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Digital National Security Archive (DNSA): U.S. Policy toward Iran: From the Revolution to the Nuclear Accord, 1978-2015

About this Collection

U.S. Policy toward Iran: From the Revolution to the Nuclear Accord, 1978-2015

This collection covers close to four decades of a volatile international relationship that has had a profound impact on global affairs.  During that period, a full panoply of issues arose which influenced that relationship.  This collection brings together the most important and useful declassified records available on all major topics of relevance to understanding the United States–Iran dynamic.  These include terrorism and support for extremist groups, Iran’s regional policies from the Arab-Israeli conflict to Afghanistan to Central Asia, domestic politics inside both countries, and the nuclear issue.  Many of these documents are only accessible because of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests filed over three decades by the Iran-U.S. Relations Project at the National Security Archive. 

Research Value of This Collection

There is no remotely comparable collection in the public domain that provides similar coverage of this highly relevant and important topic.  Moreover, many of the records here have never been seen by other researchers, much less published elsewhere.  This pertains both to the early years following the 1979 Iranian revolution and even to some of the more recent periods extending into the 2010’s.  While covering a very broad range of topics, the National Security Archive has tried to be as comprehensive as possible on key episodes.  The period of the revolution, the Iran-Iraq War, Iran’s proven and alleged involvement in terrorism, and the nuclear issue are among the topics where particularly rich and extensive materials can be found.

Collection Time Periods

Time Period Number of Documents
1977-79 295
1980-81 300
1982-88 320
1989-93 343
1994-2000 300
2001-2008 248
2009-2019 141


Collection Origin

Origin Number of Documents
Department of State 499
White House 445
United States Embassies 217
Intelligence Community 211
Department of Defense 130
Non-U.S. Governments 105
International Organizations 101
Congress 24
Corporate or Non-governmental 21
Other U.S. Agencies 15
(Some documents have multiple origins)