Last week, the United States and other nations reached a “framework” deal on Iran’s nuclear program. Because the participants have given different accounts of what the framework agreement entails, we still can’t be sure what has been agreed to, much less know what a final agreement will look like. But we do know that Iran itself is a ticking bomb, getting closer and closer to detonation.
On November 24, 2013, President Barack Obama announced an interim agreement with Iran that would give time for negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 countries — China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, plus Germany. It’s interesting that when President Obama made his 2013 announcement, he added one to the list. He gave the others, then said, “As well as the European Union.”
Notice that there are no Middle Eastern nations in that group. Like the days of colonialism past, the U.S. and Europe are dictating to nations of the Middle East what they must accept. The deal is being strongly opposed by all the nations of that region, except for Iran’s Shia Muslim allies.
Why are they opposed? Probably because they don’t want to die in the nuclear war this agreement seems to guarantee.
When these negotiations began back in 2013, the president spoke of the ability to re-impose sanctions if a good deal could not be made. “And if Iran does not fully meet its commitments during this six-month phase,” he said, “we will turn off the relief and ratchet up the pressure.”
Now, two extensions after that six month period expired, there has been no ratcheting up of pressure. In fact, we are now told to get that silly notion out of our heads. The president last week said, “Now is not the time to move forward on new sanctions — because doing so would derail this promising first step, alienate us from our allies and risk unraveling the coalition that enabled our sanctions to be enforced in the first place.”
In other words, being able to “turn off the relief and ratchet up the pressure” is now off the table. We fixed things so that our allies will no longer support such sanctions. We’re boxed in. It’s either this or war.
President Obama believes that this agreement will head off a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, but it’s hard to see how it can work that way. Even if the optimistic assumptions behind this agreement are true, Iran will only be a year away from creating a nuclear bomb at any point during the life of the agreement.
How does that make the people of Saudi Arabia feel? Persia (the other name for Iran) is the ancient enemy of Arabs going back thousands of years. Shiite Muslims are the ancient enemy of Sunni Muslims, going back 1600 years. Sunnis represent about 85% of the world’s Muslims.
If Saudi Arabia and the other Sunni Muslim nations of the region think that Iran is only a year away from developing nukes, they will start building their own arsenal as fast as they can. They will because, from their point of view, they must.
In March, Secretary of State John Kerry went to Saudi Arabia to assure their leaders that the Iranian nuclear deal being negotiated would not put their nation at risk. But the day before his arrival, another dignitary visited — Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The message was clear. Saudi Arabia, with its vast oil wealth, can turn itself into a nuclear power virtually overnight. It can buy off-the-shelf nukes from Pakistan, another Sunni Muslim state.
And that’s the optimistic approach. Last week, Middle East specialist Clare Lopez of the Center for Security Policy, gave World Net Daily the pessimistic outlook. “All the evidence suggests Iran already has nuclear warheads,” she said.
If she’s right, then Iran is simply playing for time while they build a larger arsenal, and prepare for a surprise attack like none before. Their proxies in Hezbollah already have a foothold in Latin America. Getting three or four such weapons to them might well mean getting them into major U.S. cities.
Folks, this is more than a game. It’s more than politics. It may seem frivolous and unimportant, just politicians doing their thing, but the consequences of America’s choices right now are incalculable.
A couple of weeks ago, in a Watchman Warning titled, “Turning Against Israel,” I referred to Zechariah 12:3, which spoke of “all the nations of the earth” being gathered against Jerusalem. A couple of chapters down from that passage, we see this startling description. “And this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.” [Zechariah 14:12]
Some commentators think this passage refers to famine, but they’re forgetting the phrase “while they stand upon their feet.” This melting away of human flesh doesn’t take place slowly, but while they stand there. This refers to them being completely vaporized — instantly. I can think of only one way that can happen on such a large scale and so quickly — nuclear weapons.
And that’s only one of many prophetic verses that describe the effects of thermonuclear war on a global scale.
Many experts believe Iran already has nuclear weapons. They’re only lacking the technology to mount them on the missiles they also already have.
The first nuclear confrontation with Iran may actually be a little early in the final days scenario. I believe that when it happens, it will strike fear into the nations and perhaps slow the scenario. And further open the door for the soon-coming Antichrist.
But sooner or later it will happen, and millions will be vaporized, just as Zechariah so eerily described thousands of years ago.