Iran Wants to Own Both Persian Gulf and Red Sea

Iran Wants to Own Both Persian Gulf and Red Sea

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Tensions over Iran’s nuclear weapons program have distracted the world from Tehran’s growing naval power.

Since 2000, Iran has perceptively expanded its navy. Most recently, Fars News Agency reported that the Iranian Navy had added two light submarines and a missile warship to its fleet. This follows the addition of fast-action, short-range speedboats designed to slip in and out of shallow coastal waters surrounding the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf.

In June, Iran participated in a well-publicized joint naval exercise with Syria and Russia in the eastern Mediterranean.

Iran has traditionally been a land-based empire. So to understand Iran’s strategic plan in putting more ships in the sea, you must consider geography. In recent months, Tehran has continued to spread its influence in Libya and Ethiopia. And it appears that it has defeated Israel in the battle for influence in Eritrea.

Control over these nations leaves Iran with the tempting and strategically crucial possibility of being able to control the southern passage of the Red Sea.

Back in April 2011, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote, “[W]hy would Iran be so interested in getting some measure of control over Libya and Ethiopia? … All you need to do is get a good map of the Middle East, with the emphasis on the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Then you can see why the king of the south, or radical Islam, is so interested in an alliance with or control over these two countries (as well as Egypt and Tunisia). They are on the two seas that comprise the most important trade route in the world!”

If Iran were to cement its control of the Red Sea and the Suez Canal it, would prove to be a dangerous situation for more than just the Middle East. Seeing that Iran’s ambitions have progressed so successfully on the ground, any buildup in the Iranian Navy should be taken as cause for concern. As Trumpet columnist Brad Macdonald wrote recently, “More than 5 percent of global oil supplies, some 2 to 3 million barrels per day, pass through the Suez and the Red Sea. Roughly 20,000 ships—an average of 55 per day—pass through the Suez Canal and Red Sea each year. About 15 percent of global maritime trade travels through the Red Sea.” That is the power and leverage Iran would obtain should it gain control of the Red Sea.

The consequences would affect nearly every individual on this planet. An Iranian ability to threaten—or worse, shut down (even temporarily)—one of the most important maritime trade routes could create chaos in America and Europe almost overnight, Gerald Flurry wrote. “That could give Iran virtual control of the trade through those seas. Radical Islam could stop the flow of essential oil to the U.S. and Europe!”

The Trumpet has been warning about this for years, but now other sources are beginning to see it too. Dr. Shaul Shay wrote in a paper titled “Iran’s New Strategic Horizons at Sea” (July 26):

Iran recognizes the Red Sea as a strategic area of interest because of its desire to gain control over the main maritime oil and gas route to the West, the straits on each corner of the Arabian Peninsula: Hormuz to the east and Bab-el-Mandeb to the west. The latter forms the southern tip of the Red Sea between Eritrea and Yemen, places of strategic importance for Iran. Control of this area is also important when combatting Somali pirates who operate in the Gulf of Aden and threaten international oil shipping routes. The Red Sea route is also a main channel of communication and arms supply from Iran to its regional ally Hamas in the Gaza Strip, allowing Iran to funnel weapons to the Strip via Yemen, the sea, and through Sudan to Sinai and ultimately Gaza.

A Tehran with the ability, to lock down the Persian Gulf and Red Sea would make it very obvious to the world that it was the undisputed king of the Middle East. But contrary to what Iran may believe—threatening the world’s oil trade routes will also make it a bigger target for the West, especially Europe.

China’s Economy to Surpass U.S.

China will probably surpass the United States and become the largest economy in the world by 2030. That’s the finding of a new study, called “Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds.” The report, which was issued by the United States National Intelligence Council, paints a faded picture of American prominence.

Justin Logan, the director of foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute, said that the report’s conclusion was not necessarily surprising, yet it could impact the nation’s future political direction.

Logan said, “[W]e’re a big, powerful country that does a lot of things in the world, so even slight changes in how American policy-makers think can have big consequences.”

