Timeline of U.S. & Iranian Diplomatic Relations from 1979-2014 (1st published Dec. ’13)

USA burning flagUnited States and Iranian Diplomatic Relations

Timeline: 1979 to June 30, 2014

With Special Emphasis on Prisoner Exchanges

 Also included after the Timeline: “How to write the President” following White House guidelines.

Please contact President Obama to help #FreeAllThree!


January 16, 1979 – Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi leaves Iran in exile after months of demonstrations

February 1, 1979 – Imam Ruhollah Khomeini returns to Iran from exile in France

October 22, 1979 – The Shah of Iran admitted to the U.S. for cancer treatments

November 4, 1979 – U.S. Embassy in Tehran taken over by force – 52 hostages taken

January 20, 1981 – After 444 Days, U.S. hostages released on day Ronald Reagan was inaugurated


From 1979 – September 2013  Complete diplomatic silence between the U.S. and Iran   


March 2007 – Robert Levinson, working as a private contractor, kidnapped from Iran’s Kish Island

July 2009 – 3 U.S. hikers arrested at Iran’s border as spies: Sarah Shourd, Shane Bauer & Joshua Fattal

September 2010 – Sarah Shroud released on $500,000 ‘bail’ due to illness using Omani intermediary

August 2011 – Amir Hekmati a former U.S. Marine was arrested and convicted as spy on false charges

September 2011 – Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal, the two male hikers, freed

December 2011  – Dr. Mojaba Atarodi an Iranian nuclear scientist arrested in the U.S.

December 2011 –John Kerry (as a Senator) makes first secret visit to Oman to meet with Iranians

March 2012 – (Former) FBI Director Mueller announces $1,000,000 reward in connection with Levinson

July/September 2012 – Pastor Saeed Abedini arrested as threat to Iranian security establishing an orphanage

August 2012 – Two Iranians released from U.S. Federal prisons in the middle of night with no media present

September, 2012 – (Former) Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was in New York City for his annual speech at the United Nations. He was interviewed by Charlie Rose on CBS and “did not deny Iran still has Levinson in its custody, and hinted that there had been talks about a prisoner exchange.” Rose asked, “Is there anything that could happen, a trade or something that could allow him to come back to the United States?” Ahmadinejad replied: “I remember that last year Iranian and American intelligence groups had a meeting, but I haven’t followed up on it. I thought they’d come to some kind of an agreement.”  CBS’ John Miller observed that this was a big step and “tacit admission that he [Levinson] was in their custody and that there have been talks.”

January 2013 – A third Iranian released from a U.S. prison

April 2013 – A fourth Iranian, nuclear scientist Dr. Mojaba Atarodi, secretly released from U.S. Federal prison to a heroes welcome in Tehran

May 2013 – John Kerry, as U.S. Secretary of State, makes second secret trip  

2012 until July 2014 – Iran has not released any Americans since the U.S. released 4 Iranian prisoners in 2012-2013 including one high value scientist

September 2013 – Newly elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani gives speech at UN in NY

September 2013 – Naghmeh Abedini, wife of Pastor Abedini, passes letter of appeal to Pres. Rouhani

September 2013 – President Barack Obama calls President Rouhani. The 15-minute conversation was labeled as ‘historic’ since American and Iranian officials have not talked openly to each other since 1979

October 2013 – Pastor Saeed Abedini was moved without explanation to a more dangerous prison

October 2013 – John Kerry, makes his third secret trip to Oman meeting with Iranian officials

November 23, 2013 – Iran and the P5+1 Nations (Britain, China, France, Russia, United States plus Germany) announce agreement on a six-month “Joint Action Plan” as a temporary first step towards control of Iranian nuclear programs

November 26, 2013 – Robert Levinson held 2,455 days – This unwanted milestone was observed by the FBI and Levinson’s family members. He has been held in a foreign country longer than any other American

December 2013 – Iran’s technical negotiators abruptly walk out of first ‘tech level’ talks and return to Tehran.  It would take over two months of pre-negotiation talks before the 6-month agreement would begin.

December 12, 2013 –  ‘Breaking News’ regarding Bob Levinson: The AP and Washington Post release an extensive report which they had held back for three years. The NY Times eventually followed suit.  It was established that the CIA was in fact responsible for sending Mr. Levinson on a secret fact-finding mission. This had never been admitted publicly and the White House continued to deny Levinson was an U.S. “employee.”  Mr. Levinson was in Iran one day before disappearing from Kish Island where no visa is required to visit. Despite denials, U.S. officials believe Levinson’s whereabouts are known to Iran’s government. No ransom was ever demanded and no evidence has been received suggesting he is not alive. However, no proof of life has been received for several years making his disappearance very mysterious.

