Timeline Iran: 2021-Present

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2021        Jan 1, Iranian Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi Mesbah Yazdi (85), a prominent hard-liner and supporter of the country's ex-president, died in Tehran.
    (AP, 1/1/21)

2021        Jan 2, Iran said it plans to enrich uranium up to 20% at its underground Fordo nuclear facility as soon as possible, pushing its program a technical step away from weapons-grade levels as it increases pressure on the West over the tattered atomic deal.
    (AP, 1/2/21)

2021        Jan 4, Iran said it has resumed enriching uranium up to 20 percent in the countrys biggest breach yet of the landmark nuclear deal with world powers.
    (AP, 1/4/21)
2021        Jan 4, Irans revolutionary guard seized a South Korean-flagged ship carrying thousands of tons of ethanol in the Persian Gulf.
    (AP, 1/4/21)

2021        Jan 5, The Iranian government accused South Korea of holding more than 5 billion of its money hostage in its banks, a day after its revolutionary guards stormed and captured a Korean tanker in the Persian Gulf.
    (The Telegraph, 1/5/21)
2021        Jan 5, The European Union said it would redouble its efforts to save the Iran nuclear agreement despite what it calls Tehrans important breach of commitments made in the 2015 deal by starting to enrich uranium to new levels.
    (AP, 1/5/21)

2021        Jan 5, The US Justice Department said the government collected $7 million in Iranian assets for victims of state-sponsored terrorism.
    (Reuters, 1/5/21)

2021        Jan 6, Britain, France and Germany pressed Iran to reverse a decision to start enriching uranium to levels beyond the limits of a 2015 nuclear agreement, a move which they said risks compromising chances of diplomacy with the incoming US administration.
    (AP, 1/6/21)

2021        Jan 7, It was reported that Cuba is partnering with Iran to produce a COVID-19 vaccine developed by scientists on the island, the latest example of how the two US-sanctioned nations are building closer ties.
    (Miami Herald, 1/7/21)

2021        Jan 8, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei banned Iran from importing of American Pfizer-BioNTech and Britains Astrazeneca Covid-19 vaccines, a reflection of mistrust toward the West.
    (AP, 1/8/21)
2021        Jan 8, Afghanistan, Britain, Canada, Sweden and Ukraine said they want Tehran to provide a complete and thorough explanation of the events and decisions that led to this appalling plane crash, on the one-year anniversary of the Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 crash.
    (AP, 1/8/21)

2021        Jan 11, Irans foreign minister told a visiting South Korean delegation that the release of its vessel and crew, seized by Iranian forces on Jan. 5, is a matter for the courts and out of the government's hands. Iranian officials have been pressing South Korea to release some $7 billion in assets tied up in the countrys banks due to American sanctions.
    (AP, 1/11/20)

2021        Jan 13, Iran said it has started research on uranium metal-based fuel for its research reactor in Tehran.
    (Reuters, 1/13/20)

2021        Jan 14, The United Nations' atomic watchdog agency confirmed that Iran has informed it the country has begun installing equipment for the production of uranium metal, which would be another violation of the 2015 landmark nuclear deal with world powers.
    (AP, 1/14/20)

2021        Jan 15, The United States imposed fresh sanctions on Iranian individuals and entities. Washington blacklisted seven entities and two individuals in sanctions related to the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines and Iranian shipping entities, as well as slapping sanctions on Iranian entities for activities related to conventional arms proliferation.
    (Reuters, 1/15/21)

2021        Jan 16, Britain, France and Germany pressed Iran to back off the latest planned violation of its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, saying that Tehran has no credible civilian use for uranium metal.
    (AP, 1/16/21)

2021        Jan 18, Kaveh Lotfolah Afrasiabi, a political scientist and author, was arrested by FBI agents at his home in Watertown, Mass., for secretly working for the government of Iran while lobbying US officials on issues like nuclear policy.
    (AP, 1/19/21)

2021        Jan 19, Iran imposed sanctions on President Donald Trump and a number of members of his administration over their alleged role in support of terrorism," according to its foreign ministry website.
    (AP, 1/19/21)

