Russia, China Stand Up to EU

From the December 2005 Trumpet Print Edition

Three world empires are forming—and are destined to clash in the near future. An incident in September encapsulates this coming reality.

The European Union’s three biggest nations—Germany, France and Britain—have represented the Western world in negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program. Not surprisingly, talks haven’t dissuaded Iran from pursuing nuclear technology.

The EU’s big three planned to take the issue to the United Nations Security Council, but Russia and China stood in the way.

A September 21 Reuters report, headlined “Russia, China may force EU retreat on Iran,” stated: “Both Russia and China, which as permanent, veto-wielding members of the council could block any action, warned the West against antagonizing Iran with a council report.”

The pressure seems to be working. On September 23, after pulling a U.S.-backed draft resolution that called on the International Atomic Energy Agency (iaea) to report Tehran’s nuclear program to the Security Council, the EU delivered a watered-down version of the resolution to the iaea.

It is not difficult to see why Russia and China are pressuring Europe: Both have strong ties to Iran.

Russia has historically supported Iran’s nuclear program. It signed an agreement with Iran to help complete the construction of the controversial Bushehr nuclear reactor by 2006.

China, meanwhile, has always been willing to overlook Iran’s nuclear activities as long as it could be guaranteed oil. Iran is one of China’s top four crude-oil suppliers.

Russia and China do not want Europe interfering with Iran. As Russia’s foreign minister said, the EU could be escalating the situation into a confrontation of “the West vs. the rest” (Telegraph, September 22).

That confrontation is exactly what is coming.

These three empires—Europe, Iran and China/Russia—are mentioned in a single passage of Scripture that tells us exactly how the situation will play out.

Daniel 11:40 states that the “king of the south” (led by Iran) will “push at” the “king of the north” (a united Europe). This push has already begun. Iran defies the West by actively pursuing nuclear energy despite having ample energy via oil and gas. It is the world’s fourth-largest oil producer. Tehran is using its resources as leverage to “push” Europe.

According to Reuters, Iran’s top nuclear negotiator said Tehran “might link countries’ access to its oil to whether they support Iran” in this dispute (September 20). That is a direct threat to Europe: Keep complaining about our nuclear program, and we’ll cut off your oil. Pushy, indeed!

The prophecy in Daniel shows where this push will lead: The “king of the north will come against him like a whirlwind” and deal a devastating blow to Iran (verse 40).

Where do Russia and China fit? Verse 44: “But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him.”

Once the EU takes out Iran, it will have an angry Asia to deal with, with Russia and China at the helm of a massive eastern alliance. Russia’s and China’s present threats to veto any Security Council resolution against Iran are but a tiny indication of the disagreement they will have with Europe then.

These three powers are storming onto the scene. They are gaining strength. And they are beginning to clash. For more on these developments, request our free reprint article “The Times of the Gentiles.”