Iran in Prophecy

By COGwriter

This is an introductory article about Iran in near-term biblical prophecy (here is a link to a related YouTube video also titled Iran In Prophecy), as well as some information related to Islamic prophecy. This is not an extensive discussion about all prophetic scriptures related to Iran in prophecy--some of which (related to Daniel ) have been fulfilled, and others of which will not be fulfilled until well after Jesus returns (Ezekiel 38; see also Ezekiel 38: For Russia & Iran in Our Day?). More on the Islamic world can be found in the article The Arab and Islamic World In the Bible, History, and Prophecy.

Names that Seem to Signify Iran or Parts of its Current Territory

The clearest term for Iran in the Bible is Persia. This term is used 30 times in the NKJV, and they are all in the Hebrew scriptures (also known as the Old Testament). Even in the 21st century, Iranians often refer to themselves as Persians.

Other terms that seem to refer to parts of Iran in the Bible include Phut and Elam.

What is translated as Put in Ezekiel 30:5 from the NIV and Phut in the YLT (Young's Literal Translation) may be referring to some of the peoples of Iran as the Hebrew word it is translated from is Puwt, which was a Persian tribe or possibly a branch that made it to Pakistan.

Ezekiel 38:5 as well as Ezekiel 27:10 lists Persia and Phut together (YLT) as part of an alliance in the future and/or perhaps that they have merged together.

Elam was an ancient civilization located in what is now southwest Iran (Bulliet R, ed. The Earth and Its Peoples: A Global History: A Global History. Cengage Learning, 2007, p. 132; see also Daniel 8:1-2). But some Elamites could have ended up in India and/or Pakistan.

Iran's Objectives

Iran has various objectives, but many are driven by its interpretations of Shi-ite Islam. Notice the following:

In June 2011, the Associated Press published translated excerpts from an article posted on an Iranian Revolutionary Guard website:

“The day after the first Iranian nuclear test for us Iranians will be an ordinary day, but in the eyes of many of us, it will have a new shine, from the power and dignity of the nation,” says the article published on the Gerdab site run by the Revolutionary Guard. . . .

The article ends with an Arabic quote from the Quaran: “And prepare against them whatever you are able of power and of steeds of war by which you may terrify the enemy of Allah and your enemy.”

In November 2011, the International Atomic Energy Agency released a report stating that there is “credible” evidence that “Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device.” ...

Why does Iran constantly engage in war against America? The answer is that the Iranian regime embraces Islam and takes the religion seriously. The Koran explicitly and repeatedly commands Muslims to convert or kill all non-Muslims: “Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war” (Koran 9:5); “Fight them until all opposition ends and all submit to Allah” (8:39); and so on. Islam requires Muslims to strive for a worldwide Islamic caliphate, and the Islamic Republic of Iran was formed and exists to advance the world toward this goal.

The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran states explicitly that “the Islamic contents of the Iranian Revolution”—that is, the Koranic mandate that all opposition must end and all must submit to Allah—“provides a basis for the continuation of that revolution both inside and outside the country.” The Constitution specifies that the Islamic Republic is to pursue this goal by “developing international relations with other Islamic movements and peoples, so as to prepare the way towards a united single world community”—and by waging “holy war” against unbelievers across the globe. The Constitution elaborates this latter point with crystal clarity:

In the organization and equipping of [Iran’s] defense forces, there must be regard for faith and religion as their basis and rules. And so the Islamic Republic’s army, and the corps of Revolutionary Guards must be organized in accordance with this aim. They have responsibility not only for the safeguarding of the frontiers, but also for a religious mission, which is Holy War (JIHAD) along the way of God, and the struggle to extend the supremacy of God’s Law in the world. “Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into the hearts of the enemies of God and your enemies, and others beside.”

The Iranian regime’s ultimate goal is to force everyone on the planet to submit to the will of “Allah.” The number one impediment to the regime’s achievement of this goal is the United States of America—the superpower founded on the principle of individual rights and the separation of religion and state—which the Iranian regime has therefore dubbed “the Great Satan.” This is why the Iranian regime seeks to kill Americans and to destroy America: “The Great Satan” impedes the will of “Allah.” (Biddle C. The Jihad against America and How to End It. The Objective Standard, September 10, 2014. https://www.theobjectivestandard.com/2014/09/jihad-america-end/ viewed 09/24/14)

Iran has military objectives that will cause it to have problems. Despite negotiations with the West, Iran still has the same basic objectives.

Some Shi-ite Muslim Views

Most people in Iran subscribe to the Shi'ite (often called Shia) Muslim faith. Shi-ites consider that they have a purer understanding Islam than the Sunni Muslims. Shi-ites represent about 10-20% of Muslims and nearly all the rest are Sunni (there are also Sufis, but they seem to represent less than 1% of all Muslims).

Unlike Sunnis who do not believe that Muhammed appointed a successor, Shi-ites believe that during Muhammad's final pilgrimage to Mecca, he appointed his son-in-law, Ali ibn Abi Talib, to succeed him. As a result, Shi-ites believe that Ali ibn Abi Talib was the first Imam (leader), rejecting the legitimacy of the previous Muslim caliphs Abu Bakr, Uthman ibn al-Affan and Umar ibn al-Khattab. Shia Islam has several branches, the largest of which is the Twelvers, followed by Zaidis and Ismailis (Wikipedia, viewed 11/25/13).

The Twelvers (and many of the other Shia) basically have had a few peculiarities on the prophetic side. Notice:

Shiite Muslims, the majority in Iran, believe Jesus will accompany the Imam Mahdi when he reappears in a future apocalypse to save the world...

Shiites believe the Mahdi's reappearance will usher in a new era of peace and harmony.

"We Muslims pray for the 'Return' (of Imam Mahdi) and Jesus is part of the return and the end of time," Talebzadeh said ('Islamic Jesus' hits Iranian movie screens AFP - Jan 13, 2008 http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=080113231632.1q3rt654&show_article=1).

According to the tradition, Imam Ali Ibn Abi-Talib (the prophet’s cousin and son-in-law) prophesied that at the End of Times and just before the return of the Mahdi, the Ultimate Saviour, a “tall black man will assume the reins of government in the West.” Commanding “the strongest army on earth,” the new ruler in the West will carry “a clear sign” from the third imam, whose name was Hussein Ibn Ali. The tradition concludes: “Shiites should have no doubt that he is with us.”

In a curious coincidence Obama’s first and second names–Barack Hussein–mean “the blessing of Hussein” in Arabic and Persian. His family name, Obama, written in the Persian alphabet, reads O Ba Ma, which means “he is with us,” the magic formula in Majlisi’s tradition (Taheri A. Obama and Ahmadinejad. Forbes - Oct 26, 2008 http://www.forbes.com/2008/10/26/obama-iran-ahmadinejad-oped-cx_at_1026taheri_print.html viewed 11/14/08).

The Mahdi (Arabic for "the guided one"), is supposed to return before Judgment Day to eliminate injustice and tyranny. The appearance of the Mahdi is not mentioned in the Quran or the Sunnah (Prophet's teachings), and many Sunni scholars view it as a Shiite invention...in the 132-volume work by Shiite scholar Mullah Majlisi (Nayouf, Hayyan. Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid. Shiite scholar denies Obama link to Muslim savior. Dubai. November 4, 2008. http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2008/11/04/59490.html viewed 05/19/09).