January 2014 – The P5+1 and Iran sign a six-month Agreement officially starting on January 20 and to conclude by July 20, 2014. It may be extended an additional six-months, if both sides agree.

February 2013 – European banks and other firms, as well as Russia, China and U.S. entities begin their rush into Tehran to reestablish contacts and promote their special interests.

February – June 2013  The P5+1 nations and Iran meet approximately 2-3 days once per month.

January 1 to July 4, 2014: 184 days (6 months and 4 days). Since Iran was given 6 months (180 days) to show good faith regarding their nuclear programs, FreeAllThree.com blog was started with a 184-day countdown.

As of July 5, 2014: if all three Americans have not been released by Iran to American authorities, the U.S. must insist that Iran does a number of things:

1) All three Americans must be freed prior to continuing any negotiations with Iran, even it is only a temporary extension like the first agreement. This is the time of United State’s best leverage – now!

2) No more billions of US dollars, gold or other resources are to be unfrozen, monetized or transferred to Iran as a result of loosening existing economic sanctions. Iran needs access to their money more than the U.S. is presently incentivized to give it to them. If further loosening of sanctions is agreed to by the U.S. alone or P5+1 collectively, without any expression of goodwill from Iran, not only does U.S. leverage become weaker on nuclear issues, but on all issues including the release of hostages.

3) The free flow of Iranian oil beyond the output that was agreed to needs to be called out and halted. It i not helpful that China, Russia and European nations have expressed growing interest in Iran’s oil.

4) Russia should be sanctioned by the other P5+1 nations for negotiating a side deal worth $1.5 billion per month known as ‘oil for goods.’ Russia would construct nuclear facilities and provide other goods and services in exchange for oil.

5) Finally, the main intent of the current six-months of nuclear talks is to realize the cessation, not simply a paring back, of Iran’s nuclear weapons programs. iran must agree to inspection and verification before extending negotiations or making a permanent deal.



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(L to R) Robert “Bob” Levinson: Father, Husband & Grandfather; Pastor Saeed Abedini and his wife Naghmeh have 2 children; Amir Hekmati is a former U.S. Marine. All are American citizens wrongly held in Iran today!

What can you do about our 3 American men held in Iran?

I recently received this email from the White House PR people:

White House-seal

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20500

Subject:  POTUS Replies

June 24, 2014

“Every day, the Office of Presidential Correspondence sorts through thousands of letters. Every night, President Obama reads 10 [ten] of them.

Some people write to share what his decisions mean in their daily lives, to talk about the economy, or to ask a question about a policy. Others just write in to say hello.

Each letter is a chance for President Obama to hear directly from folks across the country about the sorts of issues they face every day.”


The White House email went on to say that for each of the tem letters selected , POTUS actually dictates a response to them. That’s 70 per week, right?

FreeAllThree.com encourages you to send a polite, yet firm, email or letter asking the President to do EVERYTHING in his power to bring back Pastor Saeed Abedini, Amir Hekmati and Robert Levinson as part of the current negotiations with Iran.

The President is already familiar with their names and circumstances. So keep your letter brief and respectful if you want to have a chance of your letter being one that is selected for him to read. He can’t read them all, but if 1000’s of them are sent about these 3 Americans held in Iran, he is likely to read some!

If you get a reply, please email or tweet us at FreeAllThree.



Twitter: @ freeallthree

Email: daniel @ freeallthree .com


About FreeAllThree.com:

From January 1-July 4, 2014 there are 184 days  or 6 months and 4 days. Iran was given 6 months (180 days) to show good faith regarding their nuclear weapons programs. America must insist that no more billions of US dollars, gold or other resources will be unfrozen and transferred to Iran as a result of further sanctions loosening. Nor should oil exports flow freely to other nations, including Russia that has negotiated a side deal worth $1.5 billion per month known as ‘oil for goods.’ With such a bartering system, Russia would continue to build Iran’s nuclear facilities in exchange for Iranian oil, bypassing the banking system, and then re-selling it on the open market. Finally, the main purpose of the current negotiations, the cessation of Iran’s nuclear weapons program, must be realized and continually verified.