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.

The first century Jewish historian Josephus wrote:

Elam left behind him the Elamites, the ancestors of the Persians. (Josephus. Josephus Complete Works. Antiquities of the Jews, Book I, Chapter VI, Verse 4. Translated by William Whiston in 1867. Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids (MI), 1960, p. 31)

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)

June 23, 2017

Thousands of Iranians participated Friday in annual anti-Israel rallies, a heavily stage-managed show of support for the Palestinian territories that included displays of ballistic missiles.

The rallies on Quds Day, after an ancient Arabic name for Jerusalem, included the usual signs condemning Israel and the United States — along with placards denouncing Saudi Arabia, its Sunni Muslim rival.

Protesters were bused into Tehran, the capital, or rode on subway trains whose fares were temporarily lifted. Demonstrators burned Israeli and American flags while others posed for selfies in front of yellow-painted missiles – including the Zolfaghar, the type Iran fired this week at alleged Islamic State targets in Syria. ...

Speaking at the Friday prayer ceremony at Tehran University following the march, firebrand clergyman Ahmad Khatami said that Iran would continue its missile program despite warnings from the Trump administration. ...

The annual protests held on the last Friday of the fasting month of Ramadan are organized by Iran’s hard-line Shiite Muslim establishment as a show of support for the Palestinian people. Iran does not recognize Israel and backs militant groups, including Hamas and Hezbollah, that oppose the Jewish state.

President Hassan Rouhani and other top officials attended the rallies while state television repeatedly played a song whose lyrics proclaimed that Israel “will be wiped out.” http://www.latimes.com/world/middleeast/la-fg-iran-israel-rallies-20170623-story.html

28 February 2018

Now, the Islamic Republic is gearing up for the first ever International Hourglass Festival, a gala event celebrating the imminent demise of the State of Israel.

Iran Front Page reported that the event's marketing information features an hourglass and a disintegrating Star of David above the words "25 Years," a reference to predictions by Iran's top leadership that Israel would cease to exist within the next quarter century.

The festival organizer is Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, an aide to the Speaker of Iran’s Parliament. He told the publication that the event is being put on to celebrate the fact that "the Islamic Republic won’t allow the Zionists to play with the security of the sensitive region of Middle East. Iran and its allies in the region, who defeated terrorists, will never allow the Zionists to endanger the region’s security." http://www.israeltoday.co.il/Default.aspx?tabid=178&nid=33481

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).

May 25, 2019

Iran is a fervently Shiite Islamic Republic with a 98 percent Muslim population and 89 percent of those Muslims identifying as Shiite according to the CIA World Factbook. Twelver Shiism is the largest branch of Shiite Islam, with about 85 percent of Shiite adhering to the belief in the 12th Imam. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the father of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, was a Twelver. So is the current Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Now, what does this mean? They believe that a series of Imams was appointed to carry on the Prophet Muhammad's message and that these Imam rank above all other prophets except for Muhammad himself. The 12th, Muhammad al-Mahdi, is believed by these Shiites to have been born in present-day Iraq in 869 and never to have died, only gone into hiding. Twelvers—not other Shiites or Sunni Muslims—believe that al-Mahdi will return as a messiah with Jesus to bring peace to the world and establish Islam as the ruling faith across the globe.

The apocalyptic catch? The Mahdi is expected to appear when the world is wracked by utter chaos and war. Many Sunnis also believe that the Mahdi will come in such a judgment day scenario, but believe that he has not been born yet. https://www.thoughtco.com/who-is-the-12th-imam-3555177

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.  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 is now dead (he died 02/25/20).

The video 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 1441, for example, in the Gregorian calendar, 1441 AH runs from approximately 1 September 2019 to 20 August 2020. Islamic year 1442 tuns from approximately  20 August 2020 to August 30, 2021.

So, it may be that Iran will believe it needs to take dramatic action soon to pave the way for the Imam Mahdi.

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).

