The children start school at the age of six
and have compulsory schooling for eight years. Virtually
all children attend elementary school, which is free of
charge. The education system struggles with financial
problems, lack of educated teachers and overcrowded
classes. Studies in Islam are compulsory in Iranian
schools, and admission to universities requires approved
exams in Islamic theology.
About a third of Iranian children go to preschool for
one year before starting first grade. The elementary
school is divided into a five-year and a three-year
stage. Each year ends with tests that the students must
pass in order to continue to the next class.
Country facts of Iran, including geography profile, population statistics, and business data.
English is read from seventh grade. Since 1988, there
are private schools besides the state. More than eight
out of ten children also attend the corresponding upper
secondary school, which is divided into several lines.
After three years comes a year of preparatory courses
and entrance exams. Those who pass their degree
writing, concoor (of French concours),
can move on to higher academic, technical or vocational
preparation. Anyone who fails has the right to make new
Boys and girls attend different classes through high
school, but not in colleges.
In the country there are about 40 universities and
over 100 specialized colleges. Islamic Azad University,
founded in 1982, is one of the world's largest
university systems, with over 1.5 million students.
Headquartered in Tehran, Azad is also located in a wide
range of locations around Iran and abroad. Over half of
the Iranian youth read at some kind of college, a rapid
increase from around a third a few years into the 21st
century. A majority of the students are women.
Rich Iranians are happy to send their children off to
study at foreign universities and colleges.
Under President Ahmadinejad's regime in 2005-2013,
many university teachers were forced to quit
prematurely, according to critics because they were
perceived as liberal and secular. Many students were
also suspended after the riots in 2009 (see Modern
History), due to political activity. After the change of
power in 2013, the new management announced that
suspended students would be allowed to come back and
dismissed teachers would have their cases re-tested.
FACTS - EDUCATION
Proportion of children starting primary
98.6 percent (2017)
Number of pupils per teacher in primary
Reading and writing skills
85.5 percent (2016)
Public expenditure on education as a
percentage of GDP
20.0 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on education as a
percentage of the state budget
20.0 percent (2017)
Judge before the counter
A trial that will be followed with interest begins at a criminal court in
Tehran: a former top civil servant in the judiciary and 21 designated
accomplices will be tried for corruption and money laundering, among others. One
of the co-defendants is a former judge who has been especially noted when he
ordered the closure of the popular messaging service Telegram. Corruption trials
are not uncommon in Iran: recently, two former parliamentarians were sentenced
to 61 months in prison for manipulating the car market.
The amount of stored uranium is growing
Iran has built up a stock of over 1.5 tonnes of enriched uranium at this
time, according to the IAEA. The limit set in the 2015 Nuclear Energy Agreement
was 300 kilos (see mainly 1 July 2019). The enrichment rate
remains at 4.5 percent. But the IAEA is still worried by the continued increase.
Iran has also for four months denied the UN organization to inspect two
locations in the country. The inspectors still visit Iran, but the UN now has to
hire aircraft for the journeys because the covid-19 pandemic stops regular air
Bolivia withdraws from Iran
Bolivia closes its embassy in Iran, states President Jeanine Áñez. It is one
of several decisions that she justifies with the high costs of dealing with the
coronary pandemic. Under her representative Evo Morales, Iran was one of the
countries to which Bolivia built strong ties.
Freed from espionage US on the return journey
Sirous Asgari, professor of material science, is allowed to travel to Iran
after being acquitted of allegations of espionage in the United States (and
having recovered from covid-19). Suspicions arose in 2016 that he had stolen
scientific material from a university in Ohio where research was underway for
the US Navy. But the indictment was rejected by a federal U.S. court in November
2019. It has been rumored that a prisoner exchange is pending between the United
States and Iran (such was implemented in December). Both countries deny that
Asgari has been exchanged for any American, but a few days later a couple of
other home trips come in the limelight: American Michael White, imprisoned in
Iran 2018, is allowed to travel home, and Iranian scientist Majid Taheri can
leave the US, where he has been imprisoned for 16 months.
Concern about a second virus wave
The number of confirmed corona infections increases by the largest number in
two months, almost 3,000 in the last 24 hours. The fact that 81 people are
reported deceased means that the number of deceased persons has also turned
upwards. It gets the Iranian authorities to warn of a second wave of coronas.
The total official death toll in covid-19 is approaching 8,000. The Minister of
Health speaks of the provinces of Sistan, Baluchistan, Kermanshah and Hormozgan
as particularly vulnerable at present.
