The world became a safer place on January 16, according to United States Secretary of State John Kerry and many other Western leaders and experts. That day marked the implementation of the nuclear deal with Iran. The U.S. and the European Union lifted sanctions on Iran, released over $100 billion in frozen assets, and welcomed Iran into a whole rush of economic deals. And they received nothing in return.
Iran changed nothing in its policies of aggression, subversion and sponsoring terrorism. It didn’t even say it would reform in any of these areas! Without giving in on anything, Iran was given all it needed in order to greatly accelerate its race toward getting the nuclear bomb.
This deal does not make the world safer—it is a disaster for the world! And the fact that many people say it’s a cause for celebration is a sure sign of tragically broken leadership.
Embarrassing the Navy
There is abundant evidence that diplomacy with a maniacal nation like Iran will never succeed.
Just four days before the implementation of the nuclear deal, Iran humiliated the U.S. Navy—holding some of its sailors hostage at gunpoint. Iran did this supposedly because the naval vessels had drifted into Iranian waters. One of two small boats had broken down as the sailors moved between Kuwait and Bahrain in the Persian Gulf.
Iran took these U.S. sailors hostage, paraded their humiliation before the world, and demanded an apology from them. It was a strong power play. The mullahs sent an ominous message to the world: You can’t rely on America for protection and support anymore—especially in the Middle East. We are now in charge here.
Hours after the hostage situation, President Barack Obama gave his State of the Union address. The administration had initially hoped to cover up the incident, so Mr. Obama never mentioned it during his speech. However, he did say that America is the most powerful nation in the world by far.
But is that really still true? All the power in the world doesn’t matter if you have no will to use it. And the Bible says America’s will to use its power is broken (Leviticus 26:19).
Swapping Hostages for Criminals
It is no coincidence that a lopsided prisoner swap with Iran took place at the same time as the implementation of the nuclear deal. The U.S. forfeited 21 Iranians—seven of them suspects in sanctions violations, 14 of them criminals with international warrants out for their arrest. In return, Iran released five American hostages who hadn’t committed any crimes! Even still, the swap excluded former fbi agent Robert Levinson, who went missing in Iran nearly nine years ago.
American officials claimed the Iranians had initially demanded that the U.S. release even more of their people—so they said the swap represented a victory for diplomacy. Think about that: America is saying, This deal could have been even more unfair, if not for diplomatic talks! How can anyone believe such logic? Iran kidnapped Americans and got its criminals released as a result! When America responds to aggression in this way, Iran is sure to keep exploiting such weakness.
One U.S. official called the prisoner swap a humanitarian gesture on Iran’s part. Iran is the number one terrorist-sponsoring nation in the world. Its leaders will never negotiate unless they get everything they want from the negotiations. How can anyone possibly consider Iran’s actions humanitarian?
Of course, having American hostages freed from unjust incarceration is positive. But consider the cost. The way this deal was conducted, the enemies of America now have more incentive than ever to take Americans hostage. Look what they can get for them!
And, just like Iran’s embarrassment of the U.S. Navy, the prisoner swap is a distraction away from the real issue: the nuclear deal.
Analyst Charles Krauthammer wrote this about what happened on January 16: “Give President Obama credit. His Iran nuclear deal may be disastrous, but the packaging was brilliant.” Why brilliant? Because the world was distracted from the deal by the prisoner exchange that happened at the same time. Krauthammer said the administration “cleverly used” the swap “to create a heartwarming human interest story to overshadow a rotten diplomatic deal” (Washington Post, January 21).
Here was the implementation of this terrible deal that is hastening World War iii, and instead the media focused on five people being released from prison! This deal makes global holocaust imminent! Billions of people will be destroyed! Yet the experts and onlookers focused instead on these few individuals coming home. That is incredible.
On the very day the sanctions were lifted, Iran announced the purchase of 114 Airbuses from European nations.
Why was Iran so eager to jump into major business deals with Europe? Because it wants to get so involved in the global economy that nobody would dare try to push it back out. It rushed into the Airbus deal because it is rushing to build the bomb at the same time! And it doesn’t want anyone hindering its progress, as happened before with the sanctions regimes.
The Obama administration has said it will implement “snapback sanctions” if it finds that the Iranians are cheating on the deal. But with Iran having instantly become so intertwined with the economies of Europe and other nations, it would be virtually impossible for America to “snap back” any sanctions.
Will Iran cheat? History says yes. When has it not cheated after making a significant agreement with the West?
Anybody with common sense knows you don’t negotiate with nations that yearn for your destruction. America negotiated with the worst terrorist-sponsoring nation on Earth, and just invited it into the community of nations. Is this leading to peace? Read Matthew 24:21-22 to see where it’s leading. Nuclear bombs and weapons of mass destruction are about to be put to use on a scale this world has never seen!
