The defence editor for The Telegraph opened his report on the Iran nuclear deal with this observation: “You only had to look at the beaming smiles on the faces of the Iranian negotiating team to see who had emerged as the undisputed winners of the drawn-out negotiations over Iran’s nuclear programme” (Con Coghlin, “Iran Nuclear Deal: Peace in Our Time? Not With This Shoddy Agreement,” July 14, 2015).
“Yes,” comments former U.S. Army officer and congressman Allen West, “there’s a reason why Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif is on his balcony in Vienna laughing. I’m quite sure Adolf Hitler was doing the same thing while Neville Chamberlain ranted about a signed document from Herr Hitler guaranteeing there would be ‘peace in our times’” (“Everything That’s Wrong With the Iran Deal That the Mainstream Media Won’t Tell You,” July 14).
As of this writing, the U.S. Congress still has the opportunity to stop this agreement. But that may prove difficult.
Shocking provisions to Iran’s advantage
What are some of the problems with the agreement? And what do these developments mean for the world’s future?
Some of the more shocking provisions of the deal are that the United States will actually protect Iran’s nuclear program, no U.S. inspectors at all will be allowed into Iran to verify the agreement is being followed, and the Iranians will have up to 24 days’ delay before inspectors will be able to visit suspect sites (giving them plenty of time to literally bulldoze and erase the sites, which has happened with suspect locations before—including one just days after the agreement was signed).
Frankly, this agreement is guaranteed to do two things—assure that Iran will get the bomb regardless of whether it keeps or doesn’t keep the agreement, and to spur other Middle Eastern nations to acquire their own nukes. Nations like Saudi Arabia and Egypt understand that Iran is determined to rule the Middle East, and they will not sit idly by while Iran gets nuclear weapons. They know the stakes are too high.
The agreement puts America’s ally Israel, which the Iranian regime has repeatedly vowed to destroy, in an extremely difficult predicament. And it further puts America and the Western world in a grave predicament, despite the triumphal assurances of U.S. President Barack Obama.
Iran does not have to free the four American hostages it is holding. It gets to keep its thousands of centrifuges. The UN arms embargo and sanctions on Iran, which were working to curb its nuclear program and sponsorship of international terrorism, will be lifted, and $120 billion to $150 billion in foreign assets will be unfrozen (Joel Pollak, “Iran Deal Worth More Than All U.S. Aid to Israel Since 1948,” Breitbart, July 27, 2015).
What will Iran do with all this money? Realize that it has considered itself at war with America since Islamic radicals took over the country in 1979.
An unconstitutional process
The Obama administration pushed this deal through as a mere international “agreement” or “plan of action” to avoid Constitutional requirements for international treaties—yet it is clearly a treaty.
Both political parties bear responsibility in approving the Corker-Cardin bill, designed specifically to bypass the U.S. Constitution’s treaty-approval process. Conservative radio host, author and attorney Mark Levin explains: “Normally, here’s how treaties work: The President negotiates a treaty with another country . . . Once the treaty is negotiated, it’s submitted to the Senate. Two thirds of the Senate has to vote to approve, or ratify, the treaty. If two thirds do not support it, it is not binding.
“But the bill the Congress sent to the President turns things on its head. It will allow the President to lift sanctions on Iran, and unless Congress objects with a 2⁄3 vote . . . the President’s actions are allowed to stand. See the reversal? Formerly, the President needed a 2⁄3 vote to act, and now the Congress needs a 2⁄3 vote to stop him from acting” (quoted in “Forget Obama . . . Republicans Made the Iran Nukes Deal Possible,” American Thinker, July 15, 2015).
If that weren’t enough, secret side deals have been made part of the agreement that have been hidden from Congress and the public. John Kerry, when questioned before Congress about these, said that he had been briefed on them but had not seen them. And immediately after the agreement was announced, the White House and State Department rushed to get it approved at the UN Security Council long before the U.S. Congress had opportunity to review the deal, much less vote on it.
As Mark Levin observed on his program: “They ran this . . . thing to the UN Security Council, it’s already in place, and the secretary of state hasn’t seen the side deals. Which means the president of the United States is going all over the world saying, ‘If somebody has a better deal let’s see it’—they don’t even know what deal they have!