2021        Jan 21, It was reported that Iran's government has launched a wide-ranging crackdown on Bitcoin processing centers, which require immense amounts of electricity to power their specialized computers and to keep them cool a burden on the nation's power grid.
    (AP, 1/22/21)

2021        Jan 22, Twitter suspended an account linked to Irans Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei after it made a post apparently threatening former US president Donald Trump.
    (The Telegraph, 1/22/21)

2021        Jan 24, Indonesian authorities said that they have seized an Iranian tanker and Panamanian tanker suspected of carrying out the illegal transfer of oil in their country's waters. 36 Iranian and 25 Chinese crew members were detained.
    (AP, 1/24/21)(AP, 1/27/21)

2021        Jan 25, Iranian users of the Signal messaging service said they have lost access to the app on their mobile devices. They could use the system through virtual private networks, services that shield internet users by encrypting their data traffic. Some still had access through desktop version of the app.
    (AP, 1/25/21)

2021        Jan 26, Iran said it has approved Russia's Sputnik V vaccine and plans to both import it and produce it, giving the Middle East's worst-hit country a tool to fight the spread of COVID-19.
    (Reuters, 1/26/21)
2021        Jan 26, It was reported that Iran has sentenced Mahdi Jahangiri, the brother of the countrys senior vice president, to two years in prison on corruption charges.
    (AP, 1/26/21)
2021        Jan 26, It was reported that Emad Shargi, an Iranian-American, has been sentenced by Iran to 10 years in prison on spying charges, despite his family alleging he never had a trial or an opportunity to defend himself.
    (AP, 1/26/21)

2021        Jan 27, Iranian and Taliban officials met in Tehran and accused the US of provoking the continuation of war in Afghanistan.
    (AP, 1/27/21)

2021        Jan 28, State TV reported that Iran has exceeded 17 kg of 20% enriched uranium within a month's time, moving its nuclear program closer to weapons-grade enrichment levels amid heightened tensions with the US.
    (AP, 1/28/21)

2021        Jan 30, Iran imposed mandatory quarantine for travelers from Europe.
    (Reuters, 1/30/21)

2021        Feb 1, Iranian state TV aired the launch of the country's newest satellite-carrying rocket, which it said was able to reach a height of 500 km (310 miles). The report did not say when the launch happened.
    (AP, 2/1/21)

2021        Feb 2, Iran's hardliner-dominated parliament rejected a draft state budget presented by pragmatist President Hassan Rouhani's government as factional tensions rise ahead of presidential elections next year.
    (Reuters, 2/2/21)
2021        Feb 2, Irans state TV said the 19 sailors from a South Korean tanker seized in the Persian Gulf by Iranian troops last month are free to leave the country on humanitarian grounds.
    (AP, 2/2/21)

2021        Feb 3, The United Nations highest court ruled that it can hear a case brought by Iran against the United States. It seeks to end sanctions the administration of former President Donald Trump re-imposed in 2018 after pulling out of an international deal aimed at curtailing Tehrans nuclear program.
    (AP, 2/4/21)
2021        Feb 3, It was reported that Kameel Ahmady, an academic renowned for researching child brides and female genital mutilation (FGM) in Iran, has returned to the UK after fleeing Iran in a daring escape across the mountainous border to Turkey. He was arrested in August 2019 and sentenced last November for "seeking to undermine Iran" by advocating an increase to the legal age for marriage.
    (The Telegraph, 2/3/21)

2021        Feb 4, Iran received its first batch of foreign-made coronavirus vaccines, 500,000 doses of the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine, as the country struggles to stem the worst outbreak of the pandemic in the Middle East. Iran has ordered 5 million doses from Russia.
    (AP, 2/4/21)
2021        Feb 4, In Belgium Iranian diplomat Assadolah Assadi (49) was sentenced to 20 years in jail for plotting to bomb an Iranian exile opposition meeting in France that was attended by five British MPs. Three co-defendants were also found guilty of conspiring to attack a 2018 rally of the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). They were given jail terms of between 15 and 18 years and stripped of their Belgian citizenship.
    (The Telegraph, 2/4/21)

