Timeline: Iran's Nuclear Development - washingtonpost.com
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TIMELINE

Iran's Nuclear Development

International pressure is mounting on Iran to suspend its nuclear program. Here are the latest developments since Iran's nuclear program came to light in 2002.

May 20, 2009 - Iran successfully test-fires a medium-range solid-fuel missile, apparently capable of striking Israel and U.S. bases in the Persian Gulf region.
Feb. 3, 2009 -- Iran sends its first domestically produced satellite into orbit using an Iranian-made long-distance missile.
July 9, 2008 - Iran test-fires nine missiles, including at least one capable of reaching Israel.
April 8, 2008 -- President Ahmadinejad says Iran is installing a new generation of nuclear centrifuges capable of enriching uranium five times more rapidly than the country's existing technology.
March 3, 2008 - The United Nations imposes new sanctions on Iran in a watered-down resolution that makes most trade and financial sanctions voluntary.
Dec. 17, 2007 -- Russia delivers a shipment of nuclear fuel to the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran, a step that officials in Moscow and Washington say removes any need for Tehran to pursue an uranium enrichment program.
Dec. 3, 2007 - A National Intelligence Estimate concludes Iran stopped work on a suspected nuclear weapons program in 2003 and probably could not produce enough highly enriched uranium for a single weapon before the middle of the next decade, even if it restarted the program now.
Sept. 2, 2007 - Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, resigns.
July 9, 2007 - The IAEA issues a report that U.N. inspectors detected a "marked slowdown," but not a "full-size freeze" in Iran's controversial uranium enrichment program during a visit to Iran's underground enrichment facility at Natanz.
May 23, 2007 - The IAEA issues a report that Iran has again defied U.N. demands to suspend its nuclear enrichment programs, leading President Bush and administration officials to call for tougher sanctions on Tehran.
April 9, 2007 - Iran announces that it has begun enriching uranium with 3,000 centrifuges, defiantly expanding its nuclear program. President Ahmadinejad says he is capable of enriching nuclear fuel "on an industrial scale."
March 24, 2007 - The Security Council unanimously approves new arms and financial sanctions against Iran for refusing to suspend uranium enrichment. The vote came as 15 British sailors and marines seized by Iranian naval forces a day earlier were transferred to Tehran.
March 14, 2007 - U.S., British, French, German, Russian and Chinese diplomats at the United Nations reach a tentative deal on imposing fresh sanctions.
Feb. 22, 2007 - The International Atomic Energy Agency issues a report saying Iran has defied a U.N. Security Council resolution to halt its most sensitive nuclear activities by the Feb. 21 deadline. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warns Iran that the move risks incurring further sanctions.
Feb. 12, 2007 - European Union foreign ministers agree to impose limited sanctions recommended by the U.N. Security Council, including banning the sale of materials and technology that could be used in nuclear and missile programs.
Dec. 23, 2006 - The U.N. Security Council votes unanimously to restrict Iran's trade in sensitive nuclear materials and to freeze the assets of 22 Iranian officials and institutions linked to the country's most controversial nuclear programs. Iran vows to press ahead with uranium enrichment despite the sanctions.
Nov. 14, 2006 - The International Atomic Energy Agency reports that new traces of plutonium and enriched uranium, potential material for atomic warheads, have been found at a nuclear waste facility in Iran.
Oct. 23, 2006 - Mohamed ElBaradei, director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, says that Iranian technicians had pieced together a second line, or cascade, of 164 centrifuges and are days away from using the cascade to enrich uranium.
Oct. 3, 2006 - Mohammad Saeedi, deputy chief of Iran's Atomic Energy Agency, proposes that France create a consortium to enrich Tehran's uranium, saying such an arrangement could satisfy international demands for outside oversight.
Sept. 20, 2006 - The United States and five other countries back off demand for U.N. sanctions on Iran, setting early October as a new deadline for the country to suspend nuclear activities; in a separate meeting, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad maintains that Iran's nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.
Sept. 13, 2006 - U.N. inspectors investigating Iran's nuclear program complain in a letter that parts of a House committee report on Iran's capabilities contained some "erroneous, misleading and unsubstantiated statements."
Sept. 12, 2006 - In a document given to foreign governments, Iran says it is willing to engage in negotiations, but only if U.N. sanction proceedings end.
Sept. 11, 2006 - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice signals that a temporary suspension of Iran's nuclear programs might be enough to allow the first direct negotiations involving the United States and Iran in more than a quarter-century.
Aug. 31, 2006 - On the deadline day for Iran to stop enriching uranium, U.N. inspectors report that Iran has refused to comply. President Bush calls Iran a "grave threat" and says "there must be consequences" for Tehran's actions.
Aug. 29, 2006 - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad challenges President Bush to a televised debate as nuclear specialists begin enriching a new batch of uranium; the White House dismisses the debate invitation as a "diversion."