It has been reported that the Imam Madhi was born around 868 A.D. He was named Muhammad al Mahdi. His father was the 11th Imam, who only showed him briefly. But after his father died he was sent into hiding and some believe he has continually been assisting Muslims (Cardoza-Moore L. War with Iran. Focus on Israel, airdate 06/23/19 DYSTR). Also supposedly:

Mahdi's appearance will supposedly be preceded by a number of prophetic events during 3 years of horrendous world chaos tyranny and oppression. ...

Mahdi will rule over the Arabs and the whole world for seven years. (Cardoza-Moore L. War with Iran. Focus on Israel, airdate 06/23/19 DYSTR)

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.

In June 2021, Ebrahim Raisi was elected to be Iran's president:

Hard-line judiciary head wins Iran presidency as turnout low

June 19, 2021

Iran’s hard-line judiciary chief won the country’s presidential election in a landslide victory Saturday, propelling the supreme leader’s protege into Tehran’s highest civilian position in a vote that appeared to see the lowest turnout in the Islamic Republic’s history.

Initial results showed Ebrahim Raisi won 17.8 million votes in the contest, dwarfing those of the race’s sole moderate candidate. However, Raisi dominated the election only after a panel under the watch of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei disqualified his strongest competition.

His candidacy, and the sense the election served more as a coronation for him, sparked widespread apathy among eligible voters in the Islamic Republic, which has held up turnout as a sign of support for the theocracy since its 1979 Islamic Revolution. Some, including former hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, called for a boycott. …

On Twitter, Rezaei praised Khamenei and the Iranian people for taking part in the vote.

“God willing, the decisive election of my esteemed brother, Ayatollah Dr. Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi, promises the establishment of a strong and popular government to solve the country’s problems,” Rezaei wrote.

The quick concessions, while not unusual in Iran’s previous elections, signaled what semiofficial news agencies inside Iran had been hinting at for hours: That the carefully controlled vote had been a blowout win for Raisi amid the boycott calls. https://apnews.com/article/middle-east-iran-judiciary-4d60554fd608a5dea2c76a303ec352d8

The German press reported the following:

19 June 2021

What do we know about Raisi?

Raisi, 60, has been the head of the nation’s judiciary since 2019 and belongs to the ultraconservative camp that most deeply distrusts the United States.

He is notorious for his involvement as a prosecutor in the execution of thousands of political prisoners in the late 1980s.

The EU and the US have imposed sanctions on Raisi for his role in the human rights violations that happened in Iran during the nationwide anti-government protests in 2019.

Rights group Amnesty International on Saturday renewed a call for Raisi to be investigated for his role in human rights violations in the country.

“We continue to call for Ebrahim Raisi to be investigated for his involvement in past and ongoing crimes under international law, including by states that exercise universal jurisdiction,” Amnesty Secretary-General Agnès Callamard said in a statement.

Raisi’s win would also give more power to Iranian hard-liners amid ongoing talks in Vienna to revive the 2015 nuclear deal struck by Iran and world powers. …

During the election campaign, Raisi vowed to keep up the fight on graft, construct four million new homes for low-income families, and build “a government of the people for a strong Iran.”

What could a Raisi presidency mean for Iran?

The election came at a critical juncture for Iran. The nation’s economy is struggling to cope with the harsh US sanctions imposed by the Trump administration, after Washington left the international nuclear deal. …

As president, Raisi would be confronted with the nation’s dire economic situation and foreign policy challenges.

But even though the president has significant influence to set direction on a wide range of issues, from economic policy to foreign affairs, ultimate power in Iran lies with the supreme leader, Khamenei.