The Korean Connection
In 1994, then U.S. President Bill Clinton made some statements about North Korea that sound very much like those President Obama has recently made regarding Iran: “This agreement is good for the United States, good for our allies, and good for the safety of the entire world. Under the agreement, North Korea has agreed to freeze its existing nuclear program and to accept international inspection of all existing facilities. This agreement represents the first step on the road to a nuclear-free North Korea. It does not rely on trust. Compliance will be certified by the International Atomic Energy Agency.”
Despite President Clinton’s assurances, North Korea got the bomb 12 years later!
This history is more than just an ominous sign for the current nuclear deal. After North Korea went nuclear, it started helping Iran with nuclear development!
In a January 21 article for the Jerusalem Post, Melanie Phillips explained: “There are some who believe [Iran] already has [a nuclear bomb], or at least already has access to nuclear weapons having outsourced the testing of the bomb to North Korea. Iran is now pondering how to use the weapon to maximum destructive effect and without leaving its fingerprints on it.”
In other words, Iran may be working with North Korea so it can deploy a nuclear bomb in a way that prevents anyone from knowing where it came from! That is as deceptive and dangerous as it gets.
Iran’s connection to North Korea is something the Trumpet has watched for several years. In our November-December 2007 issue, I quoted some statements from a Spectator article titled “We Came So Close to World War iii That Day”: “Israeli intelligence tracked a North Korean vessel carrying a cargo of nuclear material labeled ‘cement’ as it traveled halfway across the world. On September 3, the ship docked at the Syrian port of Tartus. … Soil samples and other material [Israeli commandos] collected [at the cargo’s destination] were returned to Israel. Sure enough, they indicated that the cargo was nuclear. … Israeli F-15I jets were scrambled and, minutes later, the installation and its newly arrived contents were destroyed” (Oct. 3, 2007).
Who was behind that alarming event? “Syria is a surrogate of Iran,” I wrote. “The king of the Muslim world is Iran” (“Close to Armageddon”).
At the time that I named Iran as the brains behind the North Korea-Syria operation, maybe it seemed like a stretch. But in March 2009, Gen. Ali Reza Asghari, a former Iranian deputy defense minister who had defected to the United States, provided a detailed account to the Associated Press proving that Iran was indeed behind North Korea’s moves to develop a nuclear weapons program on Syrian soil. Iran had financed and masterminded nearly the whole operation! Other reports have corroborated Asghari’s testimony.
Israeli jets made short work of those efforts back in 2007, but that did not end Iran-North Korea nuclear cooperation!
Phillips continued in her Jerusalem Post article: “I have no idea whether that is true. But given Iran’s close association with the North Korean nuclear program, with Iranian scientists and other personnel having been present at three of North Korea’s four nuclear tests at least, does anyone believe that it could not get the bomb from Pyongyang even if it has not already done so?”
Why were Iranian officials present for North Korea’s illegal nuclear weapons tests? Are the Iranians outsourcing their nuclear program, or at least parts of their nuclear bombs? It certainly appears that way. The Iranians are not watching these tests for no reason.
“[M]aybe the Iranian nuclear negotiation was a blind from start to finish,” Phillips continued. “The real action was going on in North Korea while the dummies of the free world were looking the other way. The actual point of the deal was to lift sanctions by appearing to give ground on the nuclear program in Iran itself—thus releasing those billions to ratchet up Tehran’s deniable, proxy war upon the rest of the world. Which, thanks to Obama, the UK government and the rest of the Western dummy class, Iran is now about to do.”
As Phillips said, we can’t be sure about all the details yet. But because of Iran’s extremist mind-set, we can be sure that the new deal with Iran is far worse than the one America made back in 1994 with North Korea!
For some proof of that, consider this statement from an Iranian 11th-grade schoolbook, quoting the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini: “I am decisively announcing to the whole world that if the world devourers wish to stand against our religion, we will stand against their whole world and will not cease until the annihilation of all of them! Either we all become free or we will go to the greater freedom, which is martyrdom. Either we shake one another’s hands in joy at the victory of Islam in the world, or all of us will turn to eternal life and martyrdom. In both cases, victory and success are ours.”
Khomeini referred to the West as “world devourers”! Eighty-five percent of 81 million Shiites in Iran believe in Twelver Shiism, which Khomeini espoused. This is an ideology that embraces death.
Former Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Dore Gold said that a nuclear Iran can’t be deterred like the Soviet Union was during the Cold War. The Iranians have a much more radical belief system. They think their savior—the 12th imam, or mahdi—will return sooner if they cause more apocalyptic chaos and violence. As Gold pointed out: “[A]nyone who says with confidence that the West can get used to nuclear Iran and rely on classic deterrence models has absolutely no idea what he is up against.”
Another alarming event occurred on January 16 that should have opened the eyes of naive Western leaders to the danger of the Iranian mind-set. Iran’s supreme leader said the country’s aggressively anti-American and anti-Israel policy will continue unchanged. Two days later, Iran ordered its military to accelerate its illegal missile program.