2021        Feb 7, President Biden said the US will not lift sanctions against Iran unless the country stops enriching uranium, continuing a standoff with the country's supreme leader, who has demanded that sanctions be lifted before the country returns to its obligations under the 2015 nuclear deal.
    (CBS News, 2/7/21)

2021        Feb 8, Iran unveiled its second homegrown coronavirus vaccine project, the day before the launch of a vaccination campaign to combat the Middle East's deadliest Covid-19 outbreak.
    (AFP, 2/8/21)
2021        Feb 8, The IAEA confirmed that Iran has begun production of uranium metal, a further violation of Tehrans 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
    (AP, 2/11/21)

2021        Feb 9, Iran launched a coronavirus inoculation campaign among healthcare professionals with recently delivered Russian Sputnik V vaccines as the country struggles to stem the worst outbreak of the pandemic in the Middle East with its death toll nearing 59,000.
    (AP, 2/9/21)

2021        Feb 10, Irans President Hassan Rouhani urged the West to restore the 2015 nuclear deal as the nation marked the anniversary of the countrys 1979 Islamic Revolution.
    (AP, 2/10/21)

2021        Feb 12, Iranian media reported. that 10 southwestern communities have been declared as high-risk COVID-19 "red" zones as a consignment of 100,000 doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine arrived.
    (Reuters, 2/12/21)

2021        Feb 18, The Biden administration rescinded former president Donald Trumps restoration of UN sanctions on Iran. Secretary of State Tony Blinken announced that the US is willing to open discussions with Iran about returning to the 2015 nuclear deal.
    (AP, 2/18/21)(Axios, 2/19/21)

2021        Feb 19, Tehran repeated its assertion that the United States must lift sanctions before Iran will return to the 2015 nuclear accord, but said it was ready to comply immediately once this was done.
    (The Telegraph, 2/19/21)

2021        Feb 22, Iran's Revolutionary Guards were alleged to have shot and killed at least 10 fuel couriers, known as sookhtbar, in Sistan and Baluchistan province at the border with Pakistan, after a two-day stand-off triggered by the Guard Corps blocking the road to the city of Saravan. The killings triggered demonstrations in several cities across the province and some unconfirmed reports estimated that as many as 23 people may have been killed.
    (Reuters, 3/5/21)

2021        Feb 23, In southeastern Iran an angry mob stormed a district governors office in Serevan, footage widely circulating on social media showed. The outrage stemmed from the shooting of several fuel smugglers on the Pakistani side of the border near Saravan the day before.
    (AP, 2/23/21)

2021        Feb 24, Iranian authorities began shutting down the mobile data network in the restive province of Sistan and Baluchestan. Rights groups called the disruptions an apparent tool to conceal the governments harsh crackdown on protests convulsing the area.
    (AP, 2/27/21)
2021        Feb 24, It was reported that Iran has detained a French tourist for nine months. A French citizen named Benjamin had reportedly been operating a helicam, or a remote-controlled mini helicopter outfitted with a camera, a commonplace practice among youth in Iran.
    (AP, 2/25/21)

2021        Feb 28, Iran rejected an offer by the European Union to set up direct talks with the United States on reviving a nuclear deal with Tehran.
    (WSJ, 2/28/21)
2021        Feb 28, Iran reported 93 new coronavirus deaths and more than 8,000 new infections. The country has now surpassed 60,000 coronavirus-related deaths.
    (SFC, 3/1/21, p.A5)

2021        Mar 1, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu accused Iran of attacking an Israeli-owned ship in the Gulf of Oman last week, a mysterious explosion that further spiked security concerns in the region.
    (AP, 3/1/21)

2021        Mar 4, The head of the UN atomic watchdog (IAEA) said Iran has agreed to sit down with international technical experts investigating the discovery of uranium particles at three former undeclared sites in the country.
    (AP, 3/4/21)

2021        Mar 7, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the British-Iranian woman held in an Iranian prison for five years on widely refuted spying charges, ended her sentence. She still faces a new trial and cannot yet return home to London.
    (AP, 3/7/21)