Further notice:

In his fiery style, Ahmadinejad, showed his messianic beliefs on Friday, saying the world was witnessing a revolution managed by Imam Mehdi, the 12 Shiite imam who disappeared as a five-year-old in the 10th century and who Shiites believe would return on the judgement day.

"The final move has begun. We are in the middle of a world revolution managed by this dear (12th Imam). A great awakening is unfolding. One can witness the hand of Imam in managing it," said Ahmadinejad, wearing his trademark jacket. (Davari M. US, Israel will soon exit Middle East: Ahmadinejad. AFP – February 11, 2011. http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5j4nERLgb7ILzV-di10ZB5i5GewYg?docId=CNG.680158c3fc877f3521627185c89de338.1f1)

So, somehow Iran believes that the Imam Mahdi is behind what has been going on for several years--and this has not been limited to Ahmadinejad--the Ayatollah has made supporting comments. Well, I believe that the final King of the South is currently alive, is somewhat Islamic, and may be associated with one or more transnational Islamic groups--but I do not believe that he is the one that Shi-ite Muslims claim to be in some type of suspended animation.

To push this concept Imam Mahdi further, apparently in March 2011 then Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad approved a video that quotes someone as saying this Imam Mahdi leader arrives after a time of great earthquakes and sedition.  It shows photos of American, Jewish, and European leaders that it does not approve of.  It says that, according to the Hadith, Iran is to be among the “preparers” for the arrival of the Imam.  It blames the USA and its allies for causing Islamic fear-mongering since 9/11/2001.  The video indicates that Islamic writings have warned that Westerners would invade the Middle East first and its suggests that Iraq and other western military interventions are proof that the Imam Mahdi is about to appear.  It claims Iran is the premier military power in the Islamic world and indicates that other Muslims should now support it. The video tells that a time of Arab cooperation is prophesied, while also claiming that annihilation of the “Zionist regime” needs to happen prior to the arrival of the Mahdi.

And the video goes further.  It says that the Hadith tells of a leader named Abdullah, states that the then ill King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is the first Abdullah leader in a hundred years, and then it cites something that states when Abdullah dies the reappearance is guaranteed (he died in 2015). The video claims that their prophecies state that a Seyed Khorasani will turn Jerusalem over to the Imam Mahdi. It discusses prophesies that Islamic antichrists must rise up and hints that the Free Masons, with their influence on American, European, Israeli, and apparently certain Arabic, leaders, has fulfilled this.  Although the video shows Hosni Mubarak along with a prophecy that the leader of Egypt must die prior to the arrival of the Imam Mahdi, Hosni Mubarak is no longer the leader of Egypt and did not die (but will some day--though they could point to someone else in Egypt as the leader to fulfill a related Islamic prophecy).

It also essentially tries to explain who is Seyed Khorasani (the claim is current top leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei).  It also says that 72 months prior to the arrival of the Imam Mahdi that Seyed Khorasani will appoint Shoeib to assist.  It then asks if “Doctor” Ahmadinejad could be the Shoeib.  It shows Ahmadinejad making various speeches and discusses him taking over Jerusalem in the future–and prior to the arrival of the Imam Mahdi.  It basically ends with stating that the Imam Mahdi will rise up soon and that all should praise God with Jihad. Currently, Ahmadinejad is out-of-office and no longer would seem to be a viable candidate, though things could change with him.

Iran has indicated that the Mahdi has been around for many years and is getting close to appear publicly:

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei... has been heard to say that the coming of the last Islamic Messiah, the Shiites’ 12th Imam Mahdi, is near and that specific actions need to be taken to protect the Islamic regime for upcoming events. Mahdi, according to Shiite belief, will reappear at the time of Armageddon. Selected forces within the Revolutionary Guards and Basij reportedly have been trained under a task force called “Soldiers of Imam Mahdi” and they will bear the responsibility of security and protecting the regime against uprisings. Many in the Guards and Basij have been told that the 12th Imam is on earth, facilitated the victory of Hezbollah over Israel in the 2006 war and soon will announce publicly his presence after the needed environment is created. http://www.wnd.com/2012/01/iran-preparing-now-for-armageddon/, January 24, 2012)

Various prophecies of the Mahdi state that he would return in an even numbered year, (Zumwalt J.  Iran’s Dynamic Duo Dedicated to Global Destruction.  August 13, 2010. http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=38528). Since the Islamic calendar runs differently than the Roman calendar it is not always obvious when that is to non-Muslims. The Islamic year 1438, for example, runs from 3 October 2016 to 21 September 2017.

I suspect that if Iran has an unsuccessful attack on Jerusalem that a Caliph-type leader will rise up from elsewhere in the Middle East and that many in Iran will support him anyway (even if all the Mahdi predictions do not come to pass--several of which will not). Some Persian/Iranian peoples seem to be shown to support the final King of the South in Ezekiel 30:5.

Here are claimed to be some Shi'ite views of the Imam Mahdi:

Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei...told Iranians in July 2010 that he personally met with the Twelfth Imam. He also claimed to be the personal representative of the Mahdi on earth...

By most accounts, Shia scholars believe the Mahdi will first appear in Mecca and conquer the Middle East, then establish the headquarters of his global Islamic government—or caliphate—in Iraq. But there is not universal agreement. Some believe he will emerge from the well at the Jamkaran Mosque in Iran and then travel to Mecca and Iraq. Some say that he will conquer Jerusalem before establishing his caliphate in Iraq. Others believe Jerusalem must be conquered as a prerequisite to his return.

None of this is actually written in the Kuran, and Sunnis reject this eschatology.

But one thing that is fairly well agreed upon among devout “Twelvers” is that the Mahdi will end apostasy and purify corruption within Islam. He is expected to conquer the Arabian Peninsula, Jordan, Syria, “Palestine,” Egypt and North Africa, and eventually the entire world. (Rosenberg J. Why Iran's Top Leaders Believe That the End of Days Has Come. Fox News, November 7, 2011. http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2011/11/07/why-irans-top-leaders-believe-that-end-days-has-come/?ref_dom=news.google.com&ref_url=/#ixzz1di20S2XP)

In Islamic eschatology, the Mahdi (ISO 233/ English: Guided One) is the prophesied redeemer of Islam who will rule for seven, nine or nineteen years- (according to various interpretations) before the Day of Judgment (the Day of Resurrection) and will rid the world of wrongdoing, injustice and tyranny. (Iran Book News Agency. Book reading contest on Mahdi’ism in Khorasan Jonoubi. IBNA, July 3, 2012. http://www.ibna.ir/vdcipraz3t1a5u2.ilct.html)

Here is some of what Wikipedia reports about him, essentially as believed by the Shi'ites of Iran:

Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Mahdī (Arabic:محمد بن الحسن المهدي) (born c. July 29, 869 (15 Sha‘bān 255 AH), in Occultation since 941) is believed by Twelver Shī‘a Muslims to be the Mahdī, an ultimate savior of humankind and the final Imām of the Twelve Imams. Twelver Shī‘a believe that al-Mahdī was born in 869 and did not die but rather was hidden by God in 941 (this is referred to as the Occultation) and will later emerge with Isa (Jesus Christ) in order to fulfill their mission of bringing peace and justice to the world.

