IRAN – A Growing Political and Economic Power in the Middle East
I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army – your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords.
Persia [ IRAN ], Cush [ son of Ham, grandson of Noah - lands of Southern Egypt-Sudan ] and Put [ son of Ham, grandson of Noah, father of Nimrod (Babylon) - lands of North Africa-Libya ] will be with them, all with shields and helmets, also Gomer [ son of Japheth, grandson of Noah - lands of Cappadocian Anatolia-modern Turkey] with all its troops, and Beth Togarmah [ son of Gomer, grandson of Japheth - land of the South Caucasus-Georgia and Armenia ] from the far north with all its troops – the many nations with you.
“‘Get ready; be prepared, you and all the hordes gathered about you, and take command of them. After many days you will be called to arms. In future years you will invade a land that has recovered from war, whose people were gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate. They had been brought out from the nations, and now all of them live in safety. You and all your troops and the many nations with you will go up, advancing like a storm; you will be like a cloud covering the land.
“‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: On that day thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil scheme. You will say, “I will invade a land of unwalled villages; I will attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people – all of them living without walls and without gates and bars. (Ezekiel 38:4-11 NIV)
Persia = IRAN
In the Bible Iran is called Persia. If we look back at the story of Queen Esther which took place 2500 years ago (the Hebrew girl who married the Persian King Ahasuerus), the Jews fasted and prayed for three days because Haman (a 5th Century B.C. noble and vizier of the Persian empire) wanted to wipe out all of the Jews in the Persian Empire. Of course, God delivered the Hebrew people from the Persian threat then, and God will continue to deliver Israel, as His “chosen people”, from the current modern Iranian nuclear threat today.
(Excerpts taken from the “Messianic Bible Project” – www.messianicbible.com) It has only been in recent modern history that Iran has become so unfriendly with Israel. Israeli engineers helped build many of the roads, cities, factories, airports and other infrastructures in modern Iran. In return, Iran supplied the Jewish State with oil when no other major producer would. In fact, The Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline Company (originally formed in 1968 during the Shah’s rule), was a 50/50 joint venture between Israel and Iran to transport crude oil from Iran to Europe.
Although the former Shaw of Iran (Pahlavi) was comparatively moderate, he exhibited many of the trappings of tyranny, including a “secret police force”. In 1977, protests against the Shah were set in motion and quickly accelerated. In January 1979, the Shaw, who was suffering from advanced cancer, left Iran “for a vacation.” Within hours of his departure, protesters overwhelmed his security forces, opposition politicians began to dismantle his regime, and his exile began. The Iranian monarchy, which had remained in place for more than 2500 years, longer than almost any other in human history, came to a formal end on February 11, 1979. The end of the country’s alliance with Israel and the West wasn’t far behind.
IRAN: THE RISE OF A REGIONAL POWER
One of the most important developments in the early twenty-first century Middle East is the rise of Iran to become a regional great power. This has come about not solely because Iran has an Islamist regime or even that it was driving strenuously for nuclear weapons, but also due to other factors including the country’s geopolitical assets and a relative power vacuum. Given, however, the ideology and extremism of the Tehran regime, Iran’s growing influence has serious consequences for the region’s stability and Western interests that could well become a, or perhaps the, central global issue in the coming years.
In July/August 2006, this influence was especially felt in the border attacks against Israel by Hamas and Hizballah, leading to wider-scale fighting. Iran is the patron of both groups, supplying them with arms, training, and encouragement to launch assaults. Iranian advisors in Lebanon have long aided Hizballah, while most of the weapons and equipment Hizballah used against Israel during this period were Iranian-built and supplied.