Aug. 26, 2006 - Iran inaugurates a heavy-water plant, expanding its nuclear program. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad shrugs off the possibility of sanctions, insisting his country will not slow its nuclear ambitions.
July 31, 2006 - U.N. Security Council approves a resolution demanding that Iran suspend its enrichment and reprocessing of nuclear fuel by Aug. 31 or face the threat of economic and diplomatic sanctions.
July 12, 2006 - Diplomats from the United States, Russia, China and European Union announce they will return to the U.N. Security Council for possible punitive action against Iran, expressing "profound disappointment" over Tehran's refusal to stop its uranium enrichment program or respond to incentives offered.
June 4, 2006 - Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei criticizes the United States and other countries confronting his government over its nuclear program, calling suggestions of a consensus against Iran "a lie."
June 1, 2006 - The United States Russia, China, France, Germany and the European Union offer Iran a broad new collection of incentives in return for giving up its uranium enrichment program.
May 8, 2006 - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad writes President Bush an 18-page letter criticizing him on Afghanistan and Iraq, detainee abuse and support for Israel. U.S. officials dismiss the document, the first official contact between the two countries in 27 years, for not offering any concrete proposals for resolving the confrontation over Iran's nuclear development.
April 28, 2006 - The International Atomic Energy Agency issues a report saying Iran is conducting an enrichment program in defiance of U.N. Security Council demands to halt it. British officials urge U.N. Security Council to open debate on possible sanctions or other pressures.
April 11, 2006 - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announces Iran has successfully enriched uranium. The head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization says the breakthrough was achieved April 10 at the pilot enrichment plant in Natanz, where Iran removed U.N. inspection seals earlier this year.
April 9, 2006 - The Washington Post reports that the Bush administration is exploring the possibility of military strikes against Iran; possible targets include the Natanz enrichment facility as well as other nuclear, military and political sites. President Bush later says talk of military action against Iran is "wild speculation."
March 29, 2006 - The 15-member U.N. Security Council calls for Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment program within 30 days, but doesn't detail direct consequences if Iran refuses to meet their demands.
March 16, 2006 - Iran agrees to direct talks with the United States about Iraq, though Zalmay Khalilzad, U.S. ambassador in Baghdad, is prohibited from engaging in talks about their nuclear program.
Feb. 2, 2006 - The International Atomic Energy Agency's 35-nation board of governors meets to consider a European draft resolution calling for Tehran to be referred to the Security Council, which can impose sanctions. Russia, China, the United States, Britain, Germany and France all support reporting Iran.
Jan. 13, 2006 - Iran threatens to end voluntary cooperation with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) if taken to Security Council for possible sanctions.
Jan. 12, 2006 - Britain, Germany and France call off nuclear talks with Iran and say Tehran should be referred to Security Council. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says military attack on Iran's nuclear program not on U.S. agenda "at this point".
Jan. 10, 2006 - Iran removes U.N. seals at Natanz uranium enrichment plant and resumes research on nuclear fuel despite Western warnings it would endanger efforts to find compromise.
Jan. 7/8, 2006 - Russia and Iran discuss Russian proposal to enrich uranium for Iran. Talks due to resume on Feb. 16.
Jan. 1, 2006 - Iran says it has developed machinery to separate uranium from its ore.
Nov. 6, 2005 - Iran confirms it has allowed U.N. nuclear inspectors to visit Parchin military complex.
Sept. 15, 2005 - New Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says Iran ready to transfer nuclear know-how to other Muslim nations.
Sept. 2, 2005 - Report by IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei confirms Iran has resumed uranium conversion at Isfahan.
February 2005 - President Mohammed Khatami says no Iranian government will give up nuclear technology programs.
November 2004 - Iran promises France, Britain and Germany -- the "EU3" negotiating on behalf of European Union -- it will suspend all nuclear fuel processing and reprocessing work.
June 2004 - IAEA board complains of inadequate cooperation from Iran. In retaliation, Iran says it will resume production and testing of centrifuges.
December 2003 - Iran signs protocol allowing snap inspections of nuclear facilities.
Oct. 2003 - Iran tells the EU3 it will suspend all enrichment-related activities.
June 2003 - IAEA report, after February inspection of Natanz and Arak, says Iran has failed to comply with nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
December 2002 - United States accuses Iran of "across-the-board pursuit of weapons of mass destruction".
August 2002 - Exiled opposition group, National Council of Resistance of Iran, reports existence of uranium enrichment facility at Natanz and heavy water plant at Arak.

SOURCE: The Washington Post, Reuters | GRAPHIC: washingtonpost.com

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