May 13, 2007 / 8:40 PM / 12 years ago

CHRONOLOGY-U.S.-Iranian relations

(Reuters) - The United States and Iran have not had formal diplomatic relations for more than 25 years. The upcoming talks on Iraqi security, at which Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker will represent the United States, will be one of the few times the two countries have talked one-on-one in recent years.

Following is a chronology of major events in U.S.-Iranian relations.

1953 - CIA helps orchestrate the overthrow of Iran’s popular Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh, restoring Shah of Iran, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, to power.

1979 - Revolt forces U.S.-backed Shah to flee and Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returns from exile and proclaims himself supreme religious guide. Fundamentalist students demanding Washington hand over the Shah for trial seize the U.S. Embassy in Tehran November 4, hold its staff hostage for 444 days

1980 - The United States cuts ties with Tehran, seizes Iranian assets and bans most trade with Iran. Covert U.S. rescue attempt ordered by President Jimmy Carter fails when helicopter crashes in sandstorm, eight U.S. servicemen killed. The Shah dies in Egypt.

1981 - Iran releases U.S. hostages minutes after Carter steps down and Ronald Reagan is inaugurated as U.S. president.

1986 - Reagan reveals secret arms deal with Tehran in violation of U.S. arms embargo. Money from the sales was secretly passed to Contra guerrillas in Nicaragua.

1988 - U.S. warship Vincennes mistakenly shoots down an Iranian passenger plane over the Gulf, killing all 290 aboard.

1995 - President Bill Clinton issues executive orders preventing U.S. companies from investing in Iranian oil and gas and from trading with Iran. U.S. accuses Iran of supporting terrorism and seeking to acquire nuclear weapons. Iran denies the charges.

2002 - President George W. Bush declares Iran, Iraq and North Korea an “axis of evil.” Russia begins construction of Basher nuclear reactor, Iran’s first, and U.S. accuses Tehran of operating a secret nuclear weapons program.

2006 - In a major policy shift, Washington says it is willing to join multilateral talks with Iran if Tehran verifiably suspends its nuclear enrichment program.

U.N. Security Council passes resolution that imposes trade sanctions on Iran’s sensitive nuclear materials and freezes assets of Iranian individuals and companies associated with the program. Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations rejects the resolution as without legal basis.

2007 - U.N. Security Council passes resolution with new financial and arms sanctions on Iran after Tehran refuses to suspend its atomic program.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice exchange pleasantries on the sidelines of an Egyptian conference.

Tehran and Washington set talks at ambassadorial level on Iraqi security. The two sides have talked on issues involving Iran’s other neighbor, Afghanistan.

Editing by Jackie Frank; World Desk, Washington 202-898-8457

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