THE BASIS OF IRANIAN DISTINCTIVENESS AND AMBITIONS
Ironically, the original theorist and architect of Iran’s rise to be a regional power was the man most hated by the current Islamist regime, the shah, who was overthrown by its 1979 revolution. He had foreseen Iran as the strongest state in the Persian Gulf region, albeit as a junior partner of the United States. In this pursuit, he had launched a massive military build-up, inaugurated a nuclear power program, mobilized the country’s rising oil income, and tried to implement a reform program to make Iran a modern country. What had been for the shah an ambition built on nationalism was for his successors a parallel ambition built on an Islamist radicalism that often simply served as a thin disguise for nationalism.
Despite these problems, inside and outside of the country, developments also provided Iran with opportunities for exerting its power and influence that were unprecedented during the time of the Islamist regime and even in Iran’s entire modern history.
The first among these elements is the Soviet Union’s collapse, which led to the emergence of a half-dozen Muslim majority states to Iran’s north. These include Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan. Given the weakness of these states, Iran has backed indigenous Islamist movements. The absence of a strong USSR to Iran’s north also eases the pressure on Tehran.
Second, high oil prices in the early twenty-first century greatly enhanced Iran’s financial assets. In addition, Iran became the patron and sole ally of Syria, which needed the oil Iran supplied it at special discounts as well as Tehran’s diplomatic support. The two countries cooperated closely in Syrian-controlled Lebanon for many years.
The U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and overthrow of Saddam Hussein eliminated Iran’s most immediately threatening enemy. Moreover, in a democratic situation, the majority Shi’a lead the government. Some elements in this leading coalition and Shi’a militia groups are pro-Iranian, though the leadership as a whole has no desire to be Iranian clients. A Sunni insurgency, supported by Arab regimes, also pushes the post-Saddam government to view Iran as a necessary ally. From a situation in which Iraq menaced Iran, Tehran can now send in large numbers of agents and money to play a pivotal role in the country.
Iran is the sole regional great power today in the Middle East, because no Arab state can claim that title. It has expanded influence in Iraq, Lebanon, and among the Palestinians as well as in parts of Afghanistan, becoming the sponsor not only of Hizballah, but also of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. In many ways it is the patron of Syria. The growing Shi’a-Sunni rift is adding to Iran’s influence, which is also helped by the high price of oil; even without nuclear weapons.
Iran is relatively more powerful today than at any time in modern history. At the same time, it has an extremist, adventurous regime that makes it dangerous but also gives it appeal in the Arab world. Iran is the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism and a major force subverting any resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict. It is on the verge of obtaining nuclear weapons.
Given all these factors, it is reasonable to say that Iran’s growing power is possibly the most dangerous situation that the world will face in the coming years.
> View Source Article – MERIA Journal – by Barry Rubin – September 2006
*THIS EVALUATION HAS EVIDENTLY BECOME TODAY’S REALITY
Massive U.S. Military Buildup Reported Around Iran – Up to 100,000 Troops Ready by March 2012
While President Obama’s supporters hailed his withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq as the end of the war in the middle east, behind the scenes the Pentagon has been quietly massing troops and armaments on two islands located just south of the Strait of Hormuz, and within easy striking distance of Iran.
In addition to some 50,000 U.S. troops currently in the region waiting for orders, Nobel Peace Prize winner President Barack Obama is deploying an additional 50,000 soldiers to be ready for ‘any contingency’ by March:
President Barack Obama is reported exclusively by DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s military and Washington sources to have secretly ordered US air, naval and marine forces to build up heavy concentrations on two strategic islands – Socotra, which is part of a Yemeni archipelago in the Indian Ocean, and the Omani island of Masirah at the southern exit of the Strait of Hormuz.
Since 2010, the US has been quietly building giant air force and naval bases on Socotra with facilities for submarines, intelligence command centers and take-off pads for flying stealth drones, as part of a linked chain of strategic US military facilities in the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf.
The Socotra facilities are so secret that they are never mentioned in any catalogue listing US military facilities in this part of the world, which include Jebel Ali and Al Dahfra in the United Arab Emirates; Arifjan in Kuwait; and Al Udeid in Qatar – all within short flying distances from Iran. Additional US forces are also being poured into Camp Justice on the barren, 70-kilometer long Omani island of Masirah, just south of the Hormuz entry point to the Gulf of Oman from the Arabian Sea.
