March 14, 2008 / 7:38 AM / 12 years ago

TIMELINE: Political events since Iran's revolution

(Reuters) - Iranians voted on Friday in a parliamentary election that conservatives are expected to win after many pro-reform politicians who oppose hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad were barred from running as candidates.

Here is a chronology of the main political events since the revolution and founding of the Islamic Republic:

January 1979 - Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi is forced into exile after mounting discontent with his authoritarian rule.

February - Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returns to Tehran from Paris after 15 years of exile spent mainly in Iraq and quickly consolidates his power to become Supreme Leader.

June 1989 - Khomeini dies. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, a former president, is appointed Supreme Leader.

August 1989 - Pragmatic deal-maker Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani becomes president after landslide election win.

May 1997 - Reformist Mohammad Khatami is elected president in surprise and sweeping victory over candidate backed by conservative clerics.

July 1999 - Student unrest turns violent over closure of pro-reform newspaper. Dozens of such newspapers are later shut.

February 2000 - Khatami’s pro-reform allies secure a big win in parliamentary election against entrenched conservatives.

June 2001 - Khatami is re-elected president.

August 2002 - Exiled opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran reports existence of uranium enrichment facility at Natanz and heavy water plant at Arak.

February 2004 - Conservatives win parliamentary poll after Guardian Council bars some 2,500 reformers from standing.

June 2005 - In major upset, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, mayor of Tehran, defeats Rafsanjani in run-off vote for presidency.

May 2006 - Washington offers to join multilateral talks with Iran if it verifiably suspends uranium enrichment.

December 2007 - A U.S. National Intelligence Estimate report says Iran put its bid to build a nuclear bomb on hold in 2003.

February 2008 - Hardline state bodies bar hundreds of reformists from running in March 14 parliamentary election.

March 2008 - U.N. Security Council adopts third sanctions resolution targeted at Iran’s nuclear program.

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