China’s economy grew 7.7 percent this year, and is predicted to grow nearly 8.5 percent in 2013. Meanwhile, America’s economy grew at only about 2 percent and is expected to grow at about the same rate next year.

The divergence between America and China can also be measured in debt. According to the Treasury department, the United States owes China about $1.15 trillion, and it owes Hong Kong another $135 billion. Analysts suspect that China also owns additional U.S. debt through proxies in the United Kingdom. As America’s debt grows, China’s financial position strengthens.

God prophesied in Deuteronomy 28:44 that foreign countries would overtake modern Israel, including the United States financially: “He shall lend to thee, and thou shalt not lend to him: he shall be the head, and thou shalt be the tail.”

To understand why the Western financial system is failing, read The United States and Britain in Prophecy.

Peres: ‘We Have to Forget the Past’

Israeli president says what happened 2,000 years ago will not happen again.

Israeli President Shimon Peres recently said he believes the United Nations vote that upgraded the status of the Palestinian Authority means that Israel and the Palestinians must return to the negotiating table. In order for peace talks to resume, he said, Israel must “forget the past” and move forward. Peres said, “We are not going to deal with Abraham, our father and brother. It’s over.” If Israel’s own leaders begin separating themselves from their biblically grounded heritage, will it finally bring peace?

Did Islamic Terrorists Try to Bomb Bonn?

Did Islamic Terrorists Try to Bomb Bonn?

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Germany is on the alert after a failed terrorist attack.

A bomb that could have created a “large fireball” was discovered at Bonn Central Station on December 10. cnn reports that German intelligence believe Muslim terrorists were behind the plot. The Interior Ministry warned that there is an increased risk of an attack on Germany’s Christmas markets.

A 14-year-old boy alerted police to a blue bag that had been placed beside the train track. The bag contained a pipe bomb made with ammonium nitrate and four containers of propane gas.

“The propane gas cartridges would have caused a very large and dangerous fireball,” said the head of the investigation at Cologne police, Norbert Wagner. “The chemicals were highly explosive.”

Authorities quickly arrested two men, whom cnn identified as Omar D. and Abdifatah W. Both were released, but cnn reported that Omar is still a suspect. German newspapers report that Omar has links to Islamic terrorists in the area.

However the authorities aren’t certain who is behind the bomb. Last year, a left-wing group said it was responsible for several bombs found on railway lines in Berlin.

Terrorist attacks can radically change the direction of a country. The 9/11 attacks upturned American foreign policy. The Madrid bombings probably changed the course of an election. A terrorist attack could have a similar effect on Germany.

In a Key of David program several years ago, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry explained how both history and Bible prophecy show that Germany is about to undergo a political transformation—a transformation that could be triggered by a terrorist attack. An attack “could very easily happen, and that could even be certainly a stimulus to the biggest change in world events in quite a long time,” Mr. Flurry said.

“A strong man is going to be brought on the scene in Europe, so says your Bible,” he said. “Will an attack by al-Qaeda provoke that? … It certainly could.”

Despite the death of Osama bin Laden, the threat of terrorism is still very real—and it has the power to transform Europe. Al Qaeda is still a threat. And so are other groups and even lone Islamic madmen.

Germany is prophesied to become the most aggressive enemy of Islamic terrorism. A terrorist attack could bring this about.

For more on the potential effect of such an attack, read our article “Is Germany’s 9/11 Coming?

UK to Allow Homosexual ‘Marriage’

UK to Allow Homosexual ‘Marriage’

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Britain’s Conservative government unveiled plans to allow homosexuals to “marry” on December 11. The legislation is to be passed next year, allowing homosexual “marriage” by 2014.

Britain already allows homosexuals to form civil partnerships, that give them the same legal rights as married couples.

