Iran. Negotiations on Iran's nuclear program continued
until the deadline set for June 30, which was further
postponed at mid-year. But July 14 was announced that an
agreement had been reached, after more than ten years of
accusations, threats, sanctions and negotiations sometimes.
The agreement meant that Iran largely agreed to cut down on
its nuclear program and to allow extended UN inspections of
its nuclear facilities. The purpose was that Iran would not
be able to develop nuclear weapons. In return, most of the
harsh trade sanctions against Iran would be abolished and
the country would have access to frozen funds and credits
abroad. The settlement with the so-called P5 + 1 group (the
five permanent members of the UN Security Council and
Germany) was approved by Parliament and by the Security
Council in October.
The settlement led to reduced international isolation and
financial relief in Iran, where the sanctions left
considerable footprints in everyday life. According to a
report by the IAEA Atomic Energy Agency in December, Iran
had previously taken limited steps toward building nuclear
weapons, but had never gone further than planning and
testing some basic components. Most of the work must have
been done before 2003.
COUNTRYAAH, Iran strengthened its military presence in Syria during
the year, and continued to support the regime there with
oil, weapons and money. In the fall, Iran, together with
Syria and the Russian Federation and Iraq, established a
military liaison center in Baghdad, with the aim of fighting
the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organization. Thanks to the
nuclear deal, Iran was also able to participate for the
first time when international talks were held in Vienna on
the Syrian crisis. The traditional rival Saudi Arabia long
held back but eventually agreed to let Iran join.
With Saudi Arabia, Iran was considered during the year to
fight a war through agents in Yemen, through its support for
the Shiite Muslim Huthirbels there. Saudi Arabia led an
alliance of states that supported Yemen's deposed government
and from March, the rebels fought through air strikes and
eventually ground forces.
The hostility between Iran and Saudi Arabia worsened
after a severe congestion that occurred in connection with
the annual pilgrimage, hajj, to Mecca. According to Iranian
data, at least 464 Iranians died in the accident, the
highest number for any country, and Khamenei apologized to
Saudi Arabia for lack of security.
In two reports, the United Nations Reporter for Iran
expressed concern over more and more executions; the number
approached 1,000 towards the end of the year. In March, the
reporter pointed to a serious deterioration in the human
rights situation since President Hassan Rohani took office
in 2013, despite appearing reform-friendly. In its October
report, however, the reporter saw a slight improvement. UN
chief Ban Ki Moon also noted that Rohani's promises of
increased freedom of expression and better respect for human
rights had not been fulfilled.
In 1949, a new constitution was drafted which limited the
influence of foreign forces. The nationalist and progressive
forces strengthened their position in parliament and
supported Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh in his plan to
nationalize the foreign oil company, Anglo Iranian Oil Co.
"It is better to be independent and produce only a single
tonne of oil annually than to produce 32 million tonnes as
slaves of England," stated Mossadegh. This policy challenged
not only the English interests but also the United States
who feared the national movement. The major oil companies
instead bought the oil from Iran's neighboring countries,
Venezuela and the United States, and organized an effective
blockade of oil exports. Only 40 ships defied the 1951-53
blockade. There was little doubt that Mossadegh had the
support of the predominant population, but he was overthrown
by a military coup in 1953, in which the North American
intelligence, the CIA played a crucial role. US influence
now became dominant - both politically, economically and
militarily. The Shah was endowed with supreme power, and was
controlled by the United States. At the same time, the coup
involved a nationwide extermination of nationalist and
leftist leaders. Thousands of Iranians were sent to prison.
Including Mossadegh who was the Shah's prisoner until his
death in 1967.