The Geneva Accord Leaves Israel out on a Limb
Iran get everything and gives nothing?
November 28, 2013 - Audio, 11.00 MIN
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"What was concluded in Geneva last night is not a historic agreement, it's a historic mistake. It's not made the world a safer place. Like the agreement with North Korea in 2005, this agreement has made the world a much more dangerous place. I know that many share the concern of Israel, especially in the region and there is a reason for this. For years the international community has demanded that Iran cease all uranium enrichment. Now, for the first time, the international community has formally consented that Iran continue its enrichment of uranium. This is in direct contravention of UN security resolutions. Iran is taking only cosmetic steps which it could reverse easily within a few weeks, and in return, sanctions that took years to put in place are going to be eased. Iran is going to receive billions of dollars worth of sanctions release. So the pressures on Iran are being lifted and eased, and with this pressure this first step could very well be the last step. Without continued pressure, what incentive does the Iranian regime have to take serious steps that actually dismantle its nuclear weapons capability? Why would it dismantle the centrifuges and plutonium rectors? None of this is covered in the agreement. They are left in tact. So Israel is not bound by this agreement. We cannot and will not allow a regime which calls for the destruction of Israel, to obtain the means to achieve this goal. We will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapons capability. Israel has many friends and allies but when they are mistaken, it is my obligation to speak out clearly and openly and say so. It is my solemn responsibility to protect and defend the one and only Jewish state..."
This was the reaction of Benjamin Netenyahu, Israel's Prime Minister, after world powers agreed to what has become known as the "Geneva Accord" signed at 4am last Sunday 24th November. The agreement permits Iran to continue to develop its nuclear capabilities for the first time and was made with the so called "P5+1": the United States, Great Britain, France, China and Russia along with Germany.
Why were there Sanctions against Iran?
Much of the media and politicians in the western world have heralded the deal as a positive step towards world peace. However Israel responded disparagingly. What the western media seems to have failed to report on is why? Why are Israel so enraged? Why were there sanctions against Iran in the first place?
After the Islamic revolution in Iran of 1979 that overthrew the Shah of Iran, the new Islamic republic, led by Shite Muslim Clerics, saw Israel as an illegitimate state with no right to exist - certainly not amongst Muslim nations. Iran was also very antagonistic at that time against the west - with the new leader, Khomeini, declaring that the U.S. was the "Great Satan." During the revolution, the Islamic revolutionists famously stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, holding 52 Americans for 444 days. This led to the U.S. halting diplomatic relations with Iran.
Throughout the 1990's both the U.S. and Israel accused Iran of sponsoring various terrorist attacks against them. Although hostile toward one another, Israel and Iran continued relatively peacefully. This was mainly due to them having a common enemy - Iraq. However, since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, Iran has turned its spotlight on Israel.
In 2005, President Ahmadinejad was elected in Iran. Ahmadinejad publicly denied the Holocaust, and was even quoted as saying he believed Israel should be "wiped off the map". He frequently called for the elimination of Israel, a key ally of the U.S.
This drove the U.S. to rally international support against Iran's nuclear activity, causing international sanctions to be put in place which have crippled Iran's economy. These began in 2006.
This all really originated around Iran's hatred of Israel.
However, with the election of a more moderate President, Hassan Rouhani back in August, Iran has made efforts to open up negotiations with America and European countries, leading to this deal. Tensions between Iran and the U.S. and Europe have eased. However Israel still have major concerns and rightly so.
Even during the negotiations in Geneva, Iran's Supreme Leader -Khamenei publicly insulted Israel in Tehran. He was reported to have said Israeli officials "cannot be even called humans" and referred to Netanyahu as "the rabid dog of the region."
Naftali Bennett, Israeli Minister of Trade and Industry said: "If in five years, a nuclear suitcase explodes in New York or Madrid, it will be because of the agreement that was signed this morning."
One nation which has always supported Iran's nuclear programme is Russia. The deal was described almost as a victory for Russia who has long been working with Iran to help them with their Nuclear development. Russia's Vladimir Putin said after the deal was struck "A breakthrough step has been made, but only the first on a long and difficult path. As the result of talks...we managed to get closer to untying one of the most difficult knots in world politics". Once again we see Russia's influence in world politics, as it seeks to help the interests of its allies and once again we see the world falling in line with Russia's view of things.
A New Shift In Middle East Alliances
The Israeli ambassador to the U.K. -Daniel Taub was reported by the Independent newspaper to have said:
"If you look at the region you see this very radical axis that runs from Tehran to Damascus to Beirut and actually on to Gaza, and I think that we are not alone [in being worried] about it... There are many countries that look on these issues and it’s a reminder that if we can rise above some of our immediate differences and paradigms we actually have an awful lot in common, many of our most fundamental strategic concerns are actually aligned, and of course we would be interested in trying to deepen relationships on that basis.”
He's talking here about the Gulf States who are also very concerned about Irans nuclear capabilities For the Biblical significance of these new shifting regional alliances which are beginning to be formed in the Middle East, between Israel and its Sunni Arab neighbours in the Gulf, please see last week's Bible in the News.
Bible Prophecy & Iran
So - why is all this interesting about Iran and how is this the Bible in the News? Well Iran is mentioned as "Persia" in the latter day prophecy of Ezekiel 38:5. This chapter records that "Persia" (Iran) will be in an alliance with European and North African nations - headed up by Russia. This alliance invades Israel from the north.
How amazing it is then, when we see relations between countries starting to move in line with Bible predictions. The west has again demonstrated that it is moving more inline with Russia's world view. Indeed the prophetic jigsaw puzzle is slowly coming together and will be completed when the Lord Jesus Christ returns to the earth to save Israel and re-establish God's Kingdom.
God will save his people
It is this point that Benjamin Netenyahu simply fails to recognise. In the clip we played at the start you may have noted him saying "It is my solemn responsibility to protect and defend the one and only Jewish state...". Many in Israel trust in him to do just this but the Jewish people would do far better to trust in the God of their ancestors and to seek His mercy. As a nation we know from the Bible that soon a time of tribulation such as never was will befall them. It would be far better for individuals within the nation to turn to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who is in control of world affairs and to seek His truth and mercy.
Psalm 115 declares: "O Israel, trust thou in Yahweh (the LORD): he is their help and their shield."
The question for us all is do we trust in Him? The living God.
This has been Matt Davies joining you. Join us again next week God Willing for another Bible in the News.
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