Chronology: Iran

The Middle East Journal, Autumn 2012 | Go to article overview

Chronology: Iran


See also Arab-Israeli Conflict, Central Asia and the Caucasus, Pakistan, Syria, Yemen

Apr. 22: Iraqi president Nuri al-Maliki visited Iran for the first time since October 2010. Maliki met with Iranian president Mahmud Ahmedinejad and chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili to discuss strengthening political and economic ties. [AFP, 4/22]

Apr. 23: Cyberattacks prompted Iranian officials to disconnect several oil terminals from the Internet, while the websites of oil-related ministries were taken down. Officials played down the effects of the attacks, claiming that oil exports were not significantly affected and that only minor interruptions occurred. The suspected cyberattacks follow the Stuxnet attacks of 2009, which damaged Iranian centrifuges. [NYT, 4/23]

Apr. 24: President Obama signed an executive order freezing assets of six Iranian and Syrian companies in US jurisdiction and banning US citizens from doing business with those firms. Moreover, Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps and the intelligence ministries of both countries were subject to punishments by the Treasury Department. Iran reportedly provided the Syrian regime with technology to track dissidents, block internet access, and monitor social networking sites that played a large role in driving the Arab Awakening. [AJE, 4/24]

May 4: Supporters of President Ahmadinejad won only 13 of 65 seats in Iran's parliamentary runoffelection, with supporters of Ayatollah 'Ali Khamenei taking most of the remainder. The results marked a setback for Ahmadinejad, who reportedly fell out of favor with Khamenei in 2011. Leaders of the opposition Green Movement were not allowed to take part in the election. [BBC, 5/5]

May 15: Iran executed a man accused of assassinating an Iranian nuclear scientist on behalf of Israel. Majid Jamali Fashi was convicted of assassinating Masoud 'Ali Mohammedi, a professor at Tehran University, who was killed when a bomb exploded near his home in 2010. [NYT, 5/15]

May 16: Iran called for demonstrations in Bahrain in the wake of talks between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia regarding a proposed union between the two countries intended to be a first step toward tighter integration of the members of the GCC. Iran's call led the Bahraini government to summon the Iranian charge d'affaires in Manama to complain about a "gross violation of its sovereignty." Bahrain blamed Iran of supporting the largely Shi'a opposition movement against the Sunni monarchy in Bahrain. [BBC, 5/16]

May 28: Nearly 200 computers in Iran, as well as others in nearby countries including Israel and Saudi Arabia, were attacked with a computer virus of unprecedented sophistication, referred to by computer security experts as "Flame." The virus was known to be capable of stealing and deleting data, turning on computer microphones in order to record nearby conversations, taking screenshots, and monitoring network activity. Its capabilities represented a leap in complexity that suggested that the virus was the work of a nation-state or group of nation-states rather than an independent actor. …

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