The American-Iranian Nuclear deal has brought strong criticism from Israel and the Arab states. Israel sees it as a threat to its existence. One of the outcomes has been the development of closer ties between the Arab states, answering to "Sheba and Dedan" of Ezekiel, and also the development of better relationships with Israel.
Headlines this week revolved around the historic agreement between the USA and Iran regarding the nuclear agreement.
President Obama proudly took the podium brag about his “peace in our time” nuclear agreement. Here are some of the excerpts of his deal:
Today, the United States -- together with our allies and partners -- has reached a historic understanding with Iran, which, if fully implemented, will prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon…. I am convinced that if this framework leads to a final, comprehensive deal, it will make our country, our allies, and our world safer.
Today, after many months of tough, principled diplomacy, we have achieved the framework for that deal. And it is a good deal, a deal that meets our core objectives. This framework would cut off every pathway that Iran could take to develop a nuclear weapon. Iran will face strict limitations on its program, and Iran has also agreed to the most robust and intrusive inspections and transparency regime ever negotiated for any nuclear program in history. So this deal is not based on trust, it’s based on unprecedented verification.
Many key details will be finalized over the next three months, and nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed. But here are the basic outlines of the deal that we are working to finalize.
First, Iran will not be able to pursue a bomb using plutonium, because it will not develop weapons-grade plutonium. The core of its reactor at Arak will be dismantled and replaced. The spent fuel from that facility will be shipped out of Iran for the life of the reactor. Iran will not build a new heavy-water reactor. And Iran will not reprocess fuel from its existing reactors -- ever.
Second, this deal shuts down Iran’s path to a bomb using enriched uranium. Iran has agreed that its installed centrifuges will be reduced by two-thirds. Iran will no longer enrich uranium at its Fordow facility. Iran will not enrich uranium with its advanced centrifuges for at least the next 10 years. The vast majority of Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium will be neutralized….
Third, this deal provides the best possible defense against Iran’s ability to pursue a nuclear weapon covertly -- that is, in secret. International inspectors will have unprecedented access not only to Iranian nuclear facilities, but to the entire supply chain that supports Iran’s nuclear program -- from uranium mills that provide the raw materials, to the centrifuge production and storage facilities that support the program. If Iran cheats, the world will know it. If we see something suspicious, we will inspect it. Iran’s past efforts to weaponize its program will be addressed. With this deal, Iran will face more inspections than any other country in the world.
The ongoing failure of Obama to deal with Iran was made evident in an article in the New York Times, (April 3, 2015), commenting on the negotiations and the agreements that came out of them:
But as the talks hit one deadline after another, the administration had to compromise more. Instead of maintaining strict limits throughout the life of a 15-year accord, for example, it began to talk about keeping the toughest limits — the ones that would extend to a year the time Iran needed to produce enough nuclear material for a bomb — in place for at least 10 years….
The growth of the Iranian nuclear project has been substantial since Obama has been in office, the article stated:
“Iran had a few hundred working centrifuges in 2003, thousands when Mr. Obama took over and 19,000 now.”
Israel is extremely concerned with this agreement. This is why Netanyahu came to address the congress a few weeks prior to the Israeli election, much to the chagrin of Obama.
Netanyahu gave Israel’s response to Obama’s agreement. It is clear and reasonable:
his deal would pose a grave danger to the region and to the world and would threaten the very survival of the state of Israel. The deal would not shut down a single nuclear facility in Iran, would not destroy a single centrifuge in Iran, and would not stop R&D on Iran’s advanced centrifuges. On the contrary, the deal would legitimize Iran’s illegal nuclear program, it would leave Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure. The deal would lift sanctions almost immediately, and this the very time when Iran is stepping up its aggression and terror in the region and beyond the region. In a few years the deal would remove the restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program, enabling Iran to have a massive enrichment capacity that it could use to produce many nuclear bombs within a matter of months. The deal would greatly bolster Iran’s economy. It would give Iran, thereby, tremendous means to propel its aggression and terrorism throughout the Middle East. Such a deal does not block Iran’s path to the bomb, such a deal paves Iran’s path to the bomb. And it might very well spark a nuclear arms race throughout the Middle East, and it might greatly increase the risks of terrible war. Now some say that the only alternative to this bad deal is war. That is not true. There is a third alternative. Standing firm, increasing the pressure on Iran, until a good deal is achieved.