2021        Mar 8, In France activists laid flowers near the Iranian Embassy in Paris to show support for a women's rights campaigner sentenced to prison after handing out flowers to women on the Tehran metro in 2019 while not wearing a headscarf.
    (AP, 3/8/21)

2021        Mar 11, The Wall Street Journal reported that since 2019, Israel has been targeting ships carrying Iranian oil and other cargo. At least a dozen ships were bombed, the newspaper added, citing US and regional officials.
    (The Telegraph, 3/12/21)

2021        Mar 12, In southern Iran protesters attacked a coast guard station after a patrol from the force shot and killed a fuel smuggler. The coast guard has confiscated more than 10 million liters (2.6 million gallons) of fuel from smugglers over the past 11 months.
    (AP, 3/13/21)

2021        Mar 13, It was reported that the Iranian government is ordering teachers to identify children of the persecuted Baha'i minority to convert them to Islam.
    (The Telegraph, 3/13/21)

2021        Mar 15, Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard inaugurated a new underground facility designated for missile storage.
    (AP, 3/15/21)
2021        Mar 15, Iran charged a French tourist with spying and spreading propaganda against the system. Benjamin Berier was arrested some 10 months ago after taking pictures in a desert area where photography is prohibited.
    (AP, 3/15/21)

2021        Mar 16, Iranian health authorities announced that the country's third homegrown vaccine has reached the phase of clinical trials.
    (AP, 3/16/21)
2021        Mar 16, A declassified US intelligence report found that Russia tried to influence the 2020 election in Trumps favor. The assessment found broad efforts by the Kremlin and Iran to shape the outcome of the race but ultimately no evidence that any foreign actor changed votes or otherwise disrupted the voting process.
    (AP, 3/16/21)

2021        Mar 17, Iran's state TV reported that mishaps during the annual Nowruz fire festival have left at least 10 people dead and hundreds more injured around the country. The deaths happened over a period of several weeks.
    (AP, 3/17/21)
2021        Mar 17, The United Nations' nuclear watchdog (IAEA) said it has confirmed that Iran has begun operating a cascade of advanced centrifuges at an underground site.
    (AP, 3/17/21)

2021        Mar 19, The US Justice Department announced charges against 10 Iranian nationals for running a nearly 20-year-long scheme to evade US sanctions on the government of Iran.
    (Axios, 3/19/21)

 2021        Mar 23, In southeastern Iran a road accident killed at least 14 people, including eight children.
    (AP, 3/23/21)

2021        Mar 27, China and Iran signed a 25-year strategic cooperation agreement addressing economic issues amid crippling US sanctions on Iran.
    (AP, 3/27/21)

2021        Mar 30, Iran said it will not stop its 20% uranium enrichment before the US lifts all sanctions, after a US media report said Washington would offer a new proposal to jump-start talks.
    (Reuters, 3/30/21)
2021        Mar 30, Iran said a fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic had taken hold in western and central areas of the country, triggered by widespread travel and celebrations during the current Iranian New Year holidays.
    (Reuters, 3/30/21)

2021        Mar 31, Diplomates said the EU will target eight Iranian militia and police commanders and three state entities with sanctions next week over a deadly crackdown in November 2019 by Iranian authorities.
    (Reuters, 3/31/21)
2021        Mar 31, The United States renewed a waiver allowing Iraq to pay for electricity imported from Iran, this time giving Baghdad 120 days to reduce its energy dependence on neighboring Tehran.
    (Reuters, 4/1/21)

2021        Apr 2, The United States and Iran said that they would begin negotiations through intermediaries next week to try to get both countries back into an accord limiting Irans nuclear program.
    (AP, 4/2/21)

2021        Apr 5, Iran's state TV announced that authorities arrested several people on charges of spying for Israel and other nations.
    (AP, 4/5/21)
2021        Apr 5, In southwestern Iran a man (50) shot to death his 9-year-old son and seven relatives of his two wives before killing himself in the city of Ahvaz.
    (AP, 4/5/21)