It may very well be that nuclear weapons, like WMD in Iraq, are simply the pretext, rather than the real reason, that will be used to crush those who oppose the financiers, politicians and influencers behind the “New World Order” paradigm.
> View Source Article – SHTFplan.com – by Mac Slavo – January 30th, 2012
“When you hear of wars and uprisings, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.” (Luke 21:9 NIV)
War of Nerves: Iran’s Warships Arrive in Saudi Arabia
Two Iranian naval ships have docked in the Saudi port of Jeddah. Iranian officials say the move aims to project the country’s “power on the open seas” and “confront Iranophobia.” The supply ship Kharg and destroyer Shaid Qandi docked on Saturday in the Red Sea port in line with orders from the Islamic Republic’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, according to Iran’s news agency, Fars.
“This mission aims to show the power of the Islamic Republic of Iran on the open seas and to confront Iranophobia,” Fars quoted navy commander Admiral Habibollah Sayari as saying. Tehran says boosting its naval presence in international waters is in part motivated by the need to protect Iranian ships from Somali pirates. This is why Iranian vessels were deployed to the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden last year. In February 2011, for the first time ever, it also sent two naval vessels into the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal.
The rise in Iran’s naval activity comes amid a steep deterioration of its relations with the West. Its ties with Saudi Arabia are also in poor health, and have gone downhill fast since America accused Tehran of masterminding a plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington.
As if that weren’t enough, relations between Tehran and Riyadh deteriorated further after EU countries agreed to impose sanctions on Iran’s oil exports over the country’s nuclear program. In return, Tehran assured the European Union that it is not afraid of its sanctions and that the EU would be the one to suffer. The EU oil embargo has also increased tensions in the Strait of Hormuz – a vital link for oil transit between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. Iran has threatened to block the Strait in the past, and its determination was underlined when a senior official said Iran would “definitely” close the Strait of Hormuz if the EU oil embargo disrupted the export of crude oil.
The situation around the Strait and the Iranian nuclear program – which the country states is purely peaceful – has already prompted Washington to send squadrons of war ships into the area, while Britain and France have expressed willingness to back the US navy in opposing attempts by Iran to block the Strait.
The Israeli Deputy PM added fuel to the fire, claiming that Iran has also succeeded in building a long-range missile capable of putting the US within its reach. These latest statements are very much in line with the position of Israel and its allies who are accusing Iran of using its nuclear industry to mask plans to develop nuclear arms, a charge official Tehran has frequently and vehemently denied.
The gravity of the crisis became particularly apparent when US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Israel could attack Iran in the next few months. The attack would allegedly occur before it enters a so-called “immunity zone”, ie: before Iran has time to fortify its nuclear facilities against attack.
> View Source Article – RT News – February 5, 2012
“The KING OF THE SOUTH will become strong, but one of his commanders will become even stronger than he and will rule his own kingdom with great power.” (Daniel 11:5 NIV)
The “KING OF THE SOUTH”
In Biblical terms, all compass directions listed in the Holy Scriptures are given in reference to the “Holy Land” – Israel and Jerusalem. For example the “gateway to the east” (i.e. the “wisemen” who came to visit Jesus) was considered as the area of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers – Babylon (modern Iraq) which thus led to the Asian continent (India and China).
The North would be considered the lands of Noah’s descendants, Gomer and Magog the sons of Japheth (Genesis 10) the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal (Ezekiel 38) pointing to the nations that arose in what is now modern Turkey and north of the Black Sea up into the Ukraine and of course Russia.
To the west was Egypt and Africa while to the south would be considered the Sinai Peninsula and the lands bordering the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean (Saudi Arabia and Iran).
