, kills at least 2,000.
1982 Iranian diplomats kidnapping (1982): four Iranian diplomats are kidnapped by Lebanese militia in Lebanon.
1983 Mona Mahmudnizhad together with nine other Bahá'í women, is sentenced to death and hanged in Shiraz, Iran because of her Bahá'í Faith.
1985 The ''Iran-Contra Affair'': The American press reveals that U.S. President Ronald Reagan had authorized the shipment of arms to Iran.
1986 In Lebanon, pro-Iranian kidnappers claim to have abducted American writer Edward Tracy (he is released in August 1991).
1986 Iran-Contra Affair: The Lebanese magazine ''Ash-Shiraa'' reports that the United States has been secretly selling weapons to Iran in order to secure the release of seven American hostages held by pro-Iranian groups in Lebanon.
1986 Iran-Contra Affair: National Security Council member Oliver North and his secretary start to shred documents implicating them in the sale of weapons to Iran and channeling the proceeds to help fund the Contra rebels in Nicaragua.
1986 Iran Contra Affair: US Attorney General Edwin Meese announces that profits from covert weapons sales to Iran were illegally diverted to the anti-communist Contra rebels in Nicaragua.
1987 In retaliation for Iranian attacks on ships in the Persian Gulf, the U.S. Navy disables three of Iran's offshore oil platforms.
1988 The United States launches Operation Praying Mantis against Iranian naval forces in the largest naval battle since World War II.
1989 Iranian leader Ruhollah Khomeini issues a fatwa encouraging Muslims to kill the author of ''The Satanic Verses'', Salman Rushdie.
1989 Iran and the United Kingdom break diplomatic relations after a row over Salman Rushdie and his controversial novel.
1989 Ali Khamenei is elected the new Supreme Leader of Islamic republic of Iran by the Assembly of Experts after the death of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
1997 A 7.3 Mw earthquake strikes Iran's Khorasan Province, killing 1,567, injuring over 2,300, leaving 50,000 homeless, and damaging or destroying over 15,000 homes.
1998 An earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale hits southeastern Iran.
1999 Days of student protests begin after Iranian police and hardliners attack a student dormitory at the University of Tehran.
2002 In his State of the Union Address, President George W. Bush describes "regimes that sponsor terror" as an ''Axis of Evil'', in which he includes Iraq, Iran and North Korea.
2002 An Iran Air Tours Tupolev Tu-154 crashes in the mountains outside Khorramabad, Iran while descending for a landing at Khorramabad Airport, killing 119.
2002 An earthquake measuring 6.5 Mw strikes a region of northwestern Iran killing at least 261 people and injuring 1,300 others and eventually causing widespread public anger due to the slowness of the victims receiving aid and supplies.
2002 Iran bans advertising of United States products.
2003 A magnitude 6.6 earthquake devastates southeast Iranian city of Bam, killing tens of thousands and destroying the citadel of Arg-é Bam.
2004 Up to 295 people, including nearly 200 rescue workers, die near Neyshabur in Iran when a run-away freight train carrying sulfur, petrol and fertilizer catches fire and explodes.
2006 Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announces that Iran has successfully enriched uranium.