2021        Apr 6, An Iranian prosecutor said ten officials have been indicted over the 2020 military shootdown of a Ukrainian passenger plane that killed 176 people.
    (AP, 4/6/21)
2021        Apr 6, Washington and Iran began indirect talks in Vienna aimed at salvaging the nuclear deal.
    (The Telegraph, 4/6/21)
2021        Apr 6, An apparent Israeli mine attack damaged an Iranian military vessel in the Red Sea, an escalation of recent skirmishes.
    (NY Times, 4/7/21)

2021        Apr 7, Iran shattered its daily record for new infections for the second consecutive day as cases soared to 20,954, a worrisome trend after more than a year of the country battling the worst outbreak in the Middle East.
    (AP, 4/7/21)
2021        Apr 7, Iraqs PM Mustafa al-Kadhimi asked Iran's leaders to rein in Iran-backed militias in Iraq and in a strongly worded message to Tehran, suggested he would confront the factions.
    (AP, 4/7/21)

2021        Apr 8, Iran hit a new coronavirus infection record for the third straight day, reporting 22,586 new cases as the country grapples with a severe spike following the Persian New Year holiday.
    (AP, 4/8/21)

2021        Apr 9, Iran freed the MT Hankuk Chemi, a South Korean oil tanker it had held for months amid a dispute over billions of dollars seized by Seoul. The seizure was widely seen as an attempt to pressure Seoul to release some $7 billion in Iranian assets tied up in South Korean banks amid heavy American sanctions on Iran.
    (AP, 4/9/21)

2021        Apr 10, Iran began a 10-day lockdown amid a fourth wave of coronavirus infections, a worrisome trend after more than a year of the country battling the Middle East's worst outbreak.
    (AP, 4/10/21)

2021        Apr 11, A "suspicious" blackout struck Iran's underground Natanz nuclear facility. Iran said that a problem with the electrical distribution grid of the Natanz site had caused an incident. The country's nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi said the accident was the result of a "terrorist" act.
    (AP, 4/11/21)
2021        Apr 11, Iran reported its highest single-day death toll from COVID-19 this year, bringing the countrys total deaths in the pandemic to nearly 64,500. Iran recorded 258 new deaths in the last 24 hours.
    (AP, 4/11/21)

2021        Apr 12, Iran accused arch-foe Israel of sabotaging its key Natanz nuclear site a day earlier and vowed revenge in the latest episode of a long-running covert war.
    (Reuters, 4/12/21)
2021        Apr 12, The European Union said it has imposed sanctions on eight Iranian militia commanders and police chiefs, including the head of the elite Revolutionary Guards, over a deadly crackdown in November 2019.
    (Reuters, 4/12/21)

2021        Apr 13, Iran said it will start enriching uranium at 60 percent purity, higher than ever before, following the attack on its Natanz nuclear facility.
    (NBC News, 4/13/21)

2021        Apr 14, Iran's supreme leader dismissed initial offers being made at talks in Vienna aimed at saving Tehran's tattered nuclear deal with world powers.
    (AP, 4/14/21)

2021        Apr 15, Iran said it has finalized a deal with Russia to purchase 60 million doses of Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine.
    (AP, 4/15/21)
2021        Apr 15, Denmark charged three members of an Iranian separatist group, the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz, with financing and promoting terror in Iran with an unnamed Saudi intelligence service.
    (AP, 4/15/21)

2021        Apr 16, Iran said it has begun 60% uranium enrichment at its Natanz plant, days after an explosion at the site that Tehran blamed on Israel.
    (Reuters, 4/16/21)

2021        Apr 17, Iran named Reza Karimi (43) as a suspect in the attack on its Natanz nuclear facility that damaged centrifuges there, saying he had fled the country hours before the sabotage happened.
    (AP, 4/17/21)

2021        Apr 18, Iran's daily coronavirus death toll climbed over 400 for the first time in months, as the country battles a post-holiday infection surge. Health authorities recorded 405 fatalities from the virus, pushing the total death toll to 66,732.
    (AP, 4/18/21)

