Iran has been pretty bellicose lately, daring to threaten nations and assume power it does not have. Two weeks ago Iran threatened the United States by telling the USS John C. Stennis aircraft carrier to leave the Strait of Hormuz and not come back. That was pretty startling to hear. Stennis's tour was up and they were about to leave anyway, relieved by the USS Carl Vinson, but Stennis did an about-face in the Arabian sea and there it is to this day. Iran also threatened to close the Strait, but that was an overstep because it is Iran and Oman whose territorial waters extend into the Strait. I wonder what Oman thinks about their neighbor's threat to close waters upon which Oman depends.
Now Iran warns Gulf states not to compensate for oil shortfalls after Western sanctions
"Iran has warned its Gulf neighbors to not compensate for any shortfall in its oil exports after it has been hit with Western sanctions, the Iranian OPEC representative said on Sunday. “If the oil producing nations on the Persian Gulf decide to substitute Iran’s oil, then they will be held responsible for what happens,” Mohammad Ali Khatibi was quoted as saying by Sharq newspaper. “We would not consider these actions to be friendly,” Khatibi added."
He was really speaking about Saudi Arabia not making up the shortfall...
"Sanctions have been imposed on Iran when European Union countries agreed in principle to embargo imports of Iranian oil as part of the latest Western efforts to step up heat on Tehran. These countries will look to other oil exporters to increase output to make up for the shortfall and Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said on Saturday his country was ready to meet any increase in consumer countries’ demand. Iran is the second-largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries cartel, after Saudi Arabia which currently exports some 6.2 million barrels per day (bpd) and has an output of about 3.5 million bpd, according to OPEC estimates."
So not only is Iran threatening Israel, not only is Iran threatening the West, now they are throwing their weight around to their neighbors, their brothers in the Arab League.
Maybe Iran feels safe enough to do that because Russia is their new best friend.
Russia: 'An attack on Iran is an attack on Moscow'
"Russia has given Iran its bear hug and warns Israel and the West that an attack on Tehran would be considered an attack on Moscow. The threat heightens the prospect of World War III in the event of a military strike on Iran. “Iran is our neighbor,” Russia's outgoing ambassador to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, told reporters in Brussels. “And if Iran is involved in any military action, it’s a direct threat to our security.”
Neighbors? Not in the geographic sense. Two nations are between them, Georgia and Azerbaijan. Moscow is 1600 miles from Tehran.
Maybe Russia is still thinking Georgia and Azerbaijan are still part of the old Soviet Union. Yeah, that's it.
On the map, look for Israel. See how tiny it is. See all the looming geography surrounding that tiny nation, the size of New Jersey. They ALL want her wiped out. In this Al Jazeera article, we see the quotes again about wiping Israel out. "The Islamic Republic of Iran has a solid history of tough talk, but it has escalated its provocative rhetoric in recent months. Sardar Mohamad Reza Naghdi, the commander of the Basij armed group, has said his organisation is "counting the moments" and waiting for an excuse to "put an end to the Zionist agenda".
But that's not news. Psalm 83:2-4 tells us this exactly:
"For behold, Your enemies make a tumult;
And those who hate You have lifted up their head.
They have taken crafty counsel against Your people,
And consulted together against Your sheltered ones.
They have said, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation,
That the name of Israel may be remembered no more.”
In that same Al Jazeera article, the question is asked,
"What is motivating Iran's tough talk of enriching uranium and shutting down a major global oil chokepoint?" Why all this ramped up rhetoric? Here is what has gone down recently:
--September 2010 the Stuxnet computer virus attacked Iran's nuclear power plant in Bushehr.
--December, a high-altitude stealth reconnaissance drone was downed in Iran, and images of the drone were broadcast on Iranian TV with banners hanging off of its wings which read: "We'll crush America underfoot" and "US can't mess with us".
--Several mysterious explosions at key locations in Iran. In October 2010, a blast at a military base in the western province of Lorestan killed "several" and was dubbed "an accident" by the government.
--Explosion in November killed 17 at an arms depot west of Tehran. Later that month, a blast was heard near the city of Isfahan.