Several hundred died in gasoline protests
The protest wave in November 2019 triggered by increased gasoline prices
demanded 230 lives, states the chairman of Parliament's Foreign and Security
Committee. It is the first time since the demonstrations that the Iranians have
heard a person in power confirm a high number of casualties. Human rights
organizations claim that even more people died. Shortly after the events,
authorities indicated a low death rate (see November 15 and
December 16, 2019).
The US stops nuclear cooperation
A message from US Secretary of State Pompeo for the 2015 International Atomic
Energy Agreement is one step closer to collapse. The United States, which has
abandoned the agreement and reintroduced sanctions on Iran, has so far granted
exemptions from sanctions for contracting parties, but now exceptions will no
longer be made. In practice, this means that, in particular, Russian companies
will have two months to complete remodeling of a reactor in Arak and transport
of spent nuclear fuel. The work done in Arak has been aimed at preventing the
production of weapons plutonium, and the EU believes that it is now more
difficult for the outside world to gain insight into Iran's nuclear energy
production. Analysts put Washington's message as the US presidential election is
approaching and President Trump is seeking re-election.
Parliament with empty chairs
The new, strongly conservative Parliament is gathering, despite the fact that
some seats remain to be distributed and the second round of elections has been
postponed until September (see February 23 and March 15).
During the session, every other place is left empty due to the risk of coronary
infection; officially, Iran has recorded 7,500 deaths and 140,000 infected.
President Rohani, who is in the final year of his second and last term, is
giving a speech praising his government for managing the crisis and urging its
members to "put the nation's interests ahead of special interests". Tehran's
conservative ex-mayor Ghalibaf (Qalibaf) becomes new president.
Gasoline from Iran to Venezuela
A tanker from Iran with gasoline and other oil derivatives reaches Venezuela.
A further four vessels are on the way and are not least upset by the United
States, which is in favor of isolating the regimes in both countries with
sanctions. Venezuela has huge oil reserves but suffers from mismanagement and
conflicts due to lack of refined oil products. Low international oil prices also
cause the country's income to decline. Venezuela is reported to pay for the
Iranian cargoes with gold.
Activists among those released for the weekend
24th of May
Before id al-fitr, the weekend that follows the fasting month of Ramadan, the
authorities make exceptions in the coronary restrictions and allow Tehran
residents to gather for prayer, with physical distance and face masks. The
country's official death toll in covid-19 is estimated at a total of 7,400, with
135,000 confirmed cases of infection. As tradition traditionally, a number of
prisoners have been pardoned for the weekend, this year just over 3,700. Iranian
media reports that among the released there are activists such as Esmail Bakshi,
which triggered protests at a sugar mill in Khuzestan 2018. Several activists
were then sentenced to imprisonment on up to seven years, but Bakshi was free
from bail pending review of the verdict.
Khamenei: Gaza strengthened with weapons
Iran's supreme leader Ali Khamenei will, for the first time, broadcast live
television on the annual Jerusalem Day. It is an Islamic duty to fight for the
liberation of Palestine, he says, and attacks Israel, the West and the US "Arab
puppets". (Most Arab regimes, unlike Iran, are Sunni Muslims, which is why the
speech is a way for the Shiite leader to claim to be better than the interests
of the Muslims represented.) Khamenei also makes statements about Gaza that are
interpreted as conceding that Iran has supported it. Palestinian Islamist
movement Hamas with weapons.
Soldiers are killed during exercise
Nearly 20 soldiers lose their lives in an accident that occurs when Iran
carries out a naval exercise in the Gulf of Oman, off the south coast. The
soldiers are on a support ship struck by their own fire, fired from an Iranian
frigate. The support vessel was tasked with placing targets in the water and was
close to one of the targets. The event will be investigated, the fleet
Iranians accused of migrant deaths
In Afghanistan, President Ashraf Ghani is launching an investigation into an
incident that occurred at the Iranian border in early May. Iranian border guards
are accused of forcing Afghans into a border flood and at least 18 people have
since been found drowned. The migrants must have been on their way to enter Iran
without permission. Iran has dismissed the allegations, which also deal with
ill-treatment. Many Afghans work as day laborers on construction in Iran. When
the corona pandemic erupted, tens of thousands of Afghans returned home, but
they have begun to look back after Iran's pandemic restrictions were eased.