. . . The president of the United States and his secretary of state . . . committed our country, our future, our allies, to a deal where there are secret side deals that they didn’t even read . . . They have left the United States of America and our security open to nuclear war” (July 28, 2015).
The president has repeatedly argued that the alternative to this deal is war. Conservative radio host and author Dennis Prager answers: “The war argument is a falsehood. For three reasons.
“First, the alternative to this agreement was continuing and tightening the sanctions that were weakening the Iranian regime and greatly diminishing its ability to fund terror groups around the world. Second, because the agreement so strengthens Iran, it makes war far more likely. When evil, expansionist regimes get richer, they don’t spend their wealth on building new hospitals. They expand. Third, Iran has been at war with America for decades” (“The Nuclear Deal With Iran,” PragerUniversity.com, Aug. 3, 2015).
Even assuming the president is correct, his argument can be turned around to say that the alternative to a war to prevent Iran from developing nukes is this deal—an agreement that paves the way to further Iranian aggression and likely nuclear war!
God warned of national curses
These developments touch on Bible prophecy in a number of ways.
It would surprise many to learn that the tiny state of Israel and the Jewish people around the world do not constitute all the physical nation of Israel. As explained in our free study guide The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy, the ancient nation of Israel was split into two kingdoms —the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah.
The Jews are descendants of those of the southern kingdom. The tribes of the northern kingdom were taken captive by the Assyrians and later migrated into northwestern Europe. Among these, the descendants of the patriarch Joseph eventually formed the nation of Britain and the other nations that sprang from it, including the United States of America.
God had foretold blessings and national greatness for these nations. But He also warned of curses that would come on them for disobedience (see Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28).
For instance, God stated: “I will break the pride of your power” (Leviticus 26:19). America remains the strongest and most powerful nation in the world. But its resolve on the world scene has severely waned.
Many in American leadership appear ashamed of the idea of the country acting unilaterally if need be and believe American power should be constrained by and subordinate to the international community. Thus, a major part of national power being broken is America choosing unwise leaders —and, worse, in some cases leaders who seem opposed to the country’s long-held culture and values.
Helping to bring down America
Another curse God pronounces is “I will even appoint terror over you” (Leviticus 26:16, emphasis added throughout). This comes in various forms but surely one form is what is now actually called terrorism. This has already affected the nations descended from ancient Israel, but is certain to increase.
Iran has long been a supporter of Hezbollah and other Islamic terrorist groups. A huge problem is that if Iran is suffused with $150 billion as called for in the Iranian agreement, and economic sanctions imposed against Iran for its nuclear program are lifted, we can expect terrorism to increase greatly—particularly against Israel and “the Great Satan,” America.
Republican U.S. senator and presidential candidate Ted Cruz noted that in unfreezing Iran’s assets, the Obama administration will effectively become “the world’s leading financier of radical Islamic terrorism” (July 29, 2015). And he further affirmed, “When you send billions of dollars to Jihadists trying to kill Americans, you bear responsibility for the murder that they carry out with the money you have given them” (July 31).
God warned further of increasing natural calamities to befall the Israelites along with military attacks and invasion, with the people and their leaders in utter confusion. He says, “You shall be defeated by your enemies. Those who hate you shall reign over you, and you shall flee when no one pursues you” (Leviticus 26:17).
How can it come to this? It won’t all happen at once. There will be increasing problems, just as there were for ancient Israel before it was finally crushed and enslaved.
Then, horrifyingly, God foretells something like nuclear war or worse—with cities in America and other British-descended nations ravaged and destroyed. As Ezekiel 6:6 states, “In all your dwelling places the cities shall be laid waste.”
This is speaking ultimately of the all-out devastation of the period before Christ’s return that the Bible calls the Great Tribulation and “the time of Jacob’s [or Israel’s] trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7). While other nations will be behind this widespread devastation of the United States and its fellow English-speaking nations, Iran could well play a part in more localized nuclear destruction in the lead-up to this period—whether through direct attack or through terrorist proxies.
Iran might alternatively succeed in detonating a nuclear electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapon high above the United States that could knock out the electrical infrastructure over a huge part of the country. (Iran is thought to have conducted test runs for such an attack using cargo ships in the Caspian Sea.)
Such events, along with an increase in major natural disasters, could greatly weaken America, leading to its prophesied downfall in the time leading up to Jesus Christ’s return.
Iranian role in the march of end-time events?