This intercontinental ballistic missile program is illegal because the new deal says Iran has to wait eight years before speeding it up. Instead Iran is accelerating it immediately! These missiles are capable of carrying nuclear warheads. And Iran’s supreme leader says they have no intention of reforming any aspect of their hateful policies. The missile announcement is proof that Iran is already breaking a big part of the agreement. But the West mostly turned a blind eye to that.
Have we no honor? Have we no pride? Have we no fighting vigor? Something terrible has happened to our people.
Krauthammer sees that even though the West remains asleep, the Middle East is waking up to the significance of this Iran deal. He wrote, “In 1938, the morning after Munich, Europe woke up to Germany as the Continent’s dominant power. Last Sunday [January 17], the Middle East woke up to Iran as the regional hegemon, with a hand—often predominant—in the future of Syria, Yemen, Iraq, the Gulf Arab states and, in time, in the very survival of Israel” (op. cit.).
What the U.S. has done is truly stunning. President Clinton worked to make Germany the lead nation in Europe, or the “king of the north” in biblical terminology (Daniel 11:40). (You can prove this by requesting and reading our free booklet Germany’s Conquest of the Balkans.) Now the Obama administration is doing the same thing to strengthen Iran, and to crown it “king of the south” (request The King of the South). How can we possibly make any sense out of America’s foreign policy?
Put all this together, and it is clear that January 16 this year was a momentous day.
Why January 16 Matters
The fact that this landmark implementation day, and these other major events, fell on January 16 is significant. A Trumpet article from February 2010 explains why we always watch for major events to happen on this date: “The reason we carefully watch for significant events in January is because of what happened 24 years ago. On Jan. 16, 1986, after preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God as a witness to the world for nearly six decades, Herbert W. Armstrong died at the age of 93.”
Herbert Armstrong preached the gospel message to the whole world. Matthew 24:14 and other prophecies prove that his ministry had to happen before Christ’s return. Mr. Armstrong was the man through whom God restored all things to prepare the way for Christ’s Second Coming (Matthew 17:10-11). His ministry—and the date that ministry ended—are no small things. His death was such a high-profile event that even U.S. President Ronald Reagan acknowledged it, telling Mr. Armstrong’s supporters that they could “take pride in his legacy.” That was a truly momentous day, and God often calls our attention back to that pivotal date.
That 2010 article lists several events of prophetic significance that have happened on January 16, including the U.S. launching the Persian Gulf War and the first copies of my book Malachi’s Message hitting mailboxes. (If you don’t have one, please contact us for a free copy of this vitally important book.) Now, with the implementation of the disastrous Iran nuclear deal, we have another major event to add to the list of January 16 occurrences.
One Final Push
Over 2,500 years ago, God inspired the Prophet Daniel to write: “And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over” (Daniel 11:40).
You can prove with your Bible that “the king of the south” is modern-day radical Islam, led by Iran. It has a pushy foreign policy. You can also prove that “the king of the north” is a German-led power bloc.
America may let Iran get away with acts of war because of the U.S.’s broken will, but your Bible says that Germany will not be so passive. Instead, it will attack and destroy the king of the south! Germany already has Iran surrounded. (Download our free e-book Germany’s Secret Strategy to Destroy Iran to understand the details of these vital prophecies.)
What could enable Iran to push at Germany more than an arsenal of nuclear weapons? Iran relishes the thought of starting World War iii!
One striking detail about this prophecy in Daniel 11 is that as these two powers build toward confrontation, America, Britain and Judah (the Jewish state in the Middle East) are nowhere to be found. The nations of Israel aren’t even in the picture. They will be helpless victims, not aggressors, in the coming war.
Both Bad and Good News
When Mr. Armstrong died on Jan. 16, 1986, it began the greatest spiritual disaster ever in God’s Church, at least in terms of numbers (this is explained in Malachi’s Message). I don’t think there has ever been a greater spiritual crisis. Now, 30 years later—on Jan. 16, 2016—a major step was taken toward the greatest physical disaster ever on Earth.
This nuclear deal with Iran is disastrous for the world—yet it contains both bad and good news.
The bad news is that this cataclysmic foreign-policy blunder marks a lurch toward the worst suffering ever on this planet! Iran is now nearly capable of triggering World War iii, and the Bible says it will do exactly that! (Matthew 24:21-22; Daniel 11:40). The beating war drums we now hear signal the worst time ever on Earth.
But the good news is that Jesus Christ will return to stop mankind from annihilating himself (Daniel 2:44). If Jesus Christ didn’t return, the war would escalate to a point that there would not be any flesh saved alive. But He will return! So those war drums also signify the soon coming of the best times ever on Earth. It is the best news you could hear, a vision of peace, joy and happiness forever. The good news eclipses the bad news ten thousand times over!