Here is some of what Wikipedia reports about the Sunni view related to the Mahdi:

Sunnis believe that the Mahdi has not yet been born, and therefore his exact identity is only known to Allah. Aside from the Mahdi’s precise, genealogy, Sunnis accept many of the same hadiths Shias accept about the predictions regarding the Mahdi’s emergence, his acts, and his universal Khilafat. Sunnis also have a few more Mahdi hadiths which are not present in Shia collections.

Basically, like the Sunnis, those of us in the Continuing Church of God, do not believe that the Imam Mahdi is in some type of suspended animation that the Shi’ites tend to believe. Yet, we the believe that the leader that the Bible refers to as the final King of the South may very well hold the title of Mahdi.

(Now, I should add that the idea of an Imam Mahdi is accepted in certain Sunni circles--but they do not tend to believe that this individual will be Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Mahdī coming back into full animation. And even in those Sunni areas that do not teach that a Mahdi must become their leader, many Sunnis long for a transnational Islamic leader to rise up.)

Notice also some additional Islamic views of the Imam Mahdi:

The term "MEHDI" is a title meaning "Guided one". The Mehdi is a normal man who is going to follow the true Islam. His name will be Muhammad and his father name will be Abdullah. He is a descendant from Ali and Fatima (daughter of the prophet Muhammad) so he will be descendant from al-Hasan or al-Hussain or both. The Mehdi will be very just and his capital will be Damascus. The Mehdi is NOT a prophet but he is the final Rightly Guided Khalifah. The Mehdi will lead Muslims to a great victory against the Sufyaani and the Romans. (Imam Mahdi (Descendent of Prophet Muhammad PBUH) by Mufti A.H. Elias and Mohammad Ali ibn Zubair Ali. Islam.tc, http://www.islam.tc/prophecies/imam.html viewed 02/03/2012)

Notice that the above shows he fights against the Romans (essentially a reunited Roman Empire that will be formed in Europe).

Some Islamic Shi'ite predictions suggest that the Mahdi will rule (at least for a time) in Jerusalem, and that may be. Notice what the Bible teaches:

2 For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem;
The city shall be taken,
The houses rifled,
And the women ravished.
Half of the city shall go into captivity,
But the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city. (Zechariah 14:2, NKJV)

The above passages are consistent with the belief that Jerusalem may be divided into Jewish/European and Islamic territories (see also Jerusalem: Past, Present, and Future). Hence, the final King of the South, who many will likely consider to be the Imam Mahdi and/or Caliph may rule the half of Jerusalem that does not go into captivity when the King of the North begins to fulfill Daniel 11:31-39. (For more on the captivity, please see the article Will the Anglo-Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves?)

The Bible Tells of a Coming King of the South

Some in Islam have taught several things about the Mahdi that suggest that he is the King of the South of the Bible. Notice the following:

Rasaullah [Muhammed] said: "There will be four peace agreements between you and the Romans [Christians].  The fourth agreement will be mediated through a person who will be the progeny of Hadrat Haroon [Honorable Aaron -- Moses' brother] and will be upheld for seven years (Richardson J. Antichrist: Islam's Awaited Messiah. Pleasant Word, 2006, p. 48)

The above sounds similar to the seven year (one week in biblical language) agreement discussed in Daniel 9:27 that involves a "prince" who appears to be the one the Bible warns will become the King of the North and apparently the nation of Israel. It certainly would make sense that there would be Muslim representation in a peace deal.

Interestingly, the Jews have an old tradition that they will end up with some type of peace related to Iran:

Kessin, who holds has a Ph.D. in psychology from Fordham University and is a noted lecturer on Jewish philosophy in the U.S., Canada, South Africa and Israel, also sees significance in the recent U.S. deal with Iran over nuclear weapons.

There is an 800-year-old rabbinic commentary known as Yalkut Shimoni, which he translates: “Paras (Persia-Iran) will be the dread of humanity. The world’s leaders will be frustrated in their futile efforts to save what they can, but to no avail. The people of Israel will also be petrified by the impending danger. And HaShem (God) will say to us, ‘Why are you afraid? All of this I have done in order to bring you the awaited redemption. And this redemption will not be like the redemption from Egypt, which was followed by suffering. This redemption will be absolute, followed with peace.’” ...

“We have now entered the countdown to the messiah, which is unbelievable,” Kessin said.(Rabbi: Blood moons mean 'messianic advancement'. World News Daily, August 30, 2015. http://www.wnd.com/2015/08/rabbi-blood-moons-mean-messianic-advancement/#PvyBhDZJ5CBl3mwm.99)

So Jews, based on tradition, may believe that after conflict with Iran, Israel will have peace. Now a temporal peace deal, like the one related to Daniel 9:27 (see also The 'Peace Deal' of Daniel 9:27), could come after a regional war involving Iran, Israel, and possibly Syria and/or the USA.  The existence of the Jewish tradition may incline the Jews to accept a timed peace deal which will NOT turn out well for the tiny nation of Israel (cf. Daniel 9:27; 11:31).

However, the Bible itself shows that this deal will be broken (Daniel 9:27) and the King of the North will invade Jerusalem (Daniel 11:31) and this will not turn out well for the tiny nation of Israel.

The King of the North ultimately overwhelm the King of the South (Daniel 11:40-43). Notice that this too, however, seems to be consistent with some Islamic prophecy:

5 General anarchy and bloodshed, that no Arab household will be spared from it 6 Then a life of peace as a result of a peace agreement between you and the Banil Asfaar (Romans) which they will break and attack you with a force consisting of eighty flags and under each flag will be an army of twelve thousand men.  (Ibn Zubair Ali, Mohammed Ali. The minor signs of Last Days from: The Signs of Qiyamah. http://www.islamawareness.net/Prophecies/minor.html viewed 08/11/12).

What Sunni Muslims are looking for in an Imam Mahdi (in Arabic, "the divinely guided one") or Caliph (Caliph is a shortened version of "Khalifah rasul Allah" meaning "Successor to the Messenger of God") sounds similar to a leader that the Bible refers to as the final King of the South:

40 'And at the time of the end, push himself forward with him doth a king of the south, and storm against him doth a king of the north, with chariot, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he hath come in to the lands, and hath overflowed, and passed over,

41 and hath come into the desirable land, and many do stumble, and these escape from his hand: Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the sons of Ammon.

42 'And he sendeth forth his hand upon the lands, and the land of Egypt is not for an escape;

43 and he hath ruled over treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the desirable things of Egypt, and Lubim and Cushim [are] at his steps. (Daniel 11:40-43, YLT)

Notice that the above lands tend to be mainly the Arabic ones of the Middle East and North Africa; Edom (Turkey) is also included (watch also What Should You Know About Turkey in Prophecy). Since Iran is not listed in the above, I have tended to rule it out as a possible King of the South.

Yet, Gerald Flurry's improper named Philadelphia Church of God (PCG) clearly and repeatedly teaches that Iran will be the King of the South:

Here is what I wrote in the Trumpet magazine, July 1993—nearly 18 years ago: “So when does the king of the south ‘push’ at the king of the north? It must happen after the book of Daniel was revealed to Herbert W. Armstrong in this end time. Daniel 12:9 tells us the time of the end begins when Daniel was revealed. [The book can only be understood in this end time (Daniel 12:4, 9).] So the king of the south must arise after Daniel was revealed to God’s end-time Church—specifically to Herbert W. Armstrong. These verses point to a king of the south that is yet future. And I believe all indications point to radical Islam, headed by Iran, as this king.”