Iran could also play a part in the rise of the end-time “king of the South” in the prophecy of Daniel 11. This chapter principally concerns an age-old conflict between powers to the north and south of the Holy Land (see our free study guide The Middle East in Bible Prophecy).
Historically, the kings of North and South were the rulers of ancient Syria and Egypt. The power to the north was eventually the Roman Empire and its revivals. Before Christ’s return, the end-time king of the South will attack an end-time king of the North (Daniel 11:40).
Some think this southern power will be Iran. But it seems more likely that this power will be seated again to the south of the Holy Land, perhaps in Egypt or Saudi Arabia. That would seem to tie in to a prophecy in Psalm 83 of an end-time Arab-Muslim confederation against Israel. Persia or Iran is not listed in this confederation.
Again, though, Iran could be a big factor in the rise of the final kingdom of the South. The Sunni Muslim nations of the region do not want to be under the control of a new Iranian Shiite Persian Empire. So Iran’s push toward nukes is driving other Middle Eastern states to pursue them as well. Saudi Arabia recently signed an agreement with France for two nuclear reactors, and Egypt and Turkey likely aren’t far behind.
In the book of Revelation, chapters 9 and 16 both mention powers east of the Euphrates River mobilizing for war in the end time, in the latter case coming to Megiddo in northern Israel before moving on to Jerusalem to fight the returning Jesus Christ. Given the empowerment Iran is currently receiving, it seems quite likely that it will be part of the forces mentioned here.
Something else to note about these chapters is that they show the various forces to be directed by demonic spirits. This reveals who’s really running the show behind the scenes—demonic powers led by Satan the devil.
It should also be pointed out that Persia (Iran) is mentioned as part of the Gog-Magog alliance in Ezekiel 38-39, of which Russia, India and China are apparently also a part. Many think that this is a prophecy of an invasion of the Holy Land by these nations prior to the return of Christ. But as it occurs when Israel is dwelling in peace with no defensive walls, a time soon after Christ’s coming better fits this prophecy (see bible.ucg.org/bible-commentary/Ezekiel/Future-invasion-of-Israel-by-Gog-of-Magog/).
Still, we might expect to see this alliance developing in some respects even prior to Christ’s return—and perhaps be the same as the eastern powers in Revelation. Indeed, Russia is allied with Iran even today. The present Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) includes the nations listed in Ezekiel’s prophecy. And Russia is promoting its new Eurasian Economic Union as a counterweight to the European Union.
The current deal can facilitate closer integration between these powers. In pointing out that lifting sanctions and the embargo on Iran, a terrorist state, makes no sense, Allen West states: “Of the P5+1 nations [involved in the agreement], it’s China and Russia who are supporting these conditions—wonder why? Imagine a collusion between Russia, China and Iran when it comes to energy security.
“There’ll be an incredible run on oil and natural gas. And if Russia were to supply the S-300 anti-aircraft weapon system to Iran in exchange for oil shipments—then we have a new world axis developing. And China will be more than happy to accommodate and use those energy resources as well.”
For now we appear to be left with this highly dangerous deal with Iran that seems likely to go into effect. Even if it doesn’t, Iran will be moving toward developing nuclear weapons nonetheless. The desire of the mullahs ruling Iran is to instigate a global apocalypse to usher in the coming of one they call “the 12th Imam,” whom they believe will establish Islam in its rightful place of dominance over in the world.
There is really no way to successfully negotiate with such people. Whatever they agree to is merely to buy time to prepare for the needed world conflagration.
You as an individual will not be able to affect the deal or how it is implemented directly. But there is something you can and must do—seek the God of heaven! Only He, through His Son Jesus Christ, will ultimately bring lasting peace to earth. We must be praying for those in authority (1 Timothy 2:1-2). And we must pray for His help to continue to personally grow in His way, keeping the vision of His coming Kingdom before us (Matthew 6:33).
In the meantime, there is much to grieve over—even if the agreement is stopped. In the words of John Podhoretz at Commentary magazine: “This is an infamous day, and while those of us who see Iran’s nuclearization as the threshold threat for the rest of the 21st century will not be silent and will not give up the fight against it, it is appropriate to take a moment to despair that we—the United States and the West—have come to this” (“Iran Deal: The Right to Despair,” July 14, 2015).
Thankfully we know the end of the story. But the world will see great darkness before it’s over.