In February 1979, Ayatollah Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini, who had been in exile for over 14 years due to his opposition to the Shah, returned to Tehran from Paris. He quickly turned Iran into a theocratic dictatorship and called for Islamic revolutions across the Muslim world.
In November 1979, a group of Islamist students and militants stormed the U.S. Embassy and took 52 members of the staff hostage for 444ays. Iran’s current president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been identified by some of the hostages as one of the key individuals who held the Americans inside the embassy.
On the other side of town, PLO leader Yasser Arafat raised the PLO flag over the hastily evacuated Israeli embassy. The Israeli staff went into hiding and were eventually rescued by the Mossad over the coming weeks. This was only the beginning of the enmity between Iran’s clerical establishment and the West, referring as it did to the US as “the big Satan” and Israel as “the little Satan.”
Excerpts from Newsletter – www.messianicbible.com
The Return of Ayatollah Khomeini
Your national hero is dead – but you need him to appear at a every important event. What to do? Perhaps the Iranians have found the answer
You know what it’s like. You’re re-enacting an important event in your country’s history, but the national hero you’re commemorating is dead, and such is his stature that it would be disrespectful to replace him with an actor.
What to do? Well, if you’re the Iranian army, and you’re recreating the Ayatollah Khomeini’s return from exile in 1979, it’s pretty simple: solemnly replace him with a massive cardboard cut-out, and let two soldiers parade it around an airport runway. Job done.
See MORE PHOTOS from the event.
But why stop there? The Iranians didn’t. As befits a moment as seminal as this, the paper Ayatollah was then treated to a guard of honour, before being seamlessly swapped for a second, smaller (but nevertheless relentlessly lifelike) incarnation of the great revolutionary leader, who in turn was spirited away by a jeep.
The event may seem absurd, but it highlights the significance Iranians attribute to Khomeini’s homecoming. Iran’s revolution started in 1977, and the secular Shah was toppled by the end of 1978. But it was the return of Khomeini (greeted by millions of Iranians) on 1 February 1979 that turned the revolution into a religious one, and led to the creation of the Islamic Republic that still exists today.
> View Source Article – The Guardian UK – February 5, 2012
*IT WOULD BE RELEVANT TO NOTE THE EXTENT TO WHICH THE IRANIAN PEOPLE “IDOLIZE” THEIR “SUPREME LEADER” AND RELIGIOUS HEAD OF STATE.
Iran’s Government Today
Today, Iran is the only country in the world with a dominant Shiite Muslim majority, and it is the only country in the world where the “Supreme Ruler” is an Ayatollah who is an unelected lifetime leader with the highest ranking political and religious authority. An ‘Ayatollah’ is not, as many people think, like a Muslim version of the Pope. It’s a title and an office unique to Shiite Islam. There’s no equivalent in Sunni Islam, the largest branch of Islam.
Furthermore, a council of less senior Ayatollahs advises the Supreme Leader as he issues religious edicts, which often concern non-religious matters. The roll of Iran’s president and parliament is to run the economy and other day-to-day things, but the Supreme Ruler, as his title implies, has the final word on all matters, including a veto on anything the secular government does.
On June 3rd, 1989, the original Ayatollah Khomeini died but was replaced by the Ayatollah Seyed Ali Hoseyni Khamenei, who now retains the position of “Supreme Leader” to this day.
The theocratic “Supreme Ruler” of Iran (Persia) could very likely be this “KING of the SOUTH” referred to in the verse from (Daniel 11:5), while the political leader of the country (currently Pres. Ahmadinejad) would fit as “one of his commanders will become even stronger than he and will rule his own kingdom with great power”.
Iranian Warmongering – Hatred Against Israel and the “Zionist” Regimes
Recently during a rare Friday prayer lecture at Tehran University, Khamenei delivered a firebrand speech against Israel that was broadcast live to the nation.
