USA Ignites Worldwide Division Over Iran and Hostilities Break Out
US President Trump decertifies the Iranian Nuclear deal and the world is in an uproar, dividing along biblically prophesied lines.
Saturday, May 12, 2018
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This past week the world was humming with news of President Donald Trump’s decision to decertify the American participation in the Iranian nuclear deal. This is in keeping with Bible prophecy that lays out the positions of the nations when it comes to hostility toward Israel in the time of the end. On the one side Russia will form an alliance against Israel:
“Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the prince of Rosh (Russia) Meshech (Moscow) and Tubal (Tobolsk): And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords….” (Ezekiel 38:3–4)
On the other side are the merchants of Tarshish and their Arabic allies:
“Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?” (Ezekiel 38:13)
So it was exciting to see these alliances coming into place this week as President Trump announced America’s decertification of the Iranian Nuclear deal which sparked worldwide responses – dividing the nations along biblical lines.
Let’s listen to some of Trumps statement:
Upon taking office, I’ve ordered a complete strategic review of our policy toward the rogue regime in Iran. That review is now complete. Today I am announcing our strategy, along with several major steps we are taking to confront the Iranian regime’s hostile actions, and to ensure that Iran never, and I mean never, acquires a nuclear weapon. Our policy is based on a clear ride assessment of the Iranian dictatorship, its sponsoring of terrorism and its continuing aggression in the Middle East and all around the world.
What is interesting to note, is the US policy is based on Iran’s movements in the Middle East. This was re-iterated later in his statement:
Given the regimes murderous past, and present, we should not take lake lightly its sinister vision for the future. The regime’s two favourite chants are, “Death to America” and “Death to Israel”. Realizing the gravity of the situation, the United States, and the United Nations Security Council sought over many years to stop Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons with a wide array of strong economic sanctions, but the previous administration lifted these sanctions just before what would have been the total collapse of the Iranian regime, through the deeply controversial 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.
And again, it is clear what the issue is:
By its own terms, the Iran deal was supposed to contribute to regional and international peace and security. Yet, while the United States adheres to our commitment under the deal, the Iranian regime continues to fuel conflict, terror and turmoil throughout the Middle East and beyond.
The new plan revealed the same:
So today, in recognition of the increasing menace posed by Iran, and after extensive consultations with our allies, I am announcing a new strategy to address the full range of Iran’s destructive actions.
First, we will work with our allies to counter the regimes destabilizing activity and support for terrorist proxies in the region.
Second, we will place additional sanctions on the regime to block their financing of terror.
Third, we will address the regimes proliferation of missiles and weapons that threaten its neighbours, global trade, and freedom of navigation.
Finally, we will deny the regime all paths to a nuclear weapon.
The reasons were made very clear:
Since the signing of the nuclear agreement, the regimes dangerous aggression has only escalated. At the same time it has received massive sanctions relief while continuing to develop its missiles program.
Speaking of the law passed by the American Congress governing the suspension of sanctions on Iran, Trump pointed out his responsibility to the American people:
Among other conditions, this law requires the president, or his designee, to certify that the suspension of sanctions under the deal is appropriate and proportionate to measure and other measures taken by the Iran to terminate its illicit nuclear program.
Based on the factual record I have put forward, I am announcing today that we cannot and will not make this certification. We will not continue down a path whose predictable conclusion is more violence, more terror, and the very real threat of Iran’s nuclear breakout. That is why I am directing my administration to work closely with congress and our allies, to address the deal’s many serious flaws, so that the Iranian regime can never threaten the world with nuclear weapons…
To protect against a deadlock in the review of the Iran deal, President Trump was clear:
In the event we are not able to reach a solution, working with congress and our allies, then the agreement will be terminated. It is under continuous review, and our participation can be cancelled by me, as president, any time.
America is clearly interested in the welfare of its allies in the region such as Israel and Saudi Arabia, both threatened by Iranian terrorist proxies in Syria and Yemen.
It was no surprise to see Israel’s reaction to the announcement. Let’s listen to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s response:
Israel fully supports President Trump’s bold decision today, to reject the disastrous nuclear deal with the terrorist regime in Tehran. Israel has opposed the nuclear deal from the start because we said, that rather than blocking Iran’s deal to a bomb, the deal actually paves Iran’s path to an entire arsenal of nuclear bombs, and this within a few year’s time.
The removal of sanctions under the deal has already produced disastrous results. The deal didn’t push war further away, it actually brought it closer. The deal didn’t reduce Iran’s aggression, it dramatically increased it. We see this across the entire Middle East. Since the deal the deal we’ve seen Iran’s aggression grow every day: in Iraq, Lebanon, in Yemen, in Gaza, and most of all in Syria, where Iran is trying to establish military bases from which to attack Israel.
Israel’s interests are obviously much more then economic, but the security of its people against an aggressive element of Nebuchadnezar’s image of world empires.
