Few would argue that the situation that is developing in the Middle East is anything other than grave. I suspect fewer would be able to say what is going on although I suspect a number, especially from the camp I associate with – followers of Bible prophecy, might pontificate how it all might turn out, and in the short / medium term at least it will be bad. I defy anyone to definitively interpret events and, moreover, I would argue the battle is essentially spiritual.
The background to this latest entry into the blogosphere is my e-book “Israel and the Middle East”, where I have already reflected in the place of Iran and Israel in current world events and where we might expect all this will lead. The fact that the two nations are at loggerheads and sworn enemies is hardly disputed and recent events reinforce this. When Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, dramatically provided evidence that Iran had lied when it stated it had stopped their nuclear program, it came as no surprise. Where there is speculation is concerning the motive and expectation behind making these statements and what will happen next.
There is no doubt that the USA is a key player in what will happen next. There is a stark contrast between the Obama and Trump administrations concerning their approaches thus far and what could be expected. It was under Obama that a deal was brokered whereby in order to become less aggressive, including stopping its nuclear weapons program, the USA would pay Iran considerable sums of money (some estimate it could be over $100 billion). Some Obama watchers believe the delivery and purpose was a lot more sinister and duplicitous, and it was part of a plot to destabilize the Middle East and promote globalism (the jury here is out). Moreover, Obama was no friend of Israel. Then comes along Trump, who is a friend of Israel, and announces he is going to back out of the deal his predecessor made with Iran. Moreover, he courts Saudi Arabia (who is becoming increasingly friendly toward Israel), a sworn enemy of Iran. One may rightly inquire what is going on?
While I am opposed to a lot of what Obama did regarding the Middle East, I am not altogether supportive of Trump either. His being persuaded by the Neo-cons and ever present hidden hand to launch strikes against Syria on the spurious basis that its President, Bashar al-Assad, had (once again) used chemical weapons on its own people, was a mistake. I like it that he is pro Israel in the way Obama was anti, but he needs to learn to be a critical friend. He being forced by his friend Bibi to take further action on the basis of these recent revelations should be resisted in favour of a more measured response. What we are seeing now, regarding Syria, is an alignment of powers, which reminds me somewhat of what took place just prior to World War 1. Syria is backed by Russia and Iran (and one might add China and Turkey) and opposed by Israel, USA and Saudi (and one might add Britain and France). At this time, what is needed is a de-escalation of tensions rather than all out World War 3. It should be added that while Iran have supported militant groups like Hamas, Israel with USA backing has supported groups in the region seeking to overthrow Assad, and this includes ISIS. As for Saudi Arabia, who knows how many ‘bad guys’ they have supported in the past, and to what extent they have mended their ways. The situation as I say is complicated and there are many gaps still to be filled in, with a lot more still to be revealed.
No doubts there will be many more developments in the exciting days we are currently living in, some of which few if any will have predicted. I conclude, not knowing quite how to conclude, but glad that by writing what I wrote I have got something of my chest that has been bugging me and I may have enlightened and encouraged a few who take the words of Jesus serious, i.e. to watch and pray, and be able to add that God is sovereign and Jesus’ legacy to us is Peace.
Update 08/05/18: Unsurprisingly, we learn today: “US President Donald Trump says he will withdraw the US from an Obama-era nuclear agreement with Iran“. Some will see this as a high risk strategy, which it probably is, but my gut feeling it was a bad deal, it is the right decision and a kick in the teeth to insidious globalist aspirations, and my hope the longer term consequence is the type of peace deal we look like seeing with North Korea, but what do I know other than that I serve God Almighty and I must watch and pray.
Update 10/05/18: If there were any doubt that the antipathy between Iran and Israel was going to intensify then today’s report: “ISRAEL SHELLED Iran bombards Israel with ’20 rockets’ after Damascus is hit by air strikes and Trump scraps nuclear deal – The Israeli army claim ’20 rockets’ were fired by Iranian Quds Force at their defensive line in the Golan Heights near Syria’s southern border” should dispel such doubts. What happens next, how this will pan out in world events as well as between these two nations, taking a more measured approach to the USA backing out of the “Iran deal”, the relative merits of Trump’s unique approach to foreign policy, which is also very pro-Israel, and whether we are seeing Ezekiel 37-39 prophecy being fulfilled are questions we look forward to seeing answers to and will soon.