Hezbollah ban shakes Iran
Iran's state leadership is upset when the Lebanese organization Hezbollah is
banned from operating on German soil. Hezbollah, which has both a political and
a military branch, is now classified in its entirety as a terrorist group and
German police carry out strikes against mosques and associations linked to the
movement. Iran threatens with consequences to Germany for the country
"succumbing to pressure from Israel and the United States".
Military satellite shot
The Revolutionary Guard states that a military satellite has been launched
from a desert region in central Iran and placed in orbit around the earth. The
satellite is Iran's first of its kind and raises questions about whether the
satellite is part of systems that are intended to be used with intercontinental
robots. In the past year, Iran has failed with several launches of other types
Sentenced to death in Iran
Iran executed 251 death sentences in 2019, according to Amnesty
International, which counted about as many (253) executions the year before.
According to the human rights organization, at least 90 inmates who are doomed
are waiting to be executed. Next to China, which secretly records how many are
executed, Iran is believed to be the country that carries out the most death
Small businesses are allowed to open
Small businesses outside the metropolitan area are allowed to open. Some
relief for business in Tehran that comes into force a week later is also
announced. As far as is known, the corona pandemic has claimed more than 4,300
lives in Iran, but society must begin to return to normal, President Rohani has
declared. Even before the pandemic, the country's economy had shrunk
dramatically as a result of the US reintroducing severe sanctions on Iran: minus
4.8 percent in 2018 and minus 9.5 percent in 2019, according to the IMF.
Refers to IMF loans
At the same time as Iran writes the number of deaths in the corona pandemic
to over 4,000, President Rohani is pleading for the IMF to grant the $ 5 billion
loan the country has applied for (see March 12). According to
the Wall Street Journal and other media in the US, the US government intends to
block the loan. Nearly 70,000 Iranians who have been tested have been confirmed
to be infected.
Democrats want to relieve sanctions
Joe Biden, the former US president and favorite to become his party's
candidate in the next presidential election, wants the US to ease its sanctions
on Iran to facilitate supplies of medical equipment and drugs. He also wants aid
organizations to be able to operate in Iran without being punished. The bidder's
competitor Bernie Sanders has stated the day before to ease the sanctions.
The President coronated
Ali Larijani, President of Parliament, is the latest powerhouse in Iran who
has been shown to carry the coronavirus causing a rapid spread pandemic.
Officially, at that stage, Iran has confirmed nearly 3,200 deaths in covid-19
Kurdish guerrilla strikes against Iran's gas exports
The Kurdish PKK guerrilla takes on responsibility for an attack on a gas
pipeline in the province of Ağrı the day before, which led to the interruption
of gas deliveries from Iran to Turkey. The attack in eastern Turkey is described
as the first against a gas pipeline since 2015 and according to local sources
has been carried out by Pjak, a Kurdish group in Iran that has close relations
with the PKK. Most noticeable may be such attacks for Iran, which has few
sources of revenue left that are not hindered by US sanctions. Turkey, for its
part, can replace the gas with imports from Russia.
Care equipment sent from Western Europe
Iran has received a supply of medical equipment from France, Germany and the
United Kingdom, German Foreign Ministry reports. This is the first time that the
Instex mechanism has been used, which was set up to enable transactions with
Iran to be implemented despite the reintroduced US sanctions that hinder normal
trade with Iran (see January 31, 2019).
Freedom of movement is limited
President Rohani announces that restrictions on freedom of movement will be
introduced. He made the message at a televised government meeting where the
participants wear a face mask. Recommendations to the population to avoid
unnecessary travel have had little effect and the number of people deceased in
the disease covid-19 has passed 2,000. Cities will now be blocked off for
traffic based on the vehicle registration number and driver's ID card. Crowds
are also banned.
Health crisis stops New Year's celebrations
The celebration of the Persian New Year has been canceled due to the corona
virus. New Year's Eve falls this year on March 20, and the fires and fireworks
that are usually set up this year have been banned in many places. Citizens are
also encouraged to avoid travel and public gatherings. In connection with the
New Year, amnesty decisions usually occur; now "about 10,000" prisoners get
their sentences cut off, while others receive two weeks' New Year's leave (see
also March 3). The unusual thing this time is that even some
people who have been jailed for security breach are covered by amnesty.
Increased spread of infection, election date changed
In the light of the spread of the coronas center, the second round of
parliamentary elections is postponed from planned 17 April to 11 September (see
23 February). 14,000 cases of disease, of which 724 with fatal
outcome, have been confirmed so far. In order to protect the country's economy,
already hard pressed by US sanctions, the Iranians have been allowed to
postpone, inter alia, the payment of taxes and repayment of loans until May.