And finally, let me say one more thing. Iran is a regime that openly calls for Israel’s destruction and openly and actively works toward that end. Just two days ago, in the midst of the negotiations in Losan, the commander of the besieged security forces in Iran said this: “The destruction of Israel is non-negotiable.” Well I want to make clear to all, the survival of Israel is non-negotiable. Israel will not accept an agreement which allows a company which vows to annihilate us to develop nuclear weapons… period. In addition, Israel demands that any final agreement with Iran will include a clear and unambiguous Iranian commitment of Israel’s right to exist.”
Obviously Israel cannot accept an agreement with a country that is wanting to maintain a nuclear program, while at the same time vowing to annihilate it.
Another Israel official, Mark Regev, spokesperson for the Israeli Prime Minister likened the deal to the former US deal with North Korea:
“We see th
is deal as very dangerous. We say this deal is a move in the wrong direction. If this framework actually becomes the basis, the foundation for a final deal with Iran, we see this like the deal with North Korea. You'll recall in the 1990s North Korea signed a deal, they committed themselves to non-proliferation, kept their nuclear program intact and when ready they proliferated, they exploded a nuclear device. Today, they threaten east Asia. Iran is much, much more dangerous than North Korea.”
Where the Arab Nations will stand
Not only Israel is concerned. The Arab states in the Saudi Arabian peninsular are terrified of Iran and are moving to protect themselves.
The alliances that are forming in the Middle East line up precisely with the picture of Bible Prophecy. The Bible clearly shows who is with the King of the North of Daniel 11, also known as Gog in Ezekiel 38:2,6.
“Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, prince of Rosh, [RSV] Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him… Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.”
This is not our subject under consideration today, but these nations comprise Russia and the nations of Central Europe (Magog) along with France and Germany (Gomer).
Allied with them are (v5):
“Persia (Iran), Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet.”
The Biblical prophetical prediction is becoming evident in news. In an interview in Damascus this past week, (March 27, 2015), reported by Yahoo News under the headline, “Russia, Iran, Syria share the same vision”, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad stated about the war in his country:
“It's not only about Syria…. it’s about the future of the world. They want to be a great power that has their own say in the future of this world… they want stability, and a political solution. Syria and Iran and Russia see eye to eye regarding this conflict.”
Syria was part of the Assyrian-Babylonian Empire that made up the head of gold in Nebuchadnezzar’s image. Following it was the chest and arms of silver of the Persian Empire (Iran), and finally Russia the clay in the Feet of iron and clay which will be broken in pieces together as is stated by Daniel 2:
“Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.” (Daniel 2:35)
So all the elements of the image have to be confederated together in the latter day in order to be broken together.
However, there is also the “King of the South” powerbase spoken of in Daniel 11, and reflected in Ezekiel 38:
“Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?” (Ezekiel 38:13)
Many Bible Magazines, and Bible in the News articles have identified Tarshish the British and its former colonies including American, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India etc.
But there is also the “Sheba and Dedan” element. Sheba and Dedan were both descendants of Abraham through Keturah after the death of Sarah:
“Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah. And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah. And Jokshan begat Sheba, and Dedan…” (Genesis 25:1–3)
Ancient Sheba covered the territory of Yemen, and it was from here that the Queen of Sheba came to visit King Solomon. Dedan spread itself across Saudi Arabia, as is noted by Isaiah 21:13:
“The burden upon Arabia. In the forest in Arabia shall ye lodge, O ye travelling companies of Dedanim.” (Isaiah 21:13)
These true “Arab nations” were also merchant traders:
“The men of Dedan were thy merchants; many isles were the merchandise of thine hand: they brought thee for a present horns of ivory and ebony.” (Ezekiel 27:15)
“Dedan was thy merchant in precious clothes for chariots.” (Ezekiel 27:20)
“The merchants of Sheba and Raamah, they were thy merchants: they occupied in thy fairs with chief of all spices, and with all precious stones, and gold.” (Ezekiel 27:22)
At the time of the end they are confederate with the merchant nations of Tarshish and its independent young lions.
The Arab nations Response
What is very interesting in the fallout from the Iran-USA deal is the confederation of nations forming in the Saudi Arabian Peninsula. The Southern Arab states have been quick to criticize this deal between the USA and Iran. Obama was quick to call for a meeting of key Arab leaders at Camp David to try to placate them. In his speech he stated:
Today, I also spoke with the King of Saudi Arabia to reaffirm our commitment to the security of our partners in the Gulf. And I’m inviting the leaders of the six countries who make up the Gulf Cooperation Council -- Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Bahrain -- to meet me at Camp David this spring to discuss how we can further strengthen our security cooperation, while resolving the multiple conflicts that have caused so much hardship and instability throughout the Middle East.