How could I have known so long ago that Iran would be the king of the south and clash with the Holy Roman Empire? Because of what was happening in Iran and the Middle East, coupled with Bible prophecy…

So you need to watch Libya and Ethiopia. They are about to fall under the heavy influence or control of Iran, the king of the south. (Flurry G. Libya and Ethiopia Reveal Iran’s Military Strategy. Philadelphia Trumpet, April 2011)

How could Gerald Flurry know a falsehood about Iran being the final King of the South?

Well, since Iran is mainly east of Jerusalem, it was not from geography or the Bible.   Iran might be a king of the East, but it is not the King of the South. Furthermore, while Gerald Flurry partially claims to get this from the late Herbert W. Armstrong (HWA), neither HWA nor his church taught that about Iran (see Is the Future King of the South Rising Up?). Actually, Herbert Armstrong referred to some areas essentially equal latitude to modern Iran as associated with earlier kings of the north (see Who is the King of the North?).

This same confederation in Daniel 11:40-43 seems to be referred to in Ezekiel 30:

1 And there is a word of Jehovah unto me, saying: 2 'Son of man, prophesy, and thou hast said: Thus said the Lord Jehovah: Howl ye, ha! for the day! 3 For near [is] a day, near [is] a day to Jehovah! A day of clouds, the time of nations it is. 4 And come in hath a sword to Egypt, And there hath been great pain in Cush, In the falling of the wounded in Egypt, And they have taken its store, And broken down have been its foundations. 5 Cush, and Phut, and Lud, and all the mixture, and Chub, And the sons of the land of the covenant with them by sword do fall, 6 Thus said Jehovah: And — fallen have supporters of Egypt, And come down hath the arrogance of her strength, From Migdol to Syene, by sword they fall in her, An affirmation of the Lord Jehovah. 7 And they have been desolated in the midst of desolate lands, And its cities are in the midst of wasted cities. 8 And they have known that I [am] Jehovah, In My giving fire against Egypt, And broken have been all her helpers. 9 In that day go forth do messengers from before Me in ships, To trouble confident Cush, And there hath been great pain among them, As the day of Egypt, for lo, it hath come. (Ezekiel 30:1-9, YLT)

So, this is basically a confederation of Arabic peoples in North Africa and the Middle East. However, the word translated above as Phut, may be referring to some of the peoples of Iran as Puwt was a Persian tribe, and thus some in Iran may provide some support to the King of the South.

Some have pointed to Ezekiel 38 as involving Iran, and while it does, it is not related to Iran until after Jesus returns (see also Ezekiel 38: For Russia & Iran in Our Day?).

Iran in the 21st Century

We in the Continuing Church of God do not believe that Iran will be the final King of the South of Bible prophecy (cf. Daniel 11:40-43).  Because of that, I have tended to believe that Iran may somehow get “neutralized” before this final king rises up.  And it may be that provoking some type of conflict with Israel (through an attack or through simply possessing nuclear bombs) may result in Israel hitting Iran hard enough militarily to greatly reduce Iran’s influence in the Islamic world. Since no later than May of 2010, I have been writing that since Iran cannot be the final King of the South that it may be neutralized (see Iran Slams Russia).

Iran could be neutralized because of internal unrest or perhaps a region conflict involving Israel.

Notice that Iran's official policy is the elimination of the nation of Israel (the negotiations with the West have not changed this):

August 27, 2015

A senior Iranian official on Tuesday said Israel “should be annihilated,” and that the thawing relations with the West would not translate into a shift in Tehran’s position concerning the Jewish state.

Hussein Sheikholeslam, a foreign affairs adviser to parliament speaker Ali Larijani, told Iranian media that contrary to remarks by British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, “Our positions against the usurper Zionist regime have not changed at all; Israel should be annihilated and this is our ultimate slogan.” http://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-should-be-annihilated-senior-iran-aide-says/

Now that many economic sanctions have been lifted in 2016, Iran will likely rebuild parts of its military with the intent to use it offensively.

Notice also the following:

Iran to work on nuclear-powered boats after U.S. ‘violation’ of deal

December 13, 2016

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani ordered scientists on Tuesday to start developing systems for nuclear-powered boats, in reaction to what he called the United States’ violation of a global atomic deal.

The announcement marked Iran’s first concrete response to a U.S. Congress decision last month to extend legislation making it easier for Washington to reimpose sanctions on Tehran.

Rouhani described the technology as a “nuclear propeller to be used in marine transportation,” but did not say whether that meant just ships or possibly also submarines. Iran said in 2012 that it was working on its first nuclear-powered sub. reut.rs/2gVr80g

His words will stoke tensions with Washington, already heightened by comments from U.S. president elect Donald Trump who has vowed to scrap the deal, under which Iran agreed to curb its nuclear activities in exchange for lifted sanctions. …

“The United States has not fully delivered its commitments in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the nuclear deal),” Rouhani wrote in a letter published by state news agency IRNA.

“With regards to recent (U.S. congress) legislation to extend the Iran Sanctions Act, I order the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran to … plan the design and construction of a nuclear propeller to be used in marine transportation to be used in marine transportation.”

U.S. Congress members have said the extension of the bill does not violate the nuclear deal agreed last year to assuage Western fears that Iran is working to develop a nuclear bomb. The act, Congress added, only gave Washington the power to reimpose sanctions on Iran if it violated the pact. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-iran-nuclear-deals-idUSKBN14212X

The fact that Iran wishes to pursue nuclear-powered naval vessels is not a surprise. This will give Iran the excuse that its nuclear work is not to build any nuclear bombs, but is for shipping purposes.

Iran keeps moving towards its militaristic objectives.

The Bible shows that it possible that God will allow Iran to strike the nation of Israel:

1 The burden against the Valley of Vision.

What ails you now, that you have all gone up to the housetops, 2 You who are full of noise, A tumultuous city, a joyous city? Your slain men are not slain with the sword, Nor dead in battle. 3 All your rulers have fled together; They are captured by the archers. All who are found in you are bound together; They have fled from afar. 4 Therefore I said, “Look away from me, I will weep bitterly; Do not labor to comfort me Because of the plundering of the daughter of my people.”

5 For it is a day of trouble and treading down and perplexity By the Lord God of hosts In the Valley of Vision — Breaking down the walls And of crying to the mountain. 6 Elam bore the quiver With chariots of men and horsemen, And Kir uncovered the shield. 7 It shall come to pass that your choicest valleys Shall be full of chariots,And the horsemen shall set themselves in array at the gate.

8 He removed the protection of Judah. You looked in that day to the armor of the House of the Forest; 9 You also saw the damage to the city of David, That it was great; And you gathered together the waters of the lower pool. 10 You numbered the houses of Jerusalem, And the houses you broke down To fortify the wall. 11 You also made a reservoir between the two walls For the water of the old pool. But you did not look to its Maker, Nor did you have respect for Him who fashioned it long ago.

12 And in that day the Lord God of hosts Called for weeping and for mourning,For baldness and for girding with sackcloth. 13 But instead, joy and gladness, Slaying oxen and killing sheep, Eating meat and drinking wine: “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!”

