Countries

A Guide to the United States' History of Recognition, Diplomatic, and Consular Relations, by Country, since 1776: Iran

Summary

The first formal act of diplomatic engagement and recognition between the United States and the Kingdom of Persia (Iran), both long-established states, occurred on June 28, 1850, when U.S. Secretary of State John Middleton Clayton authorized the American Minister Resident at Constantinople, George P. Marsh, to negotiate a treaty of friendship and commerce with the Persian Chargé d’Affaires there.

Modern Flag of Iran

Modern Flag of Iran

Recognition

Mutual Recognition, 1850.

The first formal act of diplomatic engagement and recognition between the United States and the Kingdom of Persia (Iran), both long established states, occurred on June 28, 1850, when U.S. Secretary of State John Middleton Clayton authorized the American Minister Resident at Constantinople, George P. Marsh, to negotiate a treaty of friendship and commerce with the Persian Chargé d’Affaires there. The Persian Chargé had approached Marsh in April 1850 and offered to ask his government for authority to negotiate such a treaty. The treaty, finalized in November 1851, failed to go into effect when the Persian government took no action on a “most-favored-nation” commercial clause added to the treaty by the U.S. Senate in its ratification resolution.

Diplomatic Relations

Establishment of Diplomatic Relations and the American Legation in Iran, 1883.

Diplomatic relations and the American Legation at Tehran were established on June 11, 1883, when Chargé d’Affaires S.G.W. Benjamin presented his credentials to the Shah of Persia.

Diplomatic Relations Severed, 1980.

The United States severed diplomatic relations with Iran on April 7, 1980. This action was taken following the seizure by student militants of the American Embassy in Tehran and its staff on November 4, 1979, and the subsequent failure of the Iranian government to secure their release. The hostages eventually were released on January 20, 1981; however, diplomatic relations remain severed and Switzerland currently serves as the protecting power for U.S. interests in Iran.

Resources

  • Department of State Country Fact Sheet: Iran
  • Department of State Country Information: Iran

Resources

  • Iran in World Wide Diplomatic Archives Index