Cash support will also be paid out to three million households living under
scarce circumstances. Another promise from the government is that four million
households will have access to subsidized loans.
The military is to carry out infection detection
the 12th of March
Iran is asking, for the first time in years, the IMF for a loan to combat the
coronary infection. The country's top leader Ayatollah Khamenei orders the armed
forces on the same day to take the lead in the fight against the virus. The next
day, the entire nation will be monitored for the next ten days via cyberspace,
over the phone and, if necessary, in person to find people suspected of being
ill. A World Health Delegation (WHO), who has visited Iran, believes that the
country's efforts to spread the infection "are starting to move in the right
The IAEA requires explanations about nuclear technology
The head of the IAEA is requesting an explanation from Iran as to why uranium
particles were found last year at a site in Tehran where the regime has not
declared nuclear activities for the UN (see November 11, 2019).
On the same day, the IAEA publishes two reports. One is about two places that
Iran did not allow UN inspectors to visit in January 2020. The other is a
description of the current state of nuclear technology, as it is known by the
UN: Iran now has five times as much enriched uranium as the international one
the agreement JCPOA from 2015 allows (see July 1, 2019).
However, Iran is not yet reported to have enriched uranium at over 4.5 percent,
despite news of new centrifuges on January 5. In order to manufacture nuclear
weapons, nuclear fuel must be reprocessed to a uranium content of 90 percent.
Prisoners are released in the fight against infection
More than 54,000 prisoners are released on bail to reduce the risk of
spreading the covid-19 viral disease. A spokesman for the judiciary states that
it is about the temporary release of prisoners who, according to tests, are free
from the coronavirus. "Security prisoners" sentenced to at least five years in
prison are not released. The official death toll has risen to 77, and one of
those infected is Pirhossein Kolivand, the highest chief at national level for
emergency medical care.
UN assistance against coronary infection
An aircraft with UN expertise and medical equipment lands in Iran to assist
the country with the management of the infectious disease caused by a new
coronavirus. The regime has turned down an offer from the US; it is dismissed as
propaganda. Iran's officially confirmed death toll has risen to 66, among them a
member of the Medlar Council consisting of advisers to the supreme leader of the
Islamic Republic. The BBC's Persian-speaking editors, who have called around to
healthcare institutions, have concluded that the actual number of deceased is
much higher than the official figures show. Testing equipment is promised by
France, the UK and Germany (countries that participated in the 2015 nuclear
agreement and are trying to persuade Iran to stick to it).
Canceled Friday prayer due to virus
For the first time in decades, the sermon on Friday's lunch prayer is set in
Tehran and 22 other cities, while restrictions are being imposed on crowds at
shrines in Qom and Mashhad. The reason is the risk of spreading coronavirus,
which has now led to 34 confirmed deaths in Iran. Schools must be kept closed
for several days.
Switzerland opens the way for medicines to Iran
A Swiss arrangement that allows deliveries of, among other things, food and
medicines to Iran without the payments being stopped by US sanctions is starting
to work. The special rules are called the Swiss Humanitarian Trade Scheme
(SHTA). Medicines and medical equipment are exempt from US sanctions, but
deliveries are made more difficult by the fact that banks do not dare to allow
payments to go through.
Coronas infection with ministers
Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi confirms that he himself has been
infected with the new corona virus which is feared to cause a pandemic. The
authorities have confirmed 15 deaths (currently the highest number outside
China), but choose not to quarantine the most vulnerable place Qom to prevent
the spread of infection. Several neighboring countries have a chance to
introduce precautionary measures before Iran, despite the fact that pilgrims who
have returned from Iran have shown to carry the infection. A few days later,
when the official death toll rises to 26, Massoumeh Ebtekar has also fallen ill
(one of seven vice presidents, in charge of women's affairs).