14 Then it was revealed in my hearing by the Lord of hosts,”Surely for this iniquity there will be no atonement for you, Even to your death,” says the Lord God of hosts.  (Isaiah 22:1-14 NKJV)

Elam seems to be a reference to at least some in Iran.  Kir is of interest as it has several possibilities.  One is that the Bible tells that after Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria took over Damascus, he moved Syrians to Kir.  While this does not mean that Kir must (or must only) be a reference to Syria, the fact that Syria is an ally of Iran is interesting.  Some believe Kir is an area in the south of Iran, while others suggest closer to the Black Sea. The Bible tells of a time when Kir will be destroyed (Isaiah 15:1b) and also says that Syria's capital Damascus will be destroyed (Isaiah 17:1).

Anyway, the point I wish to make is that Isaiah 22 shows, presuming that it has a future application, that a time is coming when God will take away the protection of Judah and the City of David (Jerusalem, cf. 2 Kings 9:28).

As mentioned before, Iran has claimed that it will take over Jerusalem and give it to one called the Imam Mahdi.  Because of Iranian Shit’ite Muslim beliefs about a leader called the Imam Mahdi (see also Iran’s President-elect wants to negotiate with the USA and credits the ‘Islamic messiah’ for his election), statements that Iran intends to wipe Israel off the map, as well as statements from its Supreme Leader Khamenei (Khamenei Has Claimed Iranian Nuclear Weapons Need for the Arrival of the 12th Imam), it may well be that Iran will decide at some point in time to attack Jerusalem.

But this will not end well for Iran. Notice the following prophecy which indicates at least part of its destruction before the latter days:

34 The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah the prophet against Elam, in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, saying, 35 "Thus says the Lord of hosts:

'Behold, I will break the bow of Elam,
The foremost of their might.
36 Against Elam I will bring the four winds
From the four quarters of heaven,
And scatter them toward all those winds;
There shall be no nations where the outcasts of Elam will not go.
37 For I will cause Elam to be dismayed before their enemies
And before those who seek their life.
I will bring disaster upon them,
My fierce anger,' says the Lord;
'And I will send the sword after them
Until I have consumed them.
38 I will set My throne in Elam,
And will destroy from there the king and the princes,' says the Lord.

39 'But it shall come to pass in the latter days:
I will bring back the captives of Elam,' says the Lord." (Jeremiah 49:34-39)

As far as Iran's nuclear ambitions, notice the following that came out in January 2014:

Iranian official confirms country sought to build nuclear weapons

A founder of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards now admits that the Islamic Republic was seeking to acquire nuclear weapons. This is the first time any regime official has made such an admission, even as another report claims that one of Iran’s most radical clerics was the spiritual overseer of the nuclear weapons program.

“We pursued ways in order to gain nuclear arms,” Gen. Mohsen Rafiqdoost told the regime’s Mehr News on Saturday. “I asked Imam [Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini] what his opinion was. He said do not pursue atoms, and we stopped.”

But that claim falls short of the truth. In the late 1980s, a letter by Mohsen Rezaei, then the chief commander of the Guards, asking Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Revolution, for approval of the nuclear bomb program was revealed. It showed the leader had approved of seeking nuclear weapons.

Meanwhile, another report out of Iran suggests that one of Islamic regime’s most radical Shiite clerics, who reputedly had the attention of the 12th Imam, was the spiritual father of Iran’s nuclear program. (Shiite clerics, who are the de facto rulers of Iran, believe that Mahdi, who was born in 869, will descend to earth at the time of Armageddon.) http://dailycaller.com/2014/01/26/iranian-official-confirms-country-sought-to-build-nuclear-weapons/#ixzz2rYuJM8rG

This is not a surprise. Iran has indicated it wants military dominance over the Islamic world, and then the rest of the world, and nuclear weapons would be part of that type of ambition. The nuclear deal Iran made with the West has not stopped Iran from taking some steps towards the development of various weapons, including potentially nuclear ones.

I have been warning for some time that a regional war involving Iran, Israel, the USA, and/or Syria seems likely. Iran and Syria are each other's closest allies, hence it may well be that Isaiah 22 will involve Iran. However, since it mentions Elam, it possibly be a reference to some of the Iranian leadership which some have suggested have a different type of ethnic background that the bulk of those in Iran.

What the nuclear deal really does is give Iran some economic relief and time to upgrade its technology, while it agrees to get rid of some of its underdeveloped nuclear waste and centrifuges.  This, in theory at least, will give Iran more money and more time to work on its nuclear technology, and at some point it time, it will likely not allow (officially or surreptitiously) inspectors to see some of what will be its newer, more advanced nuclear capacity. (A few years ago, Iran's computers were hit by something called the Stuxnet virus, that many believe that the USA and/or Israel developed to delay Iran's nuclear ambitions. While most of the damage caused by that is in the past, Iran still seems interested in developing its nuclear abilities.)

Israel quickly objected to the finalized deal, and Saudi Arabia has been concerned during this deal negotiation, as both of these countries consider that Iran is a significant threat:

 November 24, 2013

JERUSALEM — Israeli leaders denounced the interim Iranian nuclear pact signed by the United States and five world powers as a “historic mistake” that does little to reverse Iran’s nuclear ambitions and instead makes the world a more dangerous place.

Israeli officials stressed that they would spend the next six months — the time frame for the interim agreement — seeking to push their friends and especially the White House to reach a deal with Iran that not only curbs Iran’s nuclear ambitions but dismantles its program.  http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/israel-says-iran-deal-makes-world-more-dangerous/2013/11/24/e0e347de-54f9-11e3-bdbf-097ab2a3dc2b_story.html

November 24, 2013

Saudi Arabia fears rapprochement between Washington and Tehran after 30 years of estrangement will be at its expense…

Analysts in Riyadh said it would be diplomatically impossible for the Saudi government to publicly condemn an agreement designed to contain Iranian nuclear ambitions however deep its concerns about the direction of evolving US policy.

The Saudis have been unusually vocal in recent weeks in warning about a rapprochement between the US and Iran after more than 30 years of estrangement. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/24/iran-nuclear-deal-middle-east-reaction-saudi-arabia

November 23, 2103

The Saudis are worried; they’re worried about Barack Obama’s sanctions strategy with Iran. This is reflected in the words of Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who sat down with Bloomberg’s Jeffrey Goldberg this week:
There’s no confidence in the Obama administration doing the right thing with Iran,” he told me, with a directness that would make Benjamin Netanyahu blush. “We’re really concerned — Israel, Saudi Arabia, the Middle East countries — about this.”

Alwaleed also said something to Goldberg that has been obvious to us here for quite a while:

“Look, Iran is a huge threat, historically speaking,” he said. “The Persian empire was always against the Muslim Arab empire, especially against the Sunnis. The threat is from Persia, not from Israel.  http://shoebat.com/2013/11/23/saudi-prince-threat-iran-israel/

November 26, 2013

WASHINGTON — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rebuked President Obama during a phone call Sunday about the controversial nuclear deal with Iran, an Israeli lawmaker claims.

The White House had described the phone call in bland terms, saying the two leaders “reaffirmed their shared goal of preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon” and that they agreed to “stay in close contact on this issue.” http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/netanyahu-blasts-obama-iran-israeli-leader-article-1.1529096#ixzz2llxO85c2

November 26, 2013...

Tony Blinken, a U.S. deputy national security adviser, told CNN that "Israel is right to be skeptical."

