May 28, 1901
British investor William K. D'Arcy is granted a 60-year concession to extract oil by Mozafar ad-Din, Shah of Iran.
Dec 19, 2019
British investors established the Anglo-Persian Oil Company—the forerunner of British Petroleum.
Jul 31, 1928
Foreign investors adopt the "redline agreement," allocating Iraq's oil fields for development by the companies of the U.S., Britain, the Netherlands, and France. The United States is granted a 23.75 interest in Iraq's oil fields.
Sep 16, 1941
Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran, with the support of the British and Russian governments replaces his father on the throne of Iran.
Dec 19, 2019
The United Nations develops a partition plan for Palestine. With the British mandate, which had granted Britain the authority to govern Palestine due to expire the following year, the UN proposes that Palestine be divided into separate Jewish and Arab nations.
May 15, 1948
Israel declares its independence as the British mandate expires. Palestinians will reject the UN Partition plan and with the aid of neighboring Arab nations, will declare war against Israel.
Mar 15, 1951
The Iranian Parliament votes to nationalize Iran's oil fields.
Apr 28, 1951
Mohammed Mosaddeq, who had led the movement in the Parliament for the nationalization of Iran's oil, is elected prime minister.
Aug 19, 1953
British and American intelligence agencies help orchestrate a coup removing Iranian prime minister, Mohammed Mosaddeq from office, and restoring the Shah of Iran to power.
Sep 10, 1960
Representatives from five oil producing nations (Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela) meet in Baghdad to discuss production and pricing strategies. They found OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. By 1973, another eight countries will join (Algeria, Ecuador, Gabon, Indonesia, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates).
Nov 1, 1964
The Ayatollah Khomeini is arrested of his opposition to the Shah's modernization campaign. He will spend the 15 years in exile in Turkey, Iraq, and France.
Jun 5, 1967
With the armies of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan gathering at is border, Israel launches an air strike initiating the Six-Day War. Israel will defeat the Arab nations and seize the West Bank, Sinai Peninsula, Gaza Strip, and Golan Heights.
Oct 6, 1973
Egypt and Syria attack Israel on Yom Kippur, a Jewish holy day. The United States pledges to provide the tanks and planes needed to rebuild the hard-hit Israeli army.
Oct 1, 1973
Arab members of OPEC announce an embargo on oil sales to the United States in retaliation for American support of Israel during the Yom Kippur War. Oil prices jump 400% from $3 to $12 per barrel during the six-month embargo.
Sep 17, 1978
President Jimmy Carter brings Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin to Camp David where they adopt the Camp David Accords returning the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt and laying out a framework for future talks.
Jan 16, 1979
Faced with a growing revolutionary movement, the Shah of Iran flees the country. Within the week, the exiled spiritual leader of the revolutionary movement, the Ayatollah Khomeini, will return to Iran.
Nov 4, 1979
Iranian students storm the American embassy in Tehran and take 66 persons captive. Most women and African Americans will be released, but 51 American citizens will be held for 444 days.
Dec 1, 1979
Soviet troops are deployed in Afghanistan to support the pro-Soviet communist government that is facing a growing Islamic nationalist movement.
Apr 24, 1980
President Carter orders an American military operation to rescue the American hostages in Iran. It was a public, humiliating debacle.
Jul 27, 1980
The exiled Shah of Iran dies in Egypt.
Dec 19, 1981
Oil prices climb to $35 per barrel as the Iran-Iraq War leads to reduced production in both countries.
Jan 21, 1981
The 52 American hostages still held by Iran are released.
Oct 6, 1981
Egyptian President Sadat is killed by Arab extremists opposed to the Camp David Accords signed by Sadat in 1978.
Feb 1, 1989
The last Soviet troops are withdrawn from Afghanistan after a failed ten-year effort to prop up a pro-Soviet communist government.
Sep 13, 1993
Israel's Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat sign the Oslo Accords in Washington, D.C. In the accords, Israel recognizes the PLO as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people and the PLO acknowledges Israel's sovereignty. The two leaders further agree to a framework for future discussion surrounding the gradual withdrawal of Israeli troops from the West Bank and the extension of supervised autonomy to the Palestinians.
Nov 4, 1995
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin is shot and killed by an Israeli hardliner who opposes the agreement reached in the Oslo Accords to turn over portions of the West Bank to the Palestinians.
Sep 1, 1996
The Taliban, a military-political organization of Pashtun Sunnis, primarily from the southern regions of Afghanistan, take Kabul and control of the country, torn by civil war since the withdrawal of the Soviets in 1989.
Sep 11, 2001
Two commercial airliners are hijacked and crashed into New York City's World Trade Towers. A third hijacked airliner is crashed into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. A fourth crashes in a field in Pennsylvania after its passengers rush the hijackers, forcing the jet to the ground. Almost 3,000 people are killed in the attacks coordinated by Al Qaeda, a radical Islamic organization based in Afghanistan.
Oct 7, 2001
American air strikes on Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, and Taliban strongholds in Jalalabad and Kandahar mark the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom. U.S. ground forces will also join the Northern Alliance to drive the Taliban was from Kabul by mid-November.
Oct 26, 2001
Congress passes the Patriot Act with little dissent. The act expands the search and electronic surveillance powers of federal agencies while investigating persons suspected of terrorism.
Dec 22, 2001
Hamid Karzai, a former mujahedeen and disillusioned Taliban supporter, is selected to head an interim government in Afghanistan. On October 9th, 2004 he will be elected President of Afghanistan under the nation's new constitution adopted the previous January.
Jan 29, 2002
In his State of the Union Address, President George W. Bush labels Iraq, Iran, and North Korea the "axis of evil."
Jan 28, 2003
In his State of the Union Address, President George W. Bush repeats his accusation against Iraq and its president, Saddam Hussein, and reaffirms his commitment to a foreign policy course labeled the Bush Doctrine: preemptive action is justified when launched in order to protect national security.
Mar 19, 2003
U.S. planes strike targets in Baghdad, launching Operation Iraqi Freedom. American, British, Australian, and Polish troops commence the land invasion on March 20th.
May 1, 2003
On the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln, beneath a banner proclaiming "Mission Accomplished," President George W. Bush declares that "major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed."
Dec 13, 2003
Former president of Iraq Saddam Hussein is captured near Tikrit, ending his seven-month evasion of coalition forces.
Jan 4, 2004
Afghanistan adopts a new constitution.
Jan 10, 2007
President George W. Bush announces that he will send an additional 20,000 troops to Iraq as part of a shift in American military strategy. Under this new strategy, labeled "the surge," American troops will pacify and protect individual neighborhoods rather than combat sectarian violence through mobile patrols.
Dec 1, 2009
President Barack Obama announces that an additional 30,000 American troops will be sent to Afghanistan bringing U.S. and NATO troop totals to more than 140,000.
May 2, 2011
Osama Bin Laden is killed by American Special Forces in a surprise raid against his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.