Historically low turnout
When the results in 95% of the constituencies are announced, it is expected,
as expected, that most of the 290 seats in Parliament will be occupied by very
conservative members. This creates a more difficult government situation for
President Rohani, who does not belong to the ultra-conservatives. At least 17
women receive a mandate, in which case as many as before. In at least eleven
constituencies, a second round of elections will take place on April 17. But
voter participation attracts the most interest: just 42.6 percent, the lowest in
the four decades of the Islamic Republic. This is mainly linked to the stopping
of reform-minded candidates. Some claim that voters stayed at home for fear of
being infected by the new corona virus, which was confirmed in Iran just two
days before the election, but the spread of the virus also criticized the
Elections with boycott calls
Iran goes to its first parliamentary election since the US reintroduced
financial sanctions on the country. There will be a choice between more or less
conservative votes, as the Guardian Council has stopped most reform-minded
candidates, and regime critics are calling for a boycott. The election is set
against a dark background: The crisis in Iran's economy is growing, largely
because of the sanctions, but corruption is also contributing to it. The popular
support that lifted the regime after General Soleimani's death (see
January 3) was followed by disappointment and mistrust when it emerged
that Iranian air defense had shot down a civilian aircraft, with 176 casualties
as a result (see January 11). Deaths that occurred in Qom as a
result of the new corona virus spread from China also arouse wonder: What did
the authorities know about the infection, since a message that the virus reached
Iran came just shortly before the death report?
Iran again high financial risk country
A financial cooperation body behind 38 countries, including Sweden, is
reintroducing sanctions against Iran for failing to do enough to prevent money
laundering and terrorist financing. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), in
which countries agree on standards to combat crime, gave Iran in 2016 respect
for the country's ability to take action. Now Iran's exception is lifted and the
country joins North Korea on the FATF's "black list" as a high-risk country. In
order to avoid that stamp, countries must, among other things, promise to follow
international conventions on economic crime and terrorist financing.
Conservatives favor elections
The campaigns officially begin before the parliamentary elections on February
21. The Guardian Council has in the end stopped more candidates than it has
approved: 7,148 people are running for the 290 seats in Parliament, while even
more are not allowed to stand. The majority of those stopped are reform-minded.
Iran's most conservative circles have been bolstered by the policies of US
President Donald Trump, with reintroduced sanctions on Iran, among others. There
will also be election elections for the Expert Assembly: seven of its 88 members
have died during the term of office.
Satellite launches fail
The launch of an Iranian satellite fails when the satellite does not reach
the planned orbit. The carrier rocket of a type called Simorgh does not reach
the speed that would have been required. Just over a year ago, a postponement
failed (see January 15, 2019). In both cases, Iran states that
the satellites would be used for scientific purposes. But on the same day, Iran
shows off a short-range robot with a "new generation" of rocket engine, with
parts made of lightweight composite material that can also be used for launching
The Guardian Council blocks candidates
President Rohani enters a rally between political forces and the Guardian
Council, which is examining people who want to run for office in the elections
to be held on February 21. The Guardian Council is reported to have said no to
over 9,000 people, more than half of those who reported interest. Among those
who are stopped are 92 members of the sitting parliament. They may appeal the
decisions, but Rohani chooses to make a mark when he gives speeches before the
anniversary of the Islamic revolution: Iranians must have the right to choose
between different political movements, he says. According to analysts, the
Guardian Council is dominated by members who are more conservative than the
president's alliance of moderately conservative and reformist.
Iran threatens to give up NPT
Iran threatens to withdraw from the International Non-Proliferation Treaty
(NPT) to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons, if the conflict over the
country's nuclear program is brought to the UN Security Council (see
EU countries will patrol the Strait of Hormuz
Eight EU countries have supported the decision to provide military protection
to ships in the Hormuz Strait, France's Foreign Ministry said. The force to
patrol the waters is based in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The states that have
promised to participate with units patrolling are France, Denmark, the
Netherlands and Greece. The force is set up as a way to mark the EU's own
stance, while the conflict around the strait, which is the entrance to the
Persian Gulf, is very much about conflicts between the US and Iran.
The Supreme Leader preaches
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei holds Friday sermon at a mosque in
Tehran. This is the first time since 2012 that he personally gives the sermon at
Friday's lunch prayer, which is the most important of the week. In all
likelihood, it testifies to the fact that the Iranian leadership sees the
political situation prevailing as a crisis. Khamenei defends the Islamic
Republic's defense forces, despite the shooting down of a civilian airplane full
of civilian passengers.
The homicide of the victim makes demands
As a result of the shooting down of an airliner in Iran on January 8, the
foreign ministers gather from the homicide victims in London. Ukraine, Sweden,
the United Kingdom, Canada and Afghanistan request that Iran cooperate on the
investigation of the incident, at all points. The countries concerned also
demand that Iran pay damages.
The arrest after the air disaster
A spokesman for the Iranian judiciary says that authorities have made arrests
on the grounds of the military mistakes that ended with the shooting down of a
Ukrainian airliner. How many who have been arrested, who they are and what they
are suspected of do not disclose. At the same time, it appears that protesters
have also been arrested, according to the authorities, around 30 people.