Few in power seem to think that allowing homosexual “marriage” is wrong. The debate in Britain revolves around such things as whether allowing it would lead to those who refuse to conduct a homosexual ceremony being taken to court for discrimination, or whether teachers who object will be punished for refusing to tell their young students that homosexual “families” are the same as heterosexual ones. Most think redefining marriage is fine, as long as those who oppose it aren’t forced to go against their conscience.

So the law is designed to provide “watertight” protection to any religion that does not want to conduct these new ceremonies. English law will be amended to make it clear that religious groups can discriminate in this way. But those changes could still be challenged at the European Court of Human Rights (echr).

This legislation would apply in England and Wales. Scotland has a separate legal system and is drawing up its own plans.

But the homosexual “marriage” debate is about much more than whether someone is allowed to follow their conscience or not. God created marriage and family to be a solid foundation of the nation. Family, God’s way, will always build and strengthen. Saying that a homosexual “family” is equally valid is a dangerous blow to this foundation.

The human family is meant to point people toward the God Family. A father, if he does his job right, will show his children how to relate to their heavenly Father.

Tampering with this God-ordained institution hurts the nation and makes it much harder for the next generation to have a proper relationship with God.

This is just a brief summary of why this issue is important. For a much fuller explanation, read our article “Why Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ Will Always Be Illegal.”

Iran and Israel Vie for Influence in Eritrea

Iran and Israel Vie for Influence in Eritrea

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The small, economically and politically vulnerable country of Eritrea has been accommodating rivals Israel and Iran in exchange for geopolitical support. This has effectively made the East African country yet another prize to be won in the ongoing rivalry between Israel and Iran.

“In exchange for resources, possibly including modest amounts of cash and weapons, Eritrea has exhibited a willingness to become a base of support for Middle Eastern powers that want to exert greater influence in the Horn of Africa,” wrote U.S. think tank Stratfor on December 11.

Eritrea is a country with a meager population of a little more than 5 million. In 1991, it attained independence from neighboring Ethiopia, a country nine times its size. This independence effectively cut Ethiopia completely off from the Red Sea. Tensions have been high since, and they heightened to full war from 1998 to 2000. Tiny Eritrea lost that bloody war but still managed to maintain its independence. Eritrea has also fought wars with Yemen and Djibouti.

Eritrea has lived in isolation among its African neighbors and withheld its participation in the African Union from 2004 to 2011.

Eritrea now wants to change that, and cooperation with U.S.-allied Israel will help. Eritrea also seeks security support to help prevent an attack from Ethiopia. Israel benefits from this relationship by maintaining intelligence-gathering operations in Eritrea to monitor the Red Sea and Iran.

From Iran, Eritrea also receives military support as well as industrial assistance and cash. Stratfor noted that in 2009, when Eritrea openly supported Iran’s nuclear program, Tehran wired $35 million to Eritrea. Iran’s prize for its benevolence is greater influence in the Red Sea, particularly the Bab el Mandeb strait that connects the Gulf of Aden to the Red Sea.

In its final analysis, Stratfor noted Israel is not too keen to jeopardize the good relationship it has with both Eritrea and its nemesis Ethiopia. Israel is thus “less interested in expanding its presence in Eritrea than Iran. … As Israel has expanded its security cooperation with South Sudan and Kenya in recent years, Eritrea has responded by strengthening its ties with Iran.”

Bible prophecy indicates that both Eritrea and Ethiopia will come under the influence of Iran. Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry explains in his article “Libya and Ethiopia Reveal Iran’s Military Strategy” that where “Ethiopia” is mentioned in Daniel 11:40-44, it includes today’s Ethiopia as well as the small areas of Eritrea and Djibouti on the Red Sea coastline.

For more understanding, read our special report Libya and Ethiopia in Prophecy. In it we write, “Iran controls the Strait of Hormuz, and via its Islamic allies in Egypt is fast gaining decisive influence over the Suez Canal. When it eventually gains influence over Ethiopia and Eritrea, Iran will control the Red Sea. When that happens, Iran will have the power to lock down virtually the entire Middle East!”