"An Iranian bomb would present an existential threat to Israel, and we have exactly the same goal, which is to prevent Iran from getting a bomb," Blinken said. "There may be tactical differences in how we get there."...

While the new interim agreement curbs enrichment as well as work on its heavy water reactor under development at Arak, critics complain it does nothing to dismantle current Iranian capabilities.

A particular point of contention is Iran's insistence that it has a right under international agreements to enrich uranium for nuclear power production. http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/25/politics/iran-deal-opponents-5-things/

But the USA wanted the deal and it happened.

In Isaiah 22:1-14, which seems to have a reference to at least part of the area of Iran, the Bible mentions that, presuming it has a future application, a time is coming when God will take away the protection of Judah and the City of David (Jerusalem, cf. 2 Kings 9:28).  Israel is concerned that it is in danger.  And it may soon be. Even the USA has doubts that Iran will do what it says. And if the USA catches Iran violating the agreement, US President Obama has indicated that the USA would take definitive action.

Iran has suggested in the past that it could take on the West.  It seems to feel that if it causes enough destruction, a leader called the Imam Mahdi will later rise up and insure an Islamic victory over the West. 

Iran, despite its deal, has not stopped its nuclear program. Even during the negotiations, back on December 26, 2013, Iran's Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Ali Akbar Salehi, publicly announced a new generation of nuclear centrifuges (see Iran boasts of new nuclear centrifuges). Nuclear centrifuges basically help enrich uranium to the point that it can be used to develop nuclear energy or nuclear bombs.  While Iran is publicly claiming the former, many believe that its real goal is to produce nuclear weapons, hence improved centrifuges will give it a better ability to make weapons.

Some in Iran may see the Arab Spring, the removal of Egypt’s President Morsi (especially if he, or perhaps his predecessor Hosni Mubarak is killed or otherwise dies) as well as war involving Syria as the fulfillment of Islamic prophecy and the event leading to the ultimate rise of Iran. This will be a mistake for Iran, but since some events have been consistent with certain Islamic prophecies, many in Iran would want to support this. Although major military aggression will be a disaster for Iran, this does not mean that parties that may be involved such as Israel and/or the USA will not be unscathed. The reality is that the cost to the USA and/or Israel for a regional war involving Iran and/or Syria will be higher than many in the USA or Israel believe. Between terrorist acts, sustained resistance, chemical weapons (Syria Reportedly Has Loaded Chemical Weapons into Bombs), biological weapons, Electro-magnetic pulse bombs (EMP attack can do more than knock-out electricity), and/or even disruptions of the internet (Iran Believed to be Behind Cyber-Attacks Against US Banks), Iran and/or Syria can inflict significant damage to their enemies. The possible cyber-attacks are just one more way Iran can cause consternation (it may be both on the receiving and sending end of that as well as EMP attacks). If Iran were found to have been responsible for an EMP attack in the West, or allies in the Middle East, this could be a factor in it being eliminated as a threat by one or more Western nations.

While many in the West seem to want to believe that Iran’s new leadership will be peace-oriented, its new President Hassan Rouhani, credits this Imam Mahdi for his election (see Iran’s President-elect wants to negotiate with the USA and credits the ‘Islamic messiah’ for his election). Those who believe in the current Iraniah Shi'ite Imam Mahdi are not to be trusted for truly wanting peace. The Bible warns about declarations of false peace (Ezekiel 13:10,16; 1 Thessalonians 5:3).

Iran itself has stated that it gave away nothing to the West in its nuclear negotiations and it continues to take steps that suggest it still plans to be a military power.

In February 2014, the Iranian press published the following:

TEHRAN – Pressure from the United States will not compel Iran to change its nuclear policies, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Marzieh Afkham said on Friday…

In an interview with CNN published on Wednesday, Kerry commented on the six-month interim nuclear deal reached between Iran and the 5+1 group, which came into force on January 20, and said, “Now, we have people in there every single day. We’ve actually frozen their program in place and have rolled it back to the degree that they’re destroying some of their stockpile.”
He also said, “Now, that’s for the next six months only. If there isn’t an agreement, we have the right to extend, if we thought we were making progress. But if there isn’t an agreement, every option, including increased sanctions or anything else is available to the president of the United States.

So we have given up absolutely nothing here. http://tehrantimes.com/politics/113950-pressure-will-not-compel-iran-to-change-nuclear-policy-

Iran claims that it has not given up anything and will not change its policies. 

Parts of this deal is putting Israel and the USA at risk for terrorist attacks from ‘dirty bombs’ (bombs that have radioactive components) and possibly nuclear bombs in the future from Iran.  Iran also may have EMP capability which could hurt the USA or Israel or ?

Notice also the following from February 2014:

Iranian state TV on Friday ran a documentary featuring a computerized video of Iran’s drones and missiles bombing Tel Aviv, Haifa, Ben Gurion Airport and the Dimona nuclear reactor in a hypothetical retaliation for an Israeli or American strike on the Islamic Republic.  Iranian drones and missiles are also shown carrying out simulated strikes on the American aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, downing American aircraft and striking American military targets in the Persian Gulf. The clip was broadcast amid a clear escalation of anti-American rhetoric and even action by Iran: On Saturday, an Iranian admiral announced that Iran had despatched warships to the North Atlantic, while Iran’s spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei denounced the Americans as liars who, while professing to be friends of Iran, would bring down his regime if they could. He also said it was “amusing” that the US thought Iran would reduce its “defensive capabilities.” http://www.timesofisrael.com/iranian-tv-airs-simulated-bombing-of-tel-aviv/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

Iran’s use of such items, especially if anything nuclear is involved, may well result in its neutralization.

Iran will have its influence somewhat ‘neutralized.’ This is likely to come from a regional war and/or civil uprising.

Iran's Ayatollah has said he wants all economic sanctions, will not allow inspections of its military sites, and will not accept long-term limitations on its nuclear ambitions:

June 24, 2015

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made clear in an address Tuesday night that Iran will not accept any long-term curbing of its nuclear program as negotiators from his country and a group of world powers close in on a deadline for reaching a comprehensive agreement.

The two sides have been working on the details of a plan to scale back Iran's nuclear program for a period of 10 years in exchange for relief from sanctions that have hurt the country's economy.  June 30 is their self-imposed deadline after reaching a framework agreement in early April.

Khamenei said limitations lasting for 10 or 12 years would be unacceptable.  He also reiterated that Iran would not allow international inspectors to access military sites as part of any program to verify it is complying with the agreement.

The speed at which sanctions would be unraveled has been a key sticking point in the final negotiations, with the group that includes Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany seeking a phased repeal.

But Khamenei said Tuesday that Iran wants the economic measures lifted as soon as a deal is signed.  http://www.voanews.com/content/iran-supreme-leader-rejects-long-term-limits-on-nuclear-program/2835019.html

Iran hoped that the West wanted a deal so badly that it would accept whatever Iran dishes out--and Iran got the deal.

Iran is not to be trusted (and yes, I know that the West has its own problems).

The Nuclear Deal Will Not Bring Real Peace

US President Barack Obama praised a tentative deal with Iran which does not seem to place long-term limitations on its nuclear ambitions:

July 14, 2015

WHITE HOUSE— Months of international negotiations and years of sanctions targeting Iran’s nuclear program led up to this one moment. In the early hours of July 14, U.S. President Barack Obama made his way down a long red-carpeted hallway in the White House to announce a historic agreement.

