Timeline - Iran holds parliamentary elections

  • World
  • Tuesday, 28 Feb 2012

(Reuters) - Here is a look back at Iran, as the country on Friday holds its first elections since 2009: June 2009 - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wins a June 12 presidential election defeating challenger Mirhossein Mousavi. Hundreds of thousands of people, protesting against the election result, clash with police. Mousavi calls result a "dangerous charade".

August 2009 - Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei formally approves Ahmadinejad's second term on August 3. He is sworn in two days later.

October 2009 - Iran meets six world powers in Geneva and approves in principle a plan to send 75 percent of its low-enriched uranium to Russia and France. On October 25, U.N. nuclear experts inspect a newly disclosed enrichment plant being built near the Shi'ite holy city of Qom.

December 2009 - Influential dissident cleric, Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, spiritual patron of the movement for opposition leader Mousavi, dies, providing a fresh catalyst for renewed demonstrations.

- Several people are killed in Tehran and other cities across Iran when thousands take to streets during a two-day major Shi'ite Muslim religious mourning ritual.

February 2010 - In unusually blunt language surfacing under new chief Yukiya Amano, an IAEA report for the first time suggests Iran might be actively chasing nuclear weapons capability rather than merely having done so in the past.

June 2010 - The U.S. Congress approves tough new unilateral sanctions aimed at squeezing Iran's energy and banking sectors.

July 2010 - The EU imposes tighter sanctions on Iran, aiming to curtail its refining.

January 2011 - Iran and six major powers meet in Istanbul, a day after Iran's IAEA envoy, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, says Iran stands behind a nuclear deal agreed with Brazil and Turkey. The talks end without progress.

February 2011 - Iran warns opposition supporters not to hold a rally the following week, saying they can expect a response from "vigilant" Iranians if they do.

- Opposition leaders hope uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt can revive their "Green movement", stamped out in the months following the June 2009 re-election.

- Two Iranian warships dock in Syria, after passing through the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean, which Israel called a provocation. They were the first Iranian navy vessels to do so since Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution.

April 2011 - Supreme Leader Khamenei rejects the resignation of Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi which had earlier been accepted by Ahmadinejad, a rare political spat between Iran's two highest figures.

August 2011 - Two U.S. nationals are convicted of spying and sentenced to eight years in prison - they were two out of three people who were arrested while hiking along the Iraq-Iran border in 2009, and denied being spies. They were released on September 21, after Oman paid bail of $1 million, diplomats said.

November 2011 - Britain imposes new financial sanctions on Iran, ordering all UK financial institutions to stop doing business with their Iranian counterparts and with the central bank of Iran.

- Iranians storm the British embassy compound in Tehran, in protest against sanctions imposed by Britain. Britain closes the embassy and all diplomatic staff leave the country.

February 2012 - Senior IAEA inspectors end a second round of talks in Tehran, without success and without inspecting a military site at Parchin, where the IAEA believes there is a facility to test explosives.

- Supreme leader Khamenei says Iran's nuclear course will not change regardless of international sanctions, assassinations or other pressures.

March 2012 - Parliamentary elections.

(Reporting by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit)

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