2021        Apr 19, In Indonesia visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif discussed trade and economic issues in a meeting in Jakarta with Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi.
    (AP, 4/19/21)

2021        Apr 20, It was reported that regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran held a first round of direct talks earlier this month in Iraq, signaling a possible de-escalation following years of animosity.
    (AP, 4/20/21)

2021        Apr 21, Unknown gunmen suspected of terrorism killed two members of Irans paramilitary Revolutionary Guard. Guard members also killed two gunmen and wounded several of their accomplices late today near Kurdish town of Marivan.
    (AP, 4/22/21)

2021        Apr 22, Iran is now reporting its highest-ever new coronavirus case numbers more than 25,000 a day. Its daily death toll has surged to around 400, still below the grim record of 486 it reached in November.
    (AP, 4/22/21)

2021        Apr 24, It was reported that members of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard shot dead three militants and dismantled their cell in eastern Iran near the border with Afghanistan.
    (AP, 4/24/21)
2021        Apr 24, Iran banned all flights to and from India and Pakistan to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
    (Axios, 4/24/21)

2021        Apr 26, It was reported that Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, an Iranian-British woman long held in Tehran, has been sentenced to another year in prison on a charge of spreading propaganda against the system for participating in a protest in front of the Iranian Embassy in London in 2009.
    (AP, 4/26/21)
2021        Apr 26, Iran registered its highest single-day death toll from COVID-19, bringing the total number of fatalities to over 70,000 in the country hardest hit by the coronavirus in the region. 496 new deaths were tallied over the last 24 hours as well as 21,026 more confirmed cases.
    (AP, 4/26/21)
2021        Apr 26, The US military ship Firebolt fired warning shots after three vessels from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) came close to it and another American patrol boat in the Gulf.
    (Reuters, 4/27/21)

2021        Apr 27, Iran reported coronavirus 462 deaths. Some 70,532 people have died out of 2.4 million cases. Iran said it has found three suspected cases of the coronavirus variant discovered in South Africa.
    (Reuters, 4/27/21)

2021        May 1, In Vienna high-ranking diplomats from China, Germany, France, Russia and Britain made progress at talks focused on bringing the US back into their landmark nuclear deal with Iran, but said they need more work and time to bring about a future agreement.
    (AP, 5/1/21)

2021        May 2, An unnamed Iranian official claimed that a deal had been finalized where Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe would be released as soon as the UK repays a 1970s-era arms debt. He also claimed that Tehran and Washington have agreed on a deal to swap prisoners and to release Iranian funds held in the United States. The US promptly dismissed the reports as false. UK Foreign Office minister James Cleverly suggested this was deliberate misinformation.
    (The Telegraph, 5/2/21)(The Telegraph, 5/3/21)

2021        May 4, Iranian police started investigating the death of a Swiss diplomat who died after reportedly falling from a high rise in Tehran.
    (AP, 5/4/21)
2021        May 4, Iran's semi-official Tasnim news agency reported that police arrested 16 men and women at a mixed-gender party in the northeastern province of Khorasan Razavi. The 16 were detained while they were dancing at a party. Such parties are illegal under Iranian law.
    (AP, 5/4/21)

2021        May 7, In Austria the fourth round of talks between world powers on Iran's nuclear program opened in Vienna.
    (AFP, 5/7/21)

2021        May 10, Iran confirmed publicly for the first time that it is in talks with its regional arch rival Saudi Arabia, saying it would do what it could to resolve issues between them.
    (Reuters, 5/10/21)
2021        May 10, A US Coast Guard ship fired about 30 warning shots after 13 vessels from Irans Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) came close to it and other American Navy vessels in the Strait of Hormuz.
    (AP, 5/10/21)

2021        May 11, Irans Revolutionary Guard forces killed seven militants and dismantled their cell in the country's northwest near the border with Turkey. Two Guard members were also killed in the shootout.
    (AP, 5/11/21)

2021        May 12, The UN's atomic watchdog (IAEA) said Iran has enriched uranium to slightly higher purity than previously thought due to fluctuations in the process.
    (AP, 5/12/21)

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