(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.