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The Pope, Iraq, the Iranian Nuclear Deal and the Abraham Accords
The Political Messages of the Papal Visit to Iraq
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March 7, 2021 - Audio, 13.26 MIN
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Pope Francis’ visit to the Middle East comes at a time when the region has been dramatically reshaped. At a critical time for Iraq, for Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States. Francis’ visit is presented as an effort to support Iraq’s struggling Christian community  and with a message of peace and tolerance for the region. However, the visit has powerful political messages.
The Roman Catholic Church is unique among the religions of the world as it is a political power based in the Vatican State and is heavily engaged in the politics of nations. For example, it has played a central role in the shaping of the European Union and worked with the United States to bring down the Soviet Union.

The Inherent Sinfulness of Human Government

The Bible teaches that mankind is naturally evil and sinful. Jesus taught that, “...from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.” (Mark 7:21-23) Jeremiah taught that, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) The governments of this world are a collection of individuals who are of the flesh. Therefore the governments of this world are corrupt and the politics of this world are corrupt. A true follower of Christ will not be involved in politics. To be involved in the corrupt politics of this world would be unfaithful to Christ, and therefore spiritual fornication. Revelation 17:2 says of the great whore, "With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.”

The Iranian Nuclear Deal

The Vatican has always had diplomatic relations with the Iranian regime. These relations have included state visits. In 1999, John Paul II met with Iranian President of the time, Mohammad Khatami at the Vatican. Khatami was a Muslim Shiite theologian. In 2016 the Iranian president Hassan Rouhani had a state visit to the Vatican. Shortly before that visit, in 2015 Francis gave his backing to the Iranian nuclear deal.

Iran was part of former president George Bush’s “Axis of Evil”. In 2018 President Trump pulled out of the Iranian nuclear deal, which had been negotiated by President Obama. When the American administration under President Trump pulled out of the deal he made the following statement. It is worth reading as a reminder of the flaws in the Iranian nuclear deal.

"In theory, the so-called "Iran deal" was supposed to protect the United States and our allies from the lunacy of an Iranian nuclear bomb, a weapon that will only endanger the survival of the Iranian regime. In fact, the deal allowed Iran to continue enriching uranium and, over time, reach the brink of a nuclear breakout.

"The deal lifted crippling economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for very weak limits on the regime's nuclear activity, and no limits at all on its other malign behavior, including its sinister activities in Syria, Yemen, and other places all around the world.

"In other words, at the point when the United States had maximum leverage, this disastrous deal gave this regime -- and it's a regime of great terror -- many billions of dollars, some of it in actual cash -- a great embarrassment to me as a citizen and to all citizens of the United States.

"A constructive deal could easily have been struck at the time, but it wasn't. At the heart of the Iran deal was a giant fiction that a murderous regime desired only a peaceful nuclear energy program.

"Today, we have definitive proof that this Iranian promise was a lie. Last week, Israel published intelligence documents long concealed by Iran, conclusively showing the Iranian regime and its history of pursuing nuclear weapons.

"The fact is this was a horrible, one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made. It didn’t bring calm, it didn’t bring peace, and it never will.

"In the years since the deal was reached, Iran’s military budget has grown by almost 40 percent, while its economy is doing very badly. After the sanctions were lifted, the dictatorship used its new funds to build nuclear-capable missiles, support terrorism, and cause havoc throughout the Middle East and beyond.

"The agreement was so poorly negotiated that even if Iran fully complies, the regime can still be on the verge of a nuclear breakout in just a short period of time. The deal's sunset provisions are totally unacceptable. If I allowed this deal to stand, there would soon be a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. Everyone would want their weapons ready by the time Iran had theirs.

"Making matters worse, the deal’s inspection provisions lack adequate mechanisms to prevent, detect, and punish cheating, and don't even have the unqualified right to inspect many important locations, including military facilities.

"Not only does the deal fail to halt Iran’s nuclear ambitions, but it also fails to address the regime’s development of ballistic missiles that could deliver nuclear warheads.”

It is thought that this nuclear deal had the goal of controlling Iran’s nuclear weapons program rather than stopping it. A controlled nuclear weapons program could bring a balance of power to the Middle East and bring peace, it was thought. This thinking ignored Iran’s openly declared goal of destroying the state of Israel, supporting terrorism and their proxies, such as the terrorist group Hezbollah. The Vatican however, openly supported the nuclear deal with Iran and gave it diplomatic backing.

