Its later print title was "The Middle East Is Burning: Let's Stay Out of the Fire" (Sept. 23-29). This piece reflects much of present American thinking and sounds good on the surface. After all, as he points out, "the military is exhausted. The American public is polarized. The government is in debt." Witness the recent congressional budget impasse between the Democrats and the Republicans.
America's leaders don't seem to fully grasp that, like it or not, the nation is already deeply involved in the Middle East. It has been in Iraq twice in the last three decades. And it is now encouraging a revival of the so-called Israeli-Palestinian peace process. The Bible and secular history have shown us that no nation can involve itself in Middle Eastern affairs without getting its proverbial fingers badly burnt. This region remains at the center of world tensions and will remain so until Jesus Christ rules over all nations in the age to come.
The city of Jerusalem is a major focal point of Bible prophecy—along with the all the surrounding region of the Middle East. Zechariah 12:3 makes it clear that God "will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will be surely be cut in pieces." Nations will gather at Armageddon in northern Israel to battle and will end up fighting Jesus Christ at His coming. (To understand more, read the article "Armageddon: The End of the World?".)
The present approach to negotiations with Iran can cut both ways. America is looking for a way out of this ongoing nuclear dilemma. Focusing on the friendly diplomatic gestures of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani overlooks the fact that ultimate responsibility for national policy rests with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. This Bloomberg article acknowledges the possibility that "Iran's leaders will never help broker a Syrian peace pact that ushers Assad out of power, or accept the kind of tough international oversight necessary to keep the country from getting a nuclear weapon."
If meaningful negotiations do in fact occur without panning out, returning Iran to radical hostility against the West, things could very well turn out worse than ever before. For help in gaining a proper historic and prophetic overview, please read the Bible study aid The Middle East in Bible Prophecy. (Source: Bloomberg Businessweek.)