European criticism of Iran
The United Kingdom, France and Germany, which were all parties to the JCPOA
2015 International Agreement on Iran's Nuclear Energy Program, are launching a
procedure based on the assessment that Iran is not in compliance (see
January 5, 2020). However, unlike the US, the three European countries
have not withdrawn from the agreement, and they explicitly say they do not
support President Trump's line of putting Iran under maximum pressure. The
process according to the JCPOA, when the parties disagree, may eventually be
included in the UN Security Council. It could lead to new UN sanctions against
Iran, but Russia (which belongs to the permanent members of the Security
Council) supports Iran, which is upset by the fact that the European parties
have not strongly opposed US action.
Iran admits accidental shooting
After several days of denials, Iran's state leadership admits that the
January 8 air disaster outside Tehran was caused by Iranian air defense fire.
The concession is made with deep apologies, but also with accusations against
the United States for causing the war threat that puts the nerves in decline.
(One week after the disaster, the New York Times publishes a movie taken from a
nearby rooftop. The movie indicates that the plane was hit by two robots, which
is also later confirmed by Iran.) Inside and outside Iran, criticism is also
sharp against civilian air traffic had not been stopped in the dangerous
situation that prevailed. For the regime in Tehran, which claims to govern its
country with particularly high morale, the shooting down and the lies about it
lead to a crisis of confidence. Demonstrations erupt in several Iranian cities.
Severe air crash outside Tehran
A Ukrainian-backed aircraft crashes shortly after takeoff from Tehran and all
176 on board die. Among the passengers were other Iranians, Canadians and Swedes
while the crew was Ukrainian. Authorities are rejecting information that Iran
shot down the plane with an anti-aircraft missile, by mistake. The fact that
Iran is under sanctions from the United States may affect the handling of the
disaster, but Iran soon signals the readiness to include, among other aircraft
manufacturer Boeing and US transport authorities in the investigation.
Iran attacks US bases
Two Iraqi military bases housing US forces are being fired from Iran, which
states it is the answer to the US deadly attack on Qasem Soleimani. According to
Western countries, no deaths are required, but a month later the United States
states that over 100 Americans have suffered mild concussion. The Iranian news
agency Tasnim, which is close to the Revolutionary Guard, reports that two
ground-based robotic models were used: Fateh-313, with an estimated range of 50
kilometers, and Qiam-1, believed to have a range of up to 80 kilometers and
based on the same technology as Russian Scudrobotar. US aviation authorities
prohibit airlines based in the United States from flying in the airspace over
Iraq, Iran and the Persian Gulf of concern for the plan to be hit by gunfire.
Popular support after Soleimani's death
7 th of January
Before the burial of General Qasem Soleimani in Kerman, crowds gathered in
his hometown and in several other major cities to express anger at the US drone
attack that killed him (see January 3). Soleimani is well-known
in Iran, although much of his networking among Shi'ite forces in Iraq, Syria,
Lebanon and Yemen has been surrounded by secrecy. Since the war against Saddam
Hussein's Iraq rule in the 1980s, he has been a war hero. The regime in Tehran,
which has sworn to avenge Soleimani's death, may lean towards stronger popular
support than it has in a long time. In Kerman, the pressure from the crowd is so
strong that it leads to a tragedy: at least 50 people lose their lives in the
Iran is taking a step further from nuclear energy agreements
Iran will no longer stick to an important point in the 2015 agreement on the
country's nuclear program, the Tehran government announces. The message is about
the limit set for how many centrifuges Iran may have, centrifuges for enriching
the radioactive substance uranium. In the 2015 agreement, Iran undertook to
limit nuclear technology that could be used for the production of nuclear
weapons, such as the weapons clock. In exchange, Iran then escaped international
sanctions, which put severe pressure on the country's economy. In 2018, the US
withdrew from the agreement and imposed new sanctions on Iran. Gradually, Iran
also subsequently abandoned its commitments in the JCPOA agreement.
US kills Iranian general
Qasem Soleimani, general of the Iranian elite Revolutionary Guard and
commander of the foreign force al-Quds ("Jerusalem Force"), is killed in Baghdad
when the United States attacks a car he is traveling in. Soleimani has been the
key figure in Iran's military and political actions in neighboring countries,
including the war in Syria and the battles against the Islamic State (IS). The
United States held him ultimately responsible for militia attacks against
Americans on Iraqi soil. In the drone attack, about ten people die, including an
influential Iraqi militia leader called Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis ("the Engineer").