The Papal Visit and Shia Islam.

The Middle East is largely divided between Shia and Sunni Islam. Iran is 90% Shia and Iraq is 63% Shia. Iran’s proxy Hezbollah is also Shite. Francis’ visit contained an historic meeting with the head of the Shia Islamic establishment, the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, one of the most influential religious authorities in the Muslim world. In an opinion piece on NBC, Iraq analysit, Hayder al-Khoei, said:

"Although the meeting is a brief one, I believe its impact will be felt across the Middle East. The Shia Islamic world is divided between a mainstream, Iraq-based school of Islam that believes there should be a separation of church and state and a revolutionary, Iran-based school that believes in theocracy. The meeting with the pope represents international and interreligious recognition of the mainstream Iraq-based Shia school.”

To an Iraqi who understands all the intricacies of the Muslim world, the pope gave his backing to one school of Shia Islam. This is the faction the Vatican would like to see dominate the Shia Muslim world. However, to those throughout the world less versed in the politics of Shia Islam, the pope simply just elevated Shia Islam. In effect he said, in order to have “peace" in the Middle East we need to engage with Shia Islam and the country which more than any other embodies Shia Islam — Iran.

The Abraham Accords.

The Abraham accords were a massive peace agreement that the Vatican had nothing to do with. In fact, they upended the Vatican’s objectives in the region. The Vatican doesn’t support any kind of peace. It supports what they call a “just peace”. This is a peace that supports what the Vatican believes is a peace based on justice — the Vatican’s justice — or the Vatican’s objectives. For example a “just peace” in Israel, wouldn’t be a peace based on justice, if it didn’t include some kind of sovereignty for the Church over it’s holy places. This is why Catholic sanctioned partition plans for the land of Israel include a "Corpus separatum” or internationalisation for Jerusalem and it’s environs. The former leader of the PLO, the terrorist Yasser Arafat, was a frequent visitor to the Vatican. The Vatican hoped to achieve a “just peace” and achieve its goals through him. These goals failed, the second intifada of terror against Israel failed and now the “two state solution” has failed. The Vatican has not achieved her objectivies in the Middle East in regards to Israel and her “holy places” there. The “Abraham Accords”, which normalize peace with Israel and the Arab world, without the “two state solution” are another nail in the coffin of the Vatican’s objectives. So the Vatican is turning more to the Shia Muslim world in Iran and Iraq as a way of achieving her objectives.

Francis visits Ur of the Chaldees, the birth place of Abraham.

While visiting Ur, Francis, referring to the journey of Abraham said, "We are the fruits of that call and that journey.” By this statement, Francis laid claim to the legacy and faith of Abraham. Strikingly however, Francis did not speak of the promises made to Abraham, that Abraham’s children would inherit the land of Israel, or that Israel would possess the gate of their enemies, or that Abraham would inherit the land of Israel for an everlasting possession. He did not mention that the faith of Abraham was a faith in those precious promises. Abraham was called out of Ur. God is calling us out of this world into the faith of Abraham. If Francis was a follower of Abraham, he wouldn’t be engaged in the politics of this world. Rather than bringing together all people with many beliefs, he would leave all the religions of this world behind in the dust of Ur as did Abraham. Jesus would say, " If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham.” If the Roman Pontiff is not Abraham’s children he represents a false religion, one which does in fact have roots in Babylon. Revelation 17:5 "And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH."

The visit of the Roman Pope to Ur of the Chaldees, and a claim to be of the fruits of Abraham’s journey and a papal call for peace, is a challenge to the “Abraham Accords” of which the Catholic Church did not play a part. In fact all those in front of the Ziggurat of Ur with the Roman Pope were not part of the Abraham Accords. This is a clear message, which in effect says, you can’t have peace without us and amounts to a rejection of the Abraham Accords.

All the peace plans of the Papacy will fail and will lead to the attempt to forcibly take the “holy places” of the land of Israel and enforce a “just peace”. Ezekiel 38 verse 5 says that, "Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya” will be with them, when they come down like a cloud to cover the land.

The days are short. Soon to those who have been faithful in the true faith of Abraham, a call will be made to come out!
Matthew 25:6, "Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.”

Come back next week God willing to - this has been David Billington with you.

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