“From now onward, we will support and help any nations, any groups fighting against the Zionist regime [Israel] across the world, and we are not afraid of declaring this. The Zionist regime is a true cancer tumor on this region that should be cut off. And it definitely will be cut off,” he declared.
Ahmadinejad’s Anti-Israel Rhetoric
This past Saturday (Feb.11), on the 33rd anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution that toppled the US-backed Shah, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad engaged in anti-Israel rhetoric, while also taking the opportunity to highlight Iran’s nuclear program.
In a nationally televised live speech given at Tehran’s Azadi (Freedom) Square, he told a crowd of thousands, “In the coming days the world will witness Iran’s announcement of its very important and very major nuclear achievements.”
Iranians Chant “Death to Israel” and “Death to America.”
Ismail Haniya, the head of the Islamist Hamas administration in the Gaza Strip, also attended the ceremony and said that the Palestinian Hamas government would never recognize Israel.
On Sunday, Khamenei met with Haniya and pledged support for the Palestinian resistance against Israel, while cautioning against “compromising elements” that might cause movement to a more moderate position.
This Monday (Feb.13), Haniya confirmed that Hamas is committed to armed resistance against Israel, rejecting a recent move within Hamas toward the less violent popular resistance. “In time, we have come to understand that we can obtain our goals only through fighting and armed resistance and no compromise should be made with the enemy,” he said.
This rhetoric comes at a particularly fragile moment in regional affairs, with economic, diplomatic and political sanctions against Iran tighter than they have ever been. It’s also a fragile time in the global economy, with several nations on the verge of defaulting on their debt obligations, painfully high unemployment in much of the industrialized world, social unrest, and political upheaval.
On top of everything else, devastating weather in many parts of the world has claimed thousands of lives and caused even greater economic hardship. The very last thing the world needs is a war in the oil producing region of the Persian Gulf.
Excerpts from Newsletter – www.messianicbible.com
“A prophecy against the Desert by the Sea: Like whirlwinds sweeping through the SOUTHland, an invader comes from the desert, from a land of terror. A dire vision has been shown to me: The traitor betrays, the looter takes loot…” (Isaiah 21:1-2 NIV)
This is another prophecy verse that identifies more of the potential “players” that will be involved in the coming conflict at the ‘Battle of Armageddon’ (Ezekiel 38-39; Joel 2; Zephaniah 1:14-18; Revelation 16:12-16). This particular “King of the South” that is referred to, may however also be an important element that becomes involved in the earlier stages leading up to the ‘Tribulation Period’ (Matthew 24:15,21; Mark 13:14; Revelation 2:22; Revelation 7:13-14) that we are seeing now.
Many prophetic passages point toward this being a nation that rises from the Middle East as a “Prince of Persia” (Ezekiel 38:5). Historically the nation known in biblical terms as “Persia”, is the present modern day Iran. In biblical times (as prophesied in the Book of Daniel), Persia rose to power and extended its rule to also incorporate Babylon (Iraq), with their empire stretching as far as India in the east and Egypt in the west. They then went on to spread their influence even further and conquer all of Asia Minor (modern Turkey) to the north, becoming one of the largest empires that the world had seen up to this time.
This is very similar to what the political and religious leaders of the modern mid-eastern nations are currently attempting to accomplish, by having a multinational unification of all the Islamic countries and peoples in the world (through the ‘Muslim Brotherhood’). It is evident that this confederation of Islamic states will more than likely become the “King of the South” as referred to in prophecy, possibly with the powers of Iran at its helm of leadership.
This entity will most likewise play a major role in the events leading up to the establishment of the antichrist system of rule and the global government of the “New World Order”. It does not mean however that the antichrist himself and the world government system will actually come from the Middle East, as this is commonly believed in prophetic terms to rise from what we now know as the European Union (the New “Roman Empire”). But, some form of treaty (a “covenant” or peace accord) with the prevailing powers in the Middle East (i.e.; an “Islamic Confederation”) will set these things in motion on the world stage of events (SEE Daniel 9:27), thus heralding the beginning of the ‘Tribulation Period’.