Nevertheless, many observers see Raisi as a possible successor to Khamenei, who turns 82 next month, as supreme leader. https://www.dw.com/en/islamic-hard-liner-ebrahim-raisi-wins-irans-election/a-57962967

Wikipedia has the following information about Raisi:

Sayyid Ebrahim Raisol-Sadati (Persian: سید ابراهیم رئیس‌الساداتی‎; born 14 December 1960),[7][8] commonly known as Ebrahim Raisi (Persian: ابراهیم رئیسی‎, About this soundpronunciation), is an Iranian conservative

He began to study in Qom Seminary at the age of 15.[4] Then he decided to educate in Navvab school for a short time. After that, he went to Ayatollah Sayyed Muhammad Mousavi Nezhad school and his studying was coincided with teaching to other students. In 1976, he went to Qom to continue his studying in Ayatollah Borujerdi school. He was the student of Seyyed Hossein Borujerdi, Morteza Motahhari, Abolghasem Khazali, Hossein Noori Hamedani, Ali Meshkini and Morteza Pasandideh.[22][23] According to Alex Vatanka of the Middle East Institute, Raisi’s “exact religious qualification” is a “sore point”. “For a while” prior to investigation by the Iranian media, he “referred to himself” as “Ayatollah” on his personal website. However, according to Vatanka, the media “publicized his lack of formal religious education” and credentials, after which Raisi ceased claiming to hold the aforementioned rank. He now “refers to himself as hojat-ol-eslam, a clerical position lower in status and privilege.[24]

In 2019 Saeid Golkar of Al Jazeera called Raisi “the most likely successor of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei” as Supreme Leader of Iran.[60] In 2020 Dexter Filkins described him as “frequently mentioned” as a successor to Khamenei.[61]

Raisi is married to Jamileh Alamolhoda, daughter of Mashhad Friday Prayers Imam, Ahmad Alamolhoda. She is an associate professor at Tehran’s Shahid Beheshti University and is also president of the university’s Institute of Fundamental Studies of Science and Technology.[73] The couple has two daughters.[6] (Ebrahim Raisi. Wikipedia, accessed 06/19/21)

So, Raisi has considered himself to be the Ayatollah, the current top Ayatollah called him one, and the German press reports some believe he could be the successor to the current Ayatollah Khamenei.

What might Ebrahim Raisi do?

The Bible shows that God will allow someone, like an Iranian-Syrian confederation, 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. The old Worldwide Church of God published the following:

Iranians com-prise nearly 70 percent of the country. Iranians, though Is-lamic, are totally distinct from the neighboring Arab peoples of the Middle East. They are a mixed people of the remnants of Media and Elam and other ancestors of Semitic and Hamitic stock. (Stump K. South Asia in Prophecy. Plain Truth, July/August 1986, p. 5) 

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. God's word has the expression "the Syrians from Kir" (Amos 9:7), which is basically confirmation that Kir of Isaiah 22 would include Syrians. The Bible also 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).

In Isaiah 22: 8, "Judah" is a reference to those in the land commonly called Israel--God will allow Israel to be attacked! In Isaiah 22:9, consider that "the damage to the city of David" is a reference to at least part of Jerusalem--and notice that the damage will be great.

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).

Could Ebrahim Raisi be one who would call for and/or support the coming “great damage” to Jerusalem from Iran and/or Syria?

Yes.

Particularly if he is frustrated enough with USA and other sanctions and not satisfied with the new nuclear talks.

Furthermore, please understand that Iranian presidential terms last four years and can be renewed once.

Hence, based on where we are in God’s 6,000/7,000 year plan (see Does God Have a 6,000/7,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End?), unless he were to die or leave office prior to the completion of two-presidential terms, Ebrahim Raisi looks to be one who will be involved in the fulfillment of Isaiah 22.

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 leadership would be peace-oriented, its last president Hassan Rouhani, credited 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 has been talking to China in order to assist it with its economy and infrastructure:

Iran has many problems, but  some think China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), also known as the New Silk Road project, may fix some of them:

Will China save Iran?

A strategic alliance with Beijing could revitalize the Islamic republic, which has serious security implications
July 17, 2020

With Iran’s regime on the ropes, China sees an opportunity, which for Israel translates into a threat.

