More information about Iran is available on the Iran Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
The United States and Iran (then called Persia) established diplomatic relations in 1883. In the following years, Iran saw the 1906 establishment of a limited constitutional monarchy, a 1953 coup against its democratically elected prime minister that was supported by the United States and the United Kingdom, and a 1978 revolution against the country's hereditary ruler, the shah. The United States broke diplomatic relations with Iran in 1980 after the seizure of the U.S. Embassy and 52 Americans by Iranian students. The U.S. Government does not have diplomatic or consular relations with Iran.
The United States has long-standing concerns over Iran’s nuclear program, sponsorship of terrorism, and human rights record. Numerous sanctions have been imposed on Iran by the United States and the international community to compel Iran to engage seriously in discussions with the international community and address concerns over its nuclear program. Iran still has not recognized Israel’s right to exist and has hindered the Middle East peace process by arming militants, including Hamas, Hizballah, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Despite these obstacles, U.S. and Iranian representatives have discussed a number of issues of concern over the years, including Iran’s nuclear program, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
U.S. Assistance to Iran
The United States provides no development assistance to Iran.
Bilateral Economic Relations
The U.S. Government, through executive orders issued by the President as well as congressional legislation, prohibits nearly all trade and investment with Iran. Sanctions have been imposed on Iran because of its sponsorship of terrorism, its refusal to comply with international obligations on its nuclear program, and its human rights violations.
Iran's Membership in International Organizations
Iran and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, and World Bank. Iran also is an observer to the World Trade Organization.
The Embassy of Switzerland in Iran represents U.S. interests, and the Embassy of Pakistan in the United States represents Iranian interests.
More information about Iran is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:
Department of State Iran Country Page
Virtual U.S. Embassy: Iran
History of U.S. Relations With Iran
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Office of Foreign Assets Control Sanctions Page
Library of Congress Country Studies
Travel and Business Information
CIA World Factbook Iran Page