Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader

[The post that follows was written almost twenty months prior. Its significance today lies in the recent agreement between Iran and six significant world powers, United States, China, Russia, Germany, European Union, and France, over Iran’s nuclear ambitions (purported to be for peaceful purposes only).  Israel was the lone world power adamantly opposed to the agreement. Saudi Arabia publicly opposed the agreement until shortly after its signing. It was the last of the Middle East nations to support it but with reservation. This article was originally posted under the title, “America – Abandoning Israel for Iran.”]

A recent editorial (May 12, 2012) appeared in one of Iran’s news outlets, the Keyhan News (according to Reza Kahlili, the paper is reported to be directly under the supervision of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei), which should be of interest to Bible prophecy students.

The editorial reported that over the last few months the United States has changed its current policy towards Iran’s nuclear program, and in the process, has abandoned Israel and its own hard-line nuclear policy towards Iran. The article states,

The editorial, written by Sadollah Zarei, a columnist for the hard-line paper, said that within the last three months, Israeli officials, after reports that America is on the verge of accepting the Iranian nuclear program, have made several trips to Washington, where on one trip they met for 10 days with U.S. officials to try to change President Obama’s decision to accept Iran’s nuclear program. They were unsuccessful…The answer, the editorial said, is that “in the last year, two important events have taken place. One has been the Islamic Awakening (the Arab Spring) in the region, which is based on the ideology of the Islamic Republic of Iran and has the West quite worried and concerned; the other is the events in Egypt, which, despite all the analysis by the West, have turned into an Islamic movement with Sharia laws. These two events have forced the West to rethink its approach toward Iran.” (Read more here)

The import of the reputed policy change would be to “allow Iran to enrich uranium to the 5 percent level for peaceful purposes.” The problem, however, is determining whether or not Iran’s enrichment is truly being limited to “5 percent levels for peaceful purposes.” Israel, of course, is against enrichment at any level, a policy that America is reputed to be abandoning. The effect of this policy change, should it be true, is that Israel is left standing alone against Iran, assuming no other Arab nations of the Middle East join her.  In a recent post, entitled, “Will the United States Stand with Israel or the Antichrist in the End-Times?”, I suggested that Bible prophecy (Ezekiel 38:10-13) can be interpreted to predict Western nations “talking, talking,” while Israel is attacked by the Russia-Iran-Turkey alliance of Ezekiel 38.  The editorial’s insistence that America has recently weakened her stance towards Iran and abandoned Israel in the process is a step in this direction.

The problem for the American public (and the world) is that there is no real way that we can know what is happening behind the closed doors of diplomacy, whether or not the politicians and diplomats are Israeli, American, or Iranian.  If America does weaken its policy against Iran thereby allowing it to enrich uranium sufficient for nuclear weapons, we will only know it after the fact. One morning, we will awake to the news of smoke billowing into the skies of the Middle East as Israel has either taken matters into its own hands and attacked Iran, or Iran has done so.  The question for me, however, is this: if Iran does launch nuclear weapons, which country is most likely to be the first target of its attack, given the fact that Israel’s annihilation is its ultimate goal?

The answer to this question leads me to the second point of the editorial that is equally important to prophecy students. The editorial makes a passing comment that the only factor remaining that keeps Iran from annihilating Israel is the lone United States ally in the region, Saudi Arabia. I quote:

With diminishing support for Israel and with the (upcoming) collapse of the monarchy in Saudi Arabia,” Zarei claims, “there won’t be any obstacles left facing Iran with its policy of annihilation of Israel.”

Some readers may be aware of Saudi Arabia’s recent efforts to form a “union” of Arab states to increase the stability and security  of the Arab states in the Peninsula. This “union” would include the six Arab states making up the Gulf Coordinating Council (GCC), along with closer political and military ties over Bahrain.  The hoped for Arab union would benefit the Saudis because it would allow “closer political ties [among] the GCC, [and] would work together to preserve their ruling dynasties against internal challenge and Iranian ambition” (Read more). Saudi Arabia’s efforts to instigate a closer Arab union reveals the level of anxiety among the Saudis. After all, Arab Spring has not been “friendly” to Middle East monarchies.  It led to the ouster of President Mubarak followed by the election of the Muslim Brotherhood, the controlling party within the Egyptian parliament, and a group threatening to eliminate the long-time Egypt-Saudi relationship present under Mubarak.

To the Iranians, Saudi Arabia is very close to the only obstacle remaining for the annihilation of Israel.  To the student of prophecy this sounds like one more step in the fulfillment of a significant end-time prophecy:

Zechariah 14:1-2 (NASB) 1 Behold, a day is coming for the LORD when the spoil taken from you will be divided among you. 2 For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city.

For those of you who have read my book, Islam – the Cloak of Antichrist, you will remember that my view of Daniel 2,7, and Revelation 17-18, interprets that the Antichrist will “rise up” from Shi’a Islam, i.e., Iran (Daniel 2:40-42; 7:8), to initiate an end-times conflict that will first annihilate Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam (whom I interpret to be “mystical,” “Babylon the Great,” Revelation 17:4-6). This initial conflict of Muslim against Muslim is prophesied by Revelation 17:12-13, 17, and will be followed by the destruction of two other Muslim nations/countries (all neighbors of Israel, see Ezekiel 38, not specifically listed in the Russia-Iran-Turkey alliance against Israel; and, Daniel 7:24). Lastly, it leads to the ultimate “treading under foot” of Jerusalem for 42 months based on Ezekiel 38, Zacharia 14:3, and Revelation 11:2, and the Great Tribulation.

Perhaps you might be thinking: “But how can we know how these things will unfold? And what are we to do about them anyway?”  Jesus put it this way:

Luke 21:34-36 (NASB) 34 “Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap; 35 for it will come upon all those who dwell on the face of all the earth. 36 “But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”