Iran | Iran Taunts World With Nuclear Ambitions
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- Leaked Cables Show Arab Countries Wary of Iran
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- Advances in Nuclear Program Lead to Additional Sanctions
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- Centrist Elected President of Iran; Reaches Out to West with a Charm Offensive
- Iran Agrees to Scale Back Nuclear Program, but Deal Remains Elusive
- Iran Contributes to the Fight Against ISIS
- Historic Nuclear Deal Goes into Effect
Iran Taunts World With Nuclear Ambitions
By 2003, Iran was fanning much of the world's suspicions that it had illegal nuclear ambitions. In June 2003, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) criticized Iran's concealment of much of its nuclear facilities and called on the country to permit more rigorous inspections of its nuclear sites. Under intense international pressure, Iran reluctantly agreed in December to suspend its uranium enrichment program and allow for thorough IAEA inspections.
On Dec. 26, the most destructive earthquake of 2003 devastated the historic city of Bam, killing an estimated 28,000 to 30,000 of its 80,000 residents.
In Feb. 2004, conservatives won a landslide victory in parliamentary elections, a setback for Iran's reformist movement. The hard-line Guardian Council had disqualified more than 2,500 reformist candidates, including more than 80 who were already members of the 290-seat parliament. The IAEA again censured the country in June 2004 for failing to fully cooperate with nuclear inspections. Neither U.S. threats nor Europe's coaxing managed to overcome Iran's alarming defiance.