The UK Daily Express ran a headline: “WORLD WAR 3 FEARS: Russia BACKS Iran as Putin STARES DOWN Trump”, and the paper went on to report:
WORLD War 3 fears are growing after Russia rushed to back Iran in the Middle East’s escalating nuclear crisis - a move which plunges Vladimir Putin into a deadly standoff with Donald Trump.
ABC News posted an article with the headline US move on Iran brings Russia and Europe Closer Together. The article stated:
President Vladimir Putin's foreign affairs adviser, Yuri Ushakov, said the Russian president discussed the situation around the 2015 nuclear deal in Friday's phone call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and their positions were "practically identical."
Ushakov added that Putin will have further discussions on the issue with Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron when they visit Russia this month.
Ushakov's statement reflected a Kremlin hope that a rift between Washington and its European allies will offer a chance of rebuilding ties with Europe's economic powerhouses. Europe is rattled by President Donald Trump's decision to re-impose sanctions of Iran that mean European companies must halt business with Iran or face U.S. punishment.
In the face of US Sanctions, Russia is signing a free trade pact with Iran. The Boston Globe reported under the headline, “Russia and allies to sign trade pact with Iran”.
The Kremlin said Friday that Russia and its ex-Soviet allies will sign a free-trade pact with Iran, the latest fallout from the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.
President Vladimir Putin’s foreign affairs adviser, Yuri Ushakov, said, the deal among Iran, Russia, and other members of the Moscow-dominated Eurasian Economic Union is to be signed next week. The group includes Kazakhstan, Belarus, Armenia, and Kyrgyzstan.
The response from France was also very clear as CTV News reported:
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Europe-1 radio that Europe should not accept that the U.S. is the "world's economic policeman."
"Do we want to be vassals who obey decisions taken by the United States while clinging to the hem of their trousers?" Le Maire asked. "Or do we want to say we have our economic interests, we consider we will continue to do trade with Iran?"
It should be no surprise either, that the European Union would not support Trump. Listen to the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini’s acidic response.
It is not a bilateral agreement. It does not belong to any single country, and it is not up to any single country to terminate it. It is a multi-lateral agreement which was unanimously endorsed by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231….
There have been no violations of any of the commitments included in the agreement. The scope of the agreement relates to the nuclear program and is being fulfilled…
We believe that we have a collective responsibility to preserve it for our own collective security….
The United States domestic process, and I underline domestic, following today’s announcement of President Trump, is now in the hands of the United States Congress.
The JCPOA is not a domestic issue, but a UN Security Council resolution. The international community, and the European Union with it, has clearly indicated that the deal is and will continue to be in place.
In answering a question following the statement, the European Union’s position was crystalized even further:
This deal is not a bilateral agreement. This is not an international treaty. This is an annex, a very long annex, to a UN Security Council resolution, unanimously adopted.
To my knowledge there is not one single country in the world that can terminate a UN Security Council resolution that has been adopted. Even more so, adopted unanimously, and implemented, and verified. And with the rest of the international community continuing to support and implement it.
So it is clearly not in the hands of any president of any country in the world to terminate an agreement of this sort, because this a UN Security Council resolution. This is a plan of action sets things to be done, commitments, nuclear related commitments, an only nuclear related commitments, and that has been implemented. So, President of the United States has many powers, not this one.
It becomes very clear that the European Union is completely uninterested in Iran’s support of terrorism both against Israel and also Saudi Arabia.
The arrogant pride with which this statement was given is remarkable, and it is no surprise. At the time of the end the nations of Europe will be allied with Russia and Iran against Israel, and the King of the South powers which include America:
“Persia (Iran), Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee… in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.” (Ezekiel 38:5–8)
This verse also include the areas of Gomer and Togarmah, which correspond to the area of Turkey and the Caucasus region. The Gomeric tribes migrated across Europe and are identified with France (Gaul) and Germany, while the area of Magogue constitutes Eastern Europe.
Turkey’s position was also made clear, as was reported by the Times of Israel:
Following the announcement, the Turkish presidency it feared Trump’s decision could open up “new conflicts.”
“The unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the nuclear deal is a decision that will cause instability and new conflicts,” said Ibrahim Kalin, spokesman for President Erdogan, on Twitter. “Turkey will continue to resolutely oppose all types of nuclear arms.”
Turkey and Iran are striving to develop pragmatic relations with each other, particularly over Syria which borders both countries, despite a long-standing, reciprocal distrust.
However, others in the region are on a completely different side of the fence when it comes to this:
Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir was interviewed by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer regarding the Saudi support for President Trump:
Joining us now from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir, Foreign Minister thanks so much for joining us. Why do you, the Saudi government, support president Trump’s decision.
Al-Jubeir: We believe that the nuclear deal was flawed. We believe that the sunset clause should be eliminated. We believe that the inspections should be tightened. We believe that the deal does not deal with Iran’s ballistic missile program, nor does it deal with Iran’s support for terrorism and interference with the affairs of the countries of the region….
So again, like America and Israel, the Saudi’s issue with Iran is not just the nuclear issue, but also Iran’s support of terrorism in the region. When questioned about what Saudi Arabia would do,
We will do whatever it takes to protect our people. We have made it very clear that if Iran acquires nuclear capability, we will do everything we can to do the same….