United States Position
Well aware of the current instability and tension, U.S. President Barack Obama gave an interview on NBC just before the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 5th.
“I’ve been very clear – we’re going to do everything we can to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon and creating a nuclear arms race in a volatile region,” Obama said. “We have mobilized the international community, in a way that is unprecedented. They are feeling the pinch. They are feeling the pressure. My number one priority continues to be the security of the United States, but also, the security of Israel. And we’re going to make sure that we work in lockstep, as we proceed to try to solve this – hopefully diplomatically… that would be preferable. We’re not going to take options off the table, though.”
A security memo that was issued in early February by the Israeli Consul General for the Mid-Atlantic States and leaked to the press warns that Israel operates “according to the information that Iran and Hezbollah are working hard and with great intensity to release a ‘quality’ attack against Israeli and Jewish sites around the world.”
As the Iranian leadership grows more irrational and more desperate, Israel cannot rely on the U.S., Europe, the United Nations or even the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to save them.
Excerpts from Newsletter – www.messianicbible.com
Iran Vows to Attack Any Country Used by ‘Enemies’ to Strike its Soil
Iran will attack any country whose territory is used by “enemies” of the Islamic state to launch a military strike against its soil, the deputy head of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards told the semi-official Fars news agency on Sunday. “Any spot used by the enemy for hostile operations against Iran, will be subjected to retaliatory aggression by our armed forces,” Hossein Salami said, during military maneuvers.
The United States and Israel, Iran’s arch enemies, have not ruled out a military strike against the country if diplomacy fails to resolve the standoff. Iran says its nuclear program is purely peaceful, rather than aimed at developing weapons.
Iran has warned that its response to any such strike will be “painful”, threatening to target Israel, and U.S. bases in the Gulf, along with closing the vital oil shipping route of the Strait of Hormuz.
Speaking at the Munich Security Conference, a gathering of security officials and diplomats, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said an attack would be a “disaster”. Turkey was the venue of the last talks between Western powers and Iran a year ago which ended in stalemate because participants could not even agree on an agenda. Davutoglu added: “A military option will create a disaster in our region. So before that disaster, everybody must be serious in negotiations. We hope soon both sides will meet again but this time there will be a complete result.”
Tension between Iran and the West rose last month when Washington and the European Union imposed the toughest sanctions yet on Iran to try to force it to provide more information on its nuclear program. The measures are aimed at shutting off the second-biggest OPEC oil exporters’ sales of crude.
> View Source Article – Haaretz News – by Reuters – February 5, 2012
Israel Should Strike Iran Now
“Whoever says later may find later is too late,” Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said last week. His words drove Western policymakers into a tizzy. Everyone wants to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, but not everyone is willing to do what it takes to bring that about.
The recent high-level comings and goings between Jerusalem and Washington remind us of nothing so much as all those “consultations” between top-level officials of two other democratic allies 76 years ago. In 1936, everyone wanted to stop the German army from coming into the de-militarized Rhineland, but no one was willing to use force to prevent it.
Now, consider this: Iran has been at war with the U.S. for more than 30 years. When Iran seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979, that was an act of war. When the Iranians recruited terrorists to kill 241 U.S. Marines and Navy corpsmen in Beirut in 1983, that, too, was an act of war.
The Iranians are also at war with Israel. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has publicly said he can foresee a world without the U.S. and Israel. He says Israel should be “wiped off the map,” that the Jewish state is but a “two-bomb country.” What kind of bombs would those be?
> View Source Article – Daily Caller – by Ken Blackwell & Ken Klukowski – February 7, 2012
Israel Warns U.S. Jews: Iran Could Strike Here
Israeli facilities in North America – and around the world – are on high alert, according to an internal security document obtained by ABC News that predicted the threat from Iran against Jewish targets will increase.
