Iran has had a nuclear programme since 1959 when the United States gave a small reactor to Tehran University as part of the “Atoms for Peace” programme during Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi’s reign. When the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) was introduced in 1968 and entered into force in 1970, Iran was one of the first signatories of that Treaty.
When the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) suddenly emerged in Iraq, it declared as one of its first targets the Shiites and what it called the Safavids. The Safavid dynasty
(1501-1736) was one of the most powerful Iranian dynasties after the Islamic conquest.