--Although the US navy has twice in the past week rescued Iranian crews in Gulf waters - once from Somali pirates, once from a wrecked vessel - its presence in the Gulf is nonetheless unwelcome and seen as a threat by Tehran.
--Strings of deaths, disappearances, and, in one case -reappearance - of Iranian physicists continues to deepen the acrimony and mistrust between Iran and the US and Israel.
What is driving Iran, at root? Secular nations look for secular answers, but at root is Iran's goal of preparing the world for the final Mahdi's arrival. Therefore at root is a religious reason that is the polar opposite of biblical truth. That is because satan is behind it, and we know that satan is a liar and the father of lies, and a murderer from the beginning. (John 8:44). It seems that the demonic prince of Persia is still holding on to Iran for his stronghold. (Daniel 10:13)
As Jack Kelley explained in his weekly essay last night:
"It’s no secret that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is preoccupied with the coming of a Shiite Islamic messiah figure, al Mahdi. This continues to raise concern that a nuclear-armed Iran would create the kind of global chaos he believes will be necessary to set the stage for the Mahdi’s return. Recent events seem to confirm this. For example, after years of promising that their nuclear ambitions are purely peaceful, Iran just announced their intention to test a 1 kiloton nuclear warhead this year. Iran’s Supreme Leader is thought to favor announcing Iran’s nuclear capability as an accomplished fact as soon as possible."
"Al Mahdi, which means the guided one, is said to have gone into “occlusion” (disappeared) in the year 941 AD, at the age of five. Shiite Moslems believe he will reappear at the end of the Age. They say his reappearance will be preceded by chaos, war and bloodshed. When he comes he’ll establish a world wide Islamic caliphate, and following a cataclysmic confrontation with evil and darkness that lasts 7 years, the Mahdi will lead the world to an era of universal peace."
"As he has publicly explained, Ahmadinejad believes he’s been called to “pave the path for the glorious reappearance of Imam Mahdi, may Allah hasten his reappearance.” To some, this means creating the chaos necessary to bring al Mahdi back."
Another motivating factor is the plunder. Perhaps that plunder is oil. After the Psalm 83 war occurs and Israel defeats the coalition of Lebanon, Hamas, Hezbollah, Jordan, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, they occupy all those lands again. Remember, the LORD had promised Abraham certain lands and described the borders of it in Genesis 15:18-21. This is a part of the Abrahamic Covenant, specifically outlining the dimensions of the land God promised to Abraham and his descendants. Israel hasn't occupied them all yet. But they will. (Ezekiel 20:33–37, 40–42; 36:1–37:28).
Here is a map of the Genesis 15 covenant lands:
See the scriptures that talk of the plunder being the motivation for Iran, Russia, Turkey et al to attack Israel:
"[Have you come] ... to take plunder and to take booty, to stretch out your hand against the waste places that are again inhabited, and against a people gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell in the midst of the land. Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish, and all their young lions will say to you, ‘Have you come to take plunder? Have you gathered your army to take booty, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to take great plunder?’” (Ezekiel 38:12-13)
Saudi Arabia has a lot of oil. According to Wikipedia, "Saudi Arabia has the largest oil reserves in the world. It is the world’s top oil exporter and producer. Oil actually accounts for “90% of the country’s exports and nearly 75% government revenues.” On the Abrahamic Covenant map, Saudi Arabia is the pink one.
With all the war rhetoric, drumbeats, and tension, I am reminded of Henry Kissinger's old adage, coming to fruition in these last days--
"Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people."
These heated words from Iran are emanating from the epicenter of all the world's attention and tension right now: Middle East, where the oil (plunder?) is. The major problems in the world right now are there, as Isaiah 17, Psalm 83, and Ezekiel 38-39 tell us, and also Europe, the place where the revived roman empire will spit out the Antichrist. (Daniel 7:23-24). Did you know that Germany, currently Europe's economic engine, is flirting with leaving the Euro currency and union? The news from Europe, the last empire in Daniel's dream, is dire. The antichrist will control the world through food: access to it through purchase and through participation in the economy is denied unless the consumer wears the Mark of the Beast. The Gog Magog war happens because of plunder/ treasure, that the enemies have come to steal.
It is all shrinking down to oil & food, Middle East and Europe. Just as Jesus said it would.