“We predict that the threat on our sites around the world will increase… on both our guarded sites and ‘soft’ sites,” stated a letter circulated by the head of security for the Consul General for the Mid-Atlantic States. Guarded sites refers to government facilities like embassies and consulates, while ‘soft sites’ means Jewish synagogues, and schools, as well as community centers like the one hit by a terrorist bombing in Buenos Aires in 1994 that killed 85 people.
The head of Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service, told an audience at a closed forum in Tel Aviv recently that Iran is trying to hit Israeli targets because of what it believes are Israeli attacks on it nuclear scientists.
Federal officials in those cities told ABC News that they have also increased their efforts to watch for any threat stream pointing to an imminent attack on either Israeli facilities, Jewish cultural or religious institutions or other “soft targets.”
“When there is posturing like this, we always pay extra attention to any threat streams,” one federal official said.
“The thwarted assassination plot of a Saudi official in Washington, D.C., a couple of months ago was an important data point,” added the official, “in that it showed at least parts of the Iranian establishment were aware of the intended event and were not concerned about inevitable collateral damage to U.S. citizens had they carried out an assassination plot on American soil.”
“That was an eye opener, showing that they did not care about any collateral damage,” the federal official said.
> View Source Article – ABC News – February 3, 2012
“‘Come,’ they say, ‘let us destroy them as a nation, so that Israel’s name is remembered no more.’ With one mind they plot together; they form an alliance against you.” (Psalm 83:4-5 NIV)
Iran: U.S. and Israel Vulnerable to Counterattack
The United States and Israel are in no position to launch a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities because of their high susceptibility to retaliatory attacks from the Islamic Republic, a senior Iranian military commander said Tuesday.
Iranian news agency Press TV quoted senior Revolutionary Guard official Brig.-Gen. Masoud Jazayeri as saying that both the U.S. and Israel were aware of Tehran’s ability to hurt them with its counterattack and therefore their threats lack credibility.
The White House announced tough new sanctions on Iran Monday, clamping down on the activity of the country’s Central Bank and those who do business with it. They are the latest round of sanctions imposed after President Barack Obama signed legislation at the end of the year that ramped up US options for using sanctions to pressure the Iranians to stop their nuclear program.
In an interview with NBC on Sunday Obama emphasized the goal is to resolve this issue diplomatically, while reiterating that he will not take any options off the table.
Asked whether Israel had promised to give advance warning of an attack, Obama declined to reveal the content of diplomatic conversations but said, “We are going to make sure we work in lockstep as we proceed to try to solve this, hopefully diplomatically.”
> View Source Article – Jerusalem Post – February 8, 2012
Iran To Unveil Major Nuclear Achievements
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has announced the unveiling of “major nuclear accomplishments” in the next few days despite increasing Western pressure over the country’s nuclear program.
“In the nuclear field, major achievements have been made by the Iranian nation in recent years,” Ahmadinejad said in a Saturday speech, marking the 33rd anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
The Iranian president said the world has witnessed hegemonic powers use every means to prevent the Islamic Republic from attaining nuclear progress.
“Today, not only has this (Iranian) nation become [a] nuclear [capable nation], but it has also succeeded in meeting a large portion of its needs in this field,” Ahmadinejad added.
The US and the EU have recently increased pressure on the Islamic Republic by imposing unprecedented sanctions against the country’s oil industry and Central Bank. The Western sanctions and frequent threats of a military strike against Iran are intended to force Iran to halt its nuclear program, which the US and its allies claim has a covert military aspect.
> View Source Article – Press TV – February 11, 2012
The mullahs ruling Iran, based on centuries-old hadiths, believe that an attack on Syria and Iran and an ensuing counterattack on Israel will trigger the coming of “Mahdi,” the Shiites’ 12th imam and the last Islamic messiah. Both those events are looking increasingly likely as Assad continues to murder his own people and Iran continues its quest for nuclear weapons.
