Chronology: Iran

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See also Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Regional Affairs

July 17: At his first Friday sermon since the June 12 elections, senior cleric and former President 'Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani called for the release of those arrested in connection with election related violence and protests. Rafsanjani was also the head of the Assembly of Experts. Reformist challenger Mir Hossein Moussavi was in attendance as Rafsanjani labeled Iran's current situation a "crisis." Outside the sermon at Tehran University, thousands of protesters clashed with police in the first demonstration in over a week. [BBC, 7/17]

July 20: Echoing fellow reformists' concerns over the legitimacy of the Iranian government and the apparent rift between conservatives and reformists, former Iranian President Muhammad Khatami called for a national referendum to resolve the crisis. Speaking on behalf of his reformist clerical party, the Association of Combatant Clerics, he said that Iranians had lost confidence in the electoral process. However, under Iranian law, only Supreme Leader 'Ali Khamene'i had the authority to call for a referendum. [Al-Jazeera, 7/21]

July 21: In public demonstrations marking the anniversary of Mohammed Mossadeq's 1952 political victory over the Shah, antigovernment protestors, Ahmadinejad supporters, and Basij militia clashed in Seventh of Tir Square. Several members of the National Front political party were arrested during the demonstrations, but police and the Basij were generally able to keep the demonstrations calm. [LAT, 7/21]

July 25: One week after being appointed Vice President by Mahmud Ahmadinejad, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie resigned the position after pressure from the Supreme Leader and fellow conservatives. Ayatollah Khamene'i warned Ahmadinejad that it was against his and the country's interests to appoint someone who had called the Israeli people "friends of Iran" in 2008. [BBC, 7/25]

July 28: Under mounting pressure from reformists politicians and religious figures, Supreme Leader Khamene'i released 140 political prisoners detained at the Kahrizak detention center. Previous weeks saw reports of poor living conditions, torture, and the deaths of two post-election protestors in regime custody. Following the Supreme Leader's move, President Ahmadinejad called for the broadcast of confessions from these and other political prisoners. [CSM, 7/28]

July 30: More protests broke out in Tehran after Mir Hossein Moussavi invited Iranians to participate in a ceremony marking the end of the 40-day mourning cycle for those killed on June 20. Iranian security forces continually denied Moussavi entry to the Mosallah mosque where the ceremonies took place, and by the evening were firing tear gas to disperse the crowds of mourners and protestors. [CSM, 7/30]

Aug. 1: The trial of more than 100 people involved in election-related protests in Tehran began, as defendants were variously charged with rioting, vandalism, acting against national interests, and holding ties to counterrevolutionary groups. The list of defendants included writers, academics, prominent politicians such as former Vice President Muhammad 'Ali Abtahi and former Deputy Speaker of Parliament Behzad Nabavi, as well as nine British Embassy employees, an employee of the French Embassy, and Newsweek correspondent Maziar Bahari. [BBC, 8/1]

Aug. 3: Supreme Leader Ayatollah 'Ali Khamene'i formally endorsed the re-election of President Mahmud Ahmadinejad. [BBC, 8/3]

Aug. 5: Mahmud Ahmadinejad was sworn in for his second term as President in a ceremony that witnessed more protests and criticisms of Western governments. In his speech, in front of an audience missing key opposition leaders and Members of Parliament who boycotted the ceremonies, President Ahamdinejad criticized Western interference in Iranian elections. Outside the Parliament protestors clashed with hundreds of riot police. [BBC, 8/5]

Aug. 6: The Iranian government banned its citizens from making pilgrimages to Mecca during the holy month of Ramadan in an effort to prevent the spread of the H1N1 flu virus. …