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Page last updated at 15:15 GMT, Friday, 5 June 2009 16:15 UK
Iran Archives: Arming for Islam?

Panorama has reported from Iran over the past 50 years, from her days as an ally of the West under the Shah to the troubled relationship we share today.

Watch abridged moments from some of those films here.

In March 1993, Iran was accused by America of a clandestine nuclear weapons programme. Panorama visited Iran to investigate the claims.

In 1993, Panorama once again returned to Iran to investigate a possible secret arms programme believed to be operating across the United States, Central Asia and Europe.

Iran denied the accusations and continued to claim that it was entitled to develop a nuclear energy programme.

Iran kept a lower international profile during the 1990s and appeared to be entering a period of reform with the election of moderates to government in 2000.

However, this was not enough to prevent US President George W Bush from including Iran in his "axis of evil" during his State of the Union address in January 2002.

The relative failure of the moderates as a governing force allowed the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the ultra-conservative mayor of Tehran, as president in 2005.

Ahmadinejad ignored condemnation by the West over his outspoken comments, most notably being quoted as saying Israel "should be wiped off the map". He also set about rebuilding national pride, most notably with his continuation of his country's nuclear programme.

The arrival of President Barack Obama in January 2009, and his subsequent conciliatory statements towards Iran, has perhaps opened the way for a change in relations for the first time in more than a generation.

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