“The Coming is Upon Us” – Translation: Reza Kahlili
The edit and translation is by Reza Kahlili (Copyright: Reza Kahlili) – (The original Farsi version is over one hour long and the makers have stated specifically that there are no restrictions on copying said video. They have also asked the public to distribute the video).
Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and author of the award-winning book, “A Time to Betray.” He is a senior fellow with EMPact America and teaches at the U.S. Department of Defense’s Joint Counterintelligence Training Academy. He also is a member of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security.
For more information about this movie and on the book “A Time to Betray: The Astonishing Double Life of a CIA Agent Inside the Revolutionary Guards of Iran”.
The Time of Tribulation is Very Near
EDITORIAL NOTE (A HIGHLY POSSIBLE SCENARIO): WHILE THE SYRIAN GENOCIDE CONTINUES AND AN UPCOMING CONFLICT IN THE MID EAST WITH IRAN BECOMING MORE INEVITABLE – ALONG WITH THE UNITED NATIONS’ PUSH FOR PALESTINIAN INDEPENDENCE – THESE EVENTS COULD VERY LIKELY RESULT IN A PEACE AGREEMENT (OR “COVENANT”) BEING NECESSARY WITH ISRAEL TO SETTLE THE CONFLICTS OF THE MIDDLE EAST REGION – THIS WILL USHER IN THE PROPHECY OF (Daniel 9:27) AND BEGIN THE “WEEK” (7 Years) OF THE PROPHESIED “TRIBULATION PERIOD” AND RISE OF THE “ANTICHRIST”.
EVERYONE GET READY – FOR THE KINGDOM OF THE LORD IS CLOSE AT HAND!
“Assuredly, I say to you,
THIS GENERATION will by no means pass away till all these things take place.”
(Matthew 24:34 NKJ)
Even though everything we have discussed and shown thus far seems to depict a tragic and fateful end for our world, that is actually NOT THE CASE! The state of humanity’s existence does not end in chaos or complete destruction at this time. Nor will these events leave the whole world in a panicked state of confusion, always to be frustrated in futile attempts trying to achieve a Utopian existence. The “Great Tribulation” period is only for a few short years and is merely a transitional period at end of an age. A NEW AGE IS COMING immediately thereafter!
“SEE THAT YOU ARE NOT TROUBLED; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.”
(Matthew 24:6 NKJ)
“All these are the beginning of birth pains [sorrows].”
(Matthew 24:8 NIV-KJV)
This is probably the most accurate representation of the entire “Great Tribulation” event. “Birth pains” are very discomforting and often quite painful. A new birth involves “labor” which is an extremely strenuous and exhausting process (ask any woman who has endured this). The end result however, is “relief” from this labor and suffering because a “new life” is then born!
That is exactly what will transpire in this world. We are in the final chapter of an old and worn out age of civilization. A grand and glorious new age lies directly ahead for those of us that endure and have accepted the Lord God.
“These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore, they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them. Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Revelation 7:14-17 NIV)
THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT OF ALL THESE PROPHECIES
Therefore, these sometimes frightening words of prophecy are really a harbinger of hope to those who are searching for God today. It is through our belief that Christ died for our sins (John 3:16) and faith in His second coming (1 Thessalonians 4:14-18), that we are all “saved” and will enter into the coming Kingdom of Heaven along with Him.
“For the grace of God has appeared that offers SALVATION TO ALL PEOPLE. It teaches us to say ‘No’; to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope – the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” (Titus 2:11–13 NIV)
“He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” (Revelation 22:20-21)
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From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.“
(Matthew 4:17 KJV)
- TIME IS RUNNING SHORT -
We should be spending every opportunity to bear witness to the gospel of JESUS CHRIST -
providing an excellent testimony that glorifies GOD and proclaims His Millennial Kingdom soon to come here on Earth!
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;
and all these things shall be added unto you.”
(Matthew 6:33 KJV)
SPREAD the WORD