One of the outcomes of the agreement between the USA and Iran has been a need for the Arab nations to work more closely with each other.
This past week has seen violence flare up in Yemen, as it has been under attack from the Houthi rebels, who have been backed by Iran.
Yemen, the ancient Sheba of Ezekiel 38’s prophecy is under pressure to become an Iranian proxy. Saudi Arabia, for its own security reasons, has intervened and is bombing the rebels and in the words of a Russia Today headline, “Saudi Arabia airstrikes pave way for ground invasion of Yemen.”
This past week the National Interest Magazine posted an article under the headline, “Saudi Arabia's Plan to Transform the Middle East,” which stated of Saudi Arabia:
“Between restructuring some of the country’s most important political and economic institutions and launching an unprecedented, large-scale military operation in a neighboring country on the verge of a civil war, we could be witnessing the beginning of a completely new Saudi way of thinking.”
The article went to state:
“A philosophical divergence, rather than tactical differences has emerged between Saudi Arabia and the United States over the past two years. That divergence led Saudi officials to warn about a “major shift” in how Saudi Arabia sees its relations with the United States. Saudis have begun to write about the need to develop their own military capability to deter any threat to their security, without having to rely on the United States whose priorities and commitments seemed to have changed significantly under President Obama.”
This shift will help build a “Dedan” that is able to offer a resistance in Ezekiel 38, along with the Merchant’s of Tarshish. It may also be one of the factors that brings peace into the middle east.
The New York Times, in an article entitled “Arab World Adjusts to Shift in U.S.-Iran Relations,” stated the following:
As Tehran and its clients around the Arab world celebrated the accord as a triumph of Iranian resolve, Saudi Arabia and its allies declared that the agreement had only reinforced their determination to push back against Iranian influence, with or without Washington. On the front lines of battles with Iranian proxies in Syria and Lebanon, some cried betrayal.
“The Saudi king decided his country could no longer bear the provocative Iranian expansive policy in the Middle East, or the American silence over it,” wrote Jamal Khashoggi, a veteran Saudi journalist and former government adviser, in a commentary this week on what he called “the Salman doctrine.”
The New York Times reported, the concern with the agreement, as expressed by a Saudi diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, is:
“things did not change, the agreement addresses one aspect but not the whole issue of Iranian expansionism.”
The article reported the dire concern of the Saudi’s and other Arab states with Iran’s involvement in the region:
In Syria, where Iran has sustained President Bashar al-Assad in a proxy war against mostly Sunni Muslim rebels backed by the Persian Gulf monarchies, many in the opposition denounced the deal as a betrayal of Mr. Obama’s stated support for their cause.
Monzer Akbik, a representative of the Syrian opposition coalition in exile, said that the lifting of sanctions on Tehran would mean more cash to support Mr. Assad:
“If the news we’re hearing is true, that $150 billion in Iranian deposits will be released from banks soon, this will help Assad a lot,” he said. “We fully object to any agreements signed at the expense of Syria.”
Russia is trying to keep its claws in the thick of what is going on in the Middle East, as is evidenced by the letter Putin sent to Arab leaders, read by Egyptian President al-Sissi at a gathering of Arab leaders in Egypt this past weekend. The letter stated:
"We support Arab nations in their effort to ensure a safe future and urge them to resolve all emerging challenges peacefully without any foreign involvement…”
The response from the Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal accused Russia of hypocrisy:
"He speaks about the problems in the Middle East as though Russia is not influencing these problems…"
So there is a clear division between Arab states who are supported and supporting Iran and Russia and those who are siding with America and, surprisingly Israel.
One of the changes in with Saudi Arabia has been it’s relationship with Israel. Israel’s channel 2 News station reported:
“The Saudis have declared their readiness for the Israeli Air Force to overfly Saudi air space en route to attack Iran if an attack is necessary.”
Russia Today reported at the end of February:
“Israel’s Mossad and Saudi officials were said to be working on contingency plans that could have included an attack on Iran if its nuclear program was not curbed enough, according to a report. It was also revealed that the Saudis were willing to assist an Israeli attack by cooperating with the use of drones, rescue helicopters, and tanker planes.
So while the world contorts its policies to meet its own needs the angels are at work in bringing about the necessary moves that will set the stage for the great day of God Almighty, and the Kingdom of God in Israel that will be established as the outcome.
This has been Jonathan Bowen joining you for the Bible in the News.