In recent weeks a series of explosions and fires have spread throughout much of Iran, damaging multiple facilities, including the Natanz nuclear facility and the missile construction center.

At the same time, the coronavirus pandemic has hit Iran especially hard, coupled with a lackadaisical reaction to it by the government.

Finally, the US and international sanctions against the Islamic republic have resulted in an economic/financial crisis of unprecedented proportions. …

Enter China. The Middle Kingdom is in the midst of a multi-pronged, multi-year campaign to spread its influence and power throughout the world, and the desperation of a regime that controls a principal source of oil and gas and is besides strategically located is a Heaven-sent opportunity. The Chinese are not noted for missing opportunities.

It has been reported that China and Iran are on the verge of concluding a 25-year strategic alliance in which, if it happens, China will receive unlimited supplies of energy at discounted prices and Iran will receive massive Chinese infrastructure and industrial investment, effectively rescuing it from its current dilemma. https://asiatimes.com/2020/07/will-china-save-iran/

Iran and China Turbo-Charge the New Silk Roads

14 July 2020

Two of the US’s top “strategic threats” are getting closer and closer within the scope of the New Silk Roads – the leading 21st century project of economic integration across Eurasia. …

The Iran-China strategic partnership was officially established in 2016, when President Xi visited Tehran. …

The core of the Iran-China strategic partnership – no secret whatsoever since at least last year – revolves around a $400 billion Chinese investment in Iran’s energy and infrastructure for the next 25 years. It’s all about securing a matter of supreme Chinese national interest: a steady supply of oil and gas, bypassing the dangerous bottleneck of the Strait of Malacca, secured with a median 18% discount, and paid in yuan or in a basket of currencies bypassing the US dollar.

Beijing will also invest roughly $228 billion in Iranian infrastructure – that’s where the AIIB comes in – over 25 years, but especially up to 2025. That ranges from building factories to badly needed energy industry renovation, all the way to the already in progress construction of the 900 km-long electric rail from Tehran to Mashhad.

Tehran, Qom and Isfahan will also be linked by high-speed rail – and there will be an extension to Tabriz, an important oil, gas and petrochemical node and the starting point of the Tabriz-Ankara gas pipeline.

All of the above makes total sense in New Silk Road terms, as Iran is a key Eurasian crossroads. High-speed rail traversing Iran will connect Urumqi in Xinjiang to Tehran, via four of the Central Asian “stans” (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan) all the way to West Asia, across Iraq and Turkey, and further on to Europe: a techno revival of the Ancient Silk Roads, where the main language of trade between East and West across the heartland was Persian. … speculation that the PLA would be granted bases in Iran and be allowed to station troops in Iranian territory. 07/14/20 https://russia-insider.com/en/iran-and-china-turbo-charge-new-silk-roads/ri30871

Yes, there are problems with Iran’s economy. And things like Chinese investment and its Belt and Road Initiative can be helpful to Iran.

But that project will provide infrastructure that troops will be able to use to get to Armageddon (watch also Is China paving roads to Armageddon?).

12 Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared. 13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14 For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

15 "Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame."

16 And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon. (Revelation 16:12-16)

Iran may be considered as possibly, one of the "kings of the east."

Not Bringing Peace

While a temporary peace will come to the Middle East (cf. Daniel 9:27, see also The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27), I wrote years ago that the nuclear deal was not that one. I also wrote to expect more conflict in the Middle East for a time.

We are now seeing that in 2020.

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. But also expect that Iran, and some of it allies, will be at least neutralized.

US President Donald Trump has already taken action that could be tied in with Ezekiel 32:24 (see Iran: Is Donald Trump fulfilling Ezekiel 32?)--but more, MUCH MORE, will come!

For more on terrorism, check out the article: Why Terrorism? Is Terrorism Prophesied?

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 2013/2014/2014/2015/2016/2017/2018/2019/2020/2021 0619

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