Our message to the Iranian leadership is the policies of the past have got to come to an end. You cannot be a revolution. You cannot seek to expand and dominate the region. You cannot seek to acquire a nuclear program surreptitiously. You must abide by international law. You must cease supporting terrorism. You must cease providing ballistic missiles to terrorist organizations like “so called” Hezbollah and the Houthis, and you must respect the principle of good neighborliness….
When asked why the agreement was so flawed, the Saudi’s were clear, something the European Union is not willing to acknowledge because it is more interested in its own economic interests than the peace in the Middle East:
The agreement is flawed because by 2025 it allows Iran to have the ability to have unlimited enrichment capability, which could cause it to build capacity to the point where it could have enough enriched uranium for a nuclear a weapon within a week. That is clearly not acceptable.
The scriptures don’t just indicate the Saudi’s will be on the other side of the fence in the latter days. Daniel 11 speaks of Edom, Moab and Ammon which correspond to the geographical area of modern day Joran. Ezekiel 38 speaks of Sheba and Dedan, which encompass the geographical area of Saudi Araba and other Gulf States. Isaiah 19 and Daniel 11 describes Egypt being attacked by Russia, described as the cruel Lord, or the King of the North .
The Saudi Minister also clearly stated who was onside with the USA and them in their position, exactly as the Bible describes:
….The sanctions will be re-imposed, we support the US position, our allies in Bahrain, The United Arab Emirates, in Jordan, in Egypt support this decision, the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) Secretary General supports it, the Arab League Secretary General supports it, the Secretary General of Islamic Countries also supports it.
Regarding Iran’s support for the Houthis in the region, and their continued bombardment of Riyadh the Saudi’s were also very clear:
We are trying to avoid at all costs direct military action vis a vis Iran, but Iran’s behavior such as this cannot continue. This is tantamount to a declaration of war. When somebody provides missiles to a terrorist group that lobs those missiles at your cities, and your civilians indiscriminately, what to you call it, a friendly act? Of course not.
This is of course, the same issue Israel faces with Hezbollah and Iran in Syria.
The past two weeks have seen tensions soar in the middle East. The hostilities began when an armed Iranian drone violated Israeli air space. Israel responded by bombing the launch site for the drone.
Following Trump’s announcement, Iranian forces in Syria fired 20 missiles into Israel.
This was followed by Israel firing 70 missiles from 28 planes into Syria, targeting Iranian bases in the region. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported:
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Thursday morning that Israel has struck "all of the Iranian infrastructure in Syria." Lieberman said that Israel does not seek escalation, but added that it won't allow Iran to turn Syria into a "forward base" against Israel.
Reports in Syria said that Israel has also struck army posts as position used by Hezbollah and Iranian-backed militias in the Syrian Golan, near the Druze village Khader and Khan Arnabah, close to the border with Israel. The reports said that the rockets that struck Israel overnight were fired from those posts.
It is reported that eight Iranians were killed in the attack. The report continued:
This is the first time Israel directly accuses Iran of firing towards Israeli territory. During the Syrian Civil War, rockets were fired at Israel from Syria several times, usually by groups in southern Syria that are affiliated with Iran, Hezbollah and the Assad regime.
This week saw the United States re-establish it’s Second Fleet due to growing Russian tensions.
Amid heightened tensions with Russia, the US Navy announced Friday the re-establishment of the US Second Fleet which will be responsible for Naval forces along the East Coast and in the northern Atlantic Ocean.
"Our National Defense Strategy makes clear that we're back in an era of great power competition as the security environment continues to grow more challenging and complex," Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson said at a change-of-command ceremony Friday in Norfolk, Virginia.
"That's why today, we're standing up Second Fleet to address these changes, particularly in the north Atlantic," he added.
"NATO is refocusing on the Atlantic in recognition of the great power competition prompted by a resurgent Russia," Pentagon spokesman Johnny Michael told CNN.
This is again in keeping with the Biblical portrayal of the time of the end where the “many ships” of the King of the North described in Daniel 11:40 and counterbalanced by the “Ships of Tarshish” described in Ezekiel 38:13 and Isaiah 60:9.
CNN Reported under the headline: “US stealth fighters intercept Russian bombers off the coast of Alaska”
Two Russian TU-95 "Bear" bombers were intercepted by US F-22 stealth fighters in international airspace off the coast of Alaska on Friday, according to North American Aerospace Defense Command.
"At approximately 10 a.m. ET, two Alaskan-based NORAD F-22 fighters intercepted and visually identified two Russian TU-95 'Bear' long-range bomber aircraft flying in the Air Defense Identification Zone around the western coast of Alaska, north of the Aleutian Islands," NORAD and USNORTHCOM spokesman Canadian Army Maj. Andrew Hennessy said in a statement.
So as the world ratchets up tensions in preparation for World War III, let us be prepared to meet our Lord:
“But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,” (1 Thessalonians 5:4–9)
For the Bible in the News, this has been Jonathan Bowen joining you.