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Iran Education Facts


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.

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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 attempts.

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.

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Proportion of children starting primary school

98.6 percent (2017)

Number of pupils per teacher in primary school

27 (2015)

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

7 June

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

June 5

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 travel.

Bolivia withdraws from Iran

June 4th

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

June 2

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

June 1st

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

June 1st

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

May 27th

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

May 27th

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

May 25

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

May 22

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

May 10

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 announces.

Iranians accused of migrant deaths

May 8

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

April 30th

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

April 22

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 of satellites.

Sentenced to death in Iran

April 21

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 penalty.

Small businesses are allowed to open

April 11

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

April 8

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

2 April

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

2 April

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 disease.

Kurdish guerrilla strikes against Iran’s gas exports

April 1st

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

March 31st

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

March 25th

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

March 19

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

March 15th

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 direction”.

The IAEA requires explanations about nuclear technology

March 3rd

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

March 3rd

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

March 2

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

February 28

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

February 27th

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

February 25th

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

February 23

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 authorities’ actions.

Elections with boycott calls

February 21st

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

February 21st

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

February 13

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

February 9

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 satellites.

The Guardian Council blocks candidates

February 2

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

January 20th

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 January 14).

EU countries will patrol the Strait of Hormuz

January 20th

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

January 17

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

January 16

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

January 14

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

January 14

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

January 11

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

January 8

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

January 8

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 congestion.

Iran is taking a step further from nuclear energy agreements

January 5

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

January 3rd

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”).

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