“The United States, together with our international partners, has achieved something that decades of animosity has not – a comprehensive long-term deal with Iran that will prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” Obama said. …

“Today because America negotiated from position of strength and principal, we have stopped the spread of nuclear weapons in this region,” Obama said.

“History shows that America must lead not just with our might, but with our principals. It shows we are stronger not when we are alone but when we bring the world together,” Obama said. “Today’s announcement marks one more chapter in this pursuit of a safer, and more helpful, more hopeful world.”  http://www.voanews.com/content/obama-iran-nuclear-deal-makes-world-safer/2860882.html

This deal, according to certain experts, will encourage the spread of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, not stop it as Barack Obama just claimed.  Notice that Saudi Arabia now indicates it will to take nuclear and/or actions:

July 14, 2105

Saudi Arabia, Iran’s chief adversary in the region, has been one of the strongest critics of a deal that offers a gradual lifting of international sanctions in return for curbs on Tehran’s nuclear program.

One Saudi diplomat described the agreement as “extremely dangerous” and said it would give a green light to his own government to start a nuclear energy program.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/arab-states-fear-dangerous-iranian-nuclear-deal-will-shake-up-region/2015/07/14/96d68ff3-7fce-4bf5-9170-6bcc9dfe46aa_story.html

July 14, 2015

The news anchor on state-run Saudi Channel 1, Mohammed al-Mohya, told Reuters on Tuesday that the deal should cause Sunni nations to seek partnerships with countries other than America.

“Iran made chaos in the Arab world and will extend further after the agreement,” he said. “And the [Gulf Cooperation Council] countries should reduce their confidence in America and turn their focus to Russia and China.”  http://www.foxnews.com/world/2015/07/14/from-neocon-nut-jobs-to-partners-iranian-language-towards-us-changes-after-deal/

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the deal:

July 14, 2015

The news that major world powers and Iran reached a historic deal aimed at ensuring that Iran does not obtain the nuclear bomb was met with condemnation by Israel but hailed by the United Nations and Russia.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Tuesday’s nuclear deal with Iran “a bad mistake of historic proportions” and vowed to keep up efforts to block the Islamic Republic from obtaining an atomic bomb.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon congratulated negotiators in Vienna on finalizing an agreement in a statement Tuesday.

“I warmly welcome the historic agreement in Vienna today and congratulate the P5+1 and Iran for reaching this agreement. This is testament to the value of dialogue,” Ban said in the statement.

“I hope – and indeed believe – that this agreement will lead to greater mutual understanding and cooperation on the many serious security challenges in the Middle East. As such it could serve as a vital contribution to peace and stability both in the region and beyond,” the statement said.

In Russia, President Vladimir Putin said, with the nuclear agreement, the world can breathe a sigh of relief, and that the negotiating countries made hard choices for stability and cooperation.

The European Union hailed it as a new chapter of hope for the world.

Regional governments

The Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan governments released statements welcoming the nuclear agreement.   …

Widely criticized in Israel

However, reaction was critical across the political spectrum in Israel, where concern is high the country’s arch enemy has duped the world and will acquire nuclear weapons to use against Israel.

Iran already backs militant groups that attack Israel and its leaders frequently have referred to Israel’s destruction in the past.

Netanyahu has been at the forefront of global opposition to the deal and has openly clashed with the Obama administration and other Western powers that have been pushing for an easing of sanctions in return for greater restrictions on its nuclear program.

Netanyahu showed no signs of tempering his criticism Tuesday and added a veiled threat of his own.

“One cannot prevent an agreement when the negotiators are willing to make more and more concessions to those who, even during the talks, keep chanting: ‘Death to America,’ ” he said, before meeting with Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders.

‘A short path to nuclear weapons’

Speaking in Jerusalem, he said Israel’s “concern is that the militant Islamic state of Iran is going to receive a short path to nuclear weapons. Many of the restrictions that were supposed to prevent it from getting there will be lifted. And in addition Iran will get a jackpot, a cash bonanza, of hundreds of billions of dollars, which will enable it to continue to pursue its aggression and terror in the region and in the world.”

He concluded by saying Israel would continue to have to defend its way of life, freedoms and security.

Israel received an official copy of the Iran nuclear agreement Tuesday, according to the Haaretz website.

On Monday, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon criticized the potential nuclear agreement.

Ya’alon told Israeli officials that “even if there are some last-minute improvements, the agreement as we understand it is bad, allowing Iran to legitimately become a nuclear threshold state. The bottom line is, a bad deal is coming, and after it, we will have to be prepared to defend ourselves on our own.”

On Tuesday, Ya’alon told The Jerusalem Post that the agreement was built on “lies and deceit.”

Lobbying effort

Israel’s first course of action looks to be an intense lobbying effort in the U.S. Congress to oppose the deal.

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said Israel “will employ all diplomatic means to prevent confirmation of the agreement.”

Netanyahu’s coalition partners angrily criticized Tuesday’s agreement. Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who heads the hawkish Jewish Home party, said July 14 will be remembered a “dark day for the free world.” Cabinet Minister Miri Regev said the agreement gave Iran a “license to kill.”

The cascade of criticism crossed party lines, reflecting the widespread opposition to the deal in Israel.

“This is a regime based in deceit, and now they are going to do what they did for the last 20 years, which is trying to get themselves nuclear weapons behind the back of the world,” Yair Lapid, the head of the opposition Yesh Atid Party, told The Associated Press. “Now they are going to do it with the help of the international community.”

Netanyahu called on all sides to “put petty politics aside” and unite behind opposing Iran.

At Tel Aviv’s Institute for National Security Studies, Emily Landau, the head of its arms control and regional security program said Tuesday that “if there’s a sense in the region that the international actors … have not provided mechanisms for preventing [Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons], then definitely there will be additional motivation in the region to go down the nuclear route.”

Noting that acquiring nuclear weapons capability is “irreversible,” she added that the “sunset provision” allowing the agreement to expire after some years would allow Iran eventually to pursue legally a nuclear weapons program.

Finally, Landau said the accord “does not change the Iranian narrative,” which is to expand its status and influence across and beyond the Middle East.  http://www.voanews.com/content/israel-most-vocal-in-reaction-against-nuclear-deal/2860807.html

Perhaps it should be added that I heard on the radio that some believe that the result of a deal with Iran will mean that Pakistan will be selling/providing nuclear weapons to Saudi Arabia and perhaps others in the Arab world.

Those who have stated that the nuclear deal with Iran has changed Iran’s practices, may wish to understand what its Ayatollah Khamenei said today:

July 18, 2015

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Saturday that a historic nuclear deal reached with world powers earlier this week won’t have any effect on Iran’s policy toward the U.S.

Khamenei said in a televised speech that U.S. policy in the Middle East runs counter to Tehran’s strategy and that Iran will continue to support its allies in the Middle East including the Lebanese, Hezbollah, Palestinian resistance groups and the Syrian government.

“Our policy towards the arrogant U.S. government won’t change at all,” he said. He was addressing a large crowd in Tehran, broadcast live on state TV, to mark the end of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan.

Iran calls its Lebanese ally Hezbollah a “resistance movement” while the U.S. describes it a terrorist group. And Iran continues to call for the destruction of Israel; Khamenei in his Saturday speech described Israel as a “terrorist, baby-killer government.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has strongly opposed the deal, saying it will enable Iran to emerge from crippling economic sanctions while doing nothing to moderate Iran’s aggressive behavior around the Middle East.

“U.S. policies in the region are 180 degrees in contrast to Iran’s policies,” Khamenei said. “Whether this text (nuclear deal) is approved or disapproved, we won’t give up supporting our friends in the region. The oppressed Palestinian nation, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain, the honest mujahedeen of resistance in Lebanon and Palestine will enjoy our constant support.”

Iran’s direct talks with Washington was only limited to the nuclear issue and that there can’t be any dialogue or deal with the U.S. over any other issues, he said. However, Khamenei has said in the past that he door to other issues could open should the U.S. carry out its obligations under the deal in good faith.  http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/07/18/iran-supreme-leader-says-nuke-deal-wont-change-policy-on-us/

July 18, 2015

DUBAI/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei withheld his verdict on Iran’s nuclear deal on Saturday but in a fiery address vowed enduring opposition to the United States and its Middle East policies, saying Washington sought Iran’s ‘surrender’.  …

Khamenei repeatedly used the phrase “whether this text is approved or not”, implying the accord has yet to win definitive backing from Iran’s factionalised political establishment.

“Whether the deal is approved or disapproved, we will never stop supporting our friends in the region and the people of Palestine, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and Lebanon. Even after this deal our policy towards the arrogant U.S. will not change,” he said.

Under the agreement reached on Tuesday, sanctions will be gradually removed in return for Iran accepting long-term curbs on a nuclear programme that the West has suspected was aimed at creating a nuclear bomb. Iran denies it seeks a nuclear bomb.

Khamenei’s combative remarks about U.S. policies in the Middle East may sit awkwardly with a diplomatic offensive Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif plans in coming days in the wake of the deal. …

“The Americans say they stopped Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon,” Khamenei said.

“They know it’s not true. We had a fatwa (religious ruling), declaring nuclear weapons to be religiously forbidden under Islamic law. It had nothing to do with the nuclear talks.”

Later on Saturday, the Supreme Leader praised Iranian negotiators who thrashed out the accord in marathon negotiations in Vienna.

“During the nuclear talks, we saw the Americans’ dishonesty over and over, but fortunately our officials fought back and in some cases showed revolutionary reactions,” Khamenei said during meetings with senior Iranian officials and ambassadors from several Muslim states, according to his official website. …

“REAL TERRORISTS”

Khamenei maintained that the Islamic Republic’s policies in the region would continue to defy the United States, and the nuclear deal was an exceptional instance of dialogue.

“We have repeatedly said we don’t negotiate with the U.S. on regional or international affairs; not even on bilateral issues. There are some exceptions like the nuclear programme that we negotiated with the Americans to serve our interests.”

He said U.S. policies in the region were “180 degrees” opposed to Iran’s policies.

“The Americans dub the Lebanese resistance terrorists and regard Iran as a supporter of terrorism because of its support for the Lebanese Hezbollah, while the Americans themselves are the real terrorists who have created Islamic State and support the wicked Zionists,” Khamenei said.  http://www.euronews.com/newswires/3040293-iran-leader-vows-opposition-to-us-despite-nuclear-deal/

Iran had hoped that West wanted a deal so badly that it would make a deal closer to what Iran wanted–and it has.

Notice that Iran’s Ayatollah claims that is is the USA that are the real terrorists and that the nation of Israel is called ‘wicked Zionists.’  Iran has no intention of wanting to be the friend of the USA or anything but an enemy to Israel.

Iran’s top leader clearly has a different public view of the deal than the USA’s top leader, Barack Obama (see also Barack Obama praises Iran deal, Saudis want to take action, and Israel condemns the deal with Iran).  As far as his no nuclear weapons fatwa goes, he can always change the fatwa.  He made statements years ago supporting the idea that Iran could have nuclear weapons (see Khamenei Has Claimed Iranian Nuclear Weapons Need for the Arrival of the 12th Imam).

Iran hopes that the West will let it get far enough in its military plans to make that a possibility.

Although Iran wants to dominate the Islamic world, Bible prophecy shows that it will not. But, because leaders like its past and current presidents credit a non-existent Imam Mahdi for various events and its Supreme Leader has claimed to actually speak to him, the regime in Iran must be considered unstable and capable of taking steps that would seem illogical to outsiders.

This makes Iran dangerous. Iran may well damage Israel (Isaiah 22:1-14) and even the USA. But that will not end well for Iran (cf. Jeremiah 49:34-38).

The Obama Administration is trying to tell everyone what a great deal it made with Iran.  It describes the deal quite differently than how the Iranians seem to view it.

While a temporary peace will come to the Middle East (cf. Daniel 9:27, see also The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27), this deal is not that one. Expect more conflict in the Middle East for a time. Notice also the following:

24 "There is Elam and all her multitude,
All around her grave,
All of them slain, fallen by the sword,
Who have gone down uncircumcised to the lower parts of the earth,
Who caused their terror in the land of the living;
Now they bear their shame with those who go down to the Pit.
25 They have set her bed in the midst of the slain,
With all her multitude,
With her graves all around it,
All of them uncircumcised, slain by the sword;
Though their terror was caused
In the land of the living,
Yet they bear their shame
With those who go down to the Pit;
It was put in the midst of the slain. (Ezekiel 32:24-25)

Expect Iran to be involved in more terrorism.

Iran Wants to Dominate the Islamic World

The bottom line is that although Iran wants to dominate the Islamic world, Bible prophecy shows that it will not. But, because leaders like its past and current presidents credit a non-existent Imam Mahdi for various events and its Supreme Leader has claimed to actually speak to him, the regime in Iran must be considered unstable and capable of taking steps that would seem illogical to outsiders.

This makes Iran dangerous.

But although it does provide support to various Islamic causes now, and probably will in the future, it will not be the power that the Bible teaches will be the coming King of the South. And if it is discovered not properly handling its latest nuclear agreement, its neutralization could come soon from outside sources.

Despite prophecied problems, ultimately, however, those in it will have an opportunity for salvation as the verse below is an allusion to:

39 'But it shall come to pass in the latter days: I will bring back the captives of Elam,' says the Lord." (Jeremiah 49:39)

God is love (1 John 4:8,16). God intends to gather and resurrect the Persians and offer them salvation. A salvation that nearly all will accept as nearly all the Persians/Iranians who ever lived will be in the kingdom of God. A kingdom without fear or death or sorrow. A glorious kingdom. And that is the prophesied future for nearly all of the Persians.

God has a plan for those in Iran and it is better than what most there seem to believe (cf. 1 Corinthians 2:9).

See also Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis (Related sermon videos include Universal Offer of Salvation I: God is love  and Universal Offer of Salvation II: The Age to Come and the 'Little Flock' and Universal Offer of Salvation: All Are to Know Jesus, But When? and Universal Offer of Salvation IV: Will the Guilty be Pardoned?)

Here is a link to a related YouTube video also titled Iran In Prophecy.

Other prophetic information concerning Iran can be found in the articles The Arab and Islamic World In the Bible, History, and Prophecy and Ezekiel 38: For Russia & Iran in Our Day?

Thiel B. Iran in Prophecy. http://www.cogwriter.com/iran-in-prophecy.htm (c) COGwriter 2013/2014/2014/2015/2016 1213

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