What’s More Important to Iran Than the Bomb?
In June, the Trumpet reported that the United States and Iran were putting together a new, under-the-table nuclear deal. According to Iranian and Israeli sources, this “mini deal” would entail Iran halting its uranium enrichment program at current levels in exchange for sanctions relief and a prisoner swap. To this day, the U.S. denies such a deal exists. But last week, it announced a prisoner swap with Iran in exchange for sanctions relief. The U.S. seems to be fulfilling its end of the bargain.
So is Iran. On August 11, the Wall Street Journal reported, “Iran has diluted a small amount of 60 percent enriched uranium in recent weeks and slowed the rate at which it is accumulating new material.”
Uranium at 60 percent enrichment has no known civilian application. Iran is the only known nonnuclear weapons state to have uranium enriched at those levels. Ninety percent is weapons grade.
Both the U.S. and Iran are fulfilling their obligations of the mini deal, as far as we can tell. This implies the nuclear deal is on.
Some are cheering the news of Iran slowing its enrichment program. “If Iran were to take de-escalating steps with respect to their nuclear ambitions again, that would all be to the good,” White House National Security Council Spokesman John Kirby said on Friday.
Iran hasn’t halted its nuclear enrichment. It has only slowed down the rate of enrichment. Its stockpile of 60 percent is still larger than the 114 kilograms it was recorded having in May. And Iran could easily make a nuclear weapon just from existing stockpiles.
But it is strange that Iran would signal its willingness to scale back its nuclear program—even partially. The bomb means a lot to Iran. If Iran publicly abandoned its nuclear project, its relations with the rest of the world would reset overnight. The threat of war with America would disappear. The moderate Arab world would become far less hostile and more willing to do business with Iran. Iran could finally become integrated into the global economy and become wealthy. Iran, from a purely practical, geostrategic and economic perspective, would have everything to gain from dropping its nuclear ambitions. Yet it doesn’t. The Iranian regime embraces an ideology of perpetual war with the West, and nuclear weapons would be the best tool in its arsenal for this.
But suddenly, Iran is willing to play the White House’s game. This mini scaling back could lead to larger steps. Time will tell, but we could see Iran dilute more of its uranium stock soon. We may even see nuclear negotiations become public.
Something matters more to Iran than a nuclear bomb.
Bomb or no bomb, Iran still commands terrorist proxies to war against the West, and it continues to sponsor terrorist attacks in Western cities.
Iran’s goal is not integration with the global economy either. Iran’s economy is already one of the largest in the world in purchasing power parity. It has heavy ties with major economies like Russia, China and Turkey, and it has recently opened up with Saudi Arabia. Iran doesn’t need to open up to the West. And if a globally integrated Iran was a good thing, why did the U.S. under Donald Trump reimpose sanctions in 2018?
When Iran receives buckets of cash, it doesn’t go to improving the lives of the Iranian people. Millions of dollars annually are sent to Iran’s terrorist proxies around the Middle East, which is one reason Trump withdrew from the deal.
Iran has its tentacles everywhere in the Middle East and North Africa. But it is very selective with the groups it sponsors and how much it gives them. Among Iran’s most notorious and well-financed proxies are Hezbollah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Syrian government. These groups are based in the Levant, the territory connecting Africa with Turkey. In 2019, an “unnamed Arab source” told Israeli media that Iran agreed to supply Hamas with $30 million a month. Meanwhile, Hezbollah, with roughly 100,000 fighters, has grown to be what the Center for Strategic and International Studies calls “the world’s most heavily armed non-state actor.”
Iran has given assistance to everybody from al Qaeda to the Taliban to al-Shabaab in Somalia. Yet no terrorist groups get as much support as those surrounding Israel.
These groups all have something in common: their objective to destroy Israel.
Jerusalem is Israel’s capital and home of the Wailing Wall, Judaism’s holiest site. It is also home of the al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock, the complex that is Islam’s holiest site outside of Saudi Arabia. For many a jihadist, “liberating” al-Aqsa from the “Zionist occupation force” would be the ultimate expression of faith. And many jihadists report to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. A terrorist victory over Jerusalem would be an Iranian victory over Jerusalem.
This is where the nuclear deal comes in. Many in the West are desperate to stop Iran from gaining nuclear weapons. Iran wants a nuclear bomb—but it is also happy with making its nuclear program a red herring. Making token concessions on the nuclear program gives Iran billions of dollars to fund its proxy empire around Jerusalem. Without the nuclear issue, U.S. negotiators probably wouldn’t concede such large payoffs. If momentarily stalling the nuclear program puts Iran closer to capturing Jerusalem, then so be it.
What’s more important to Iran than nukes? Jerusalem.
A prophecy in Daniel 11:40 reads: “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.”
The prophecy dates to “the time of the end”—a time far in the future from when it was penned. It involves “the king of the north” and “the king of the south.” The context, combined with secular history, shows this king of the north to be a united European power developing in our time. (See here for more information). But who is the king of the south?
It is located south of the king of the north. It has a pushy, provocative foreign policy. Verses 42-43 show it has a proxy empire throughout the Middle East and North Africa. For decades, the Trumpet has identified the king of the south as a radical Islamist bloc led by Iran.
The prophecy continues to Daniel 12:1, which describes “a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time.” The clash between the two kings will bring world war.
Daniel 11:40 states the catalyst for this war is a “push” by the king of the south. What is the push?
“This push no doubt revolves around Jerusalem and biblical Judah (called Israel today)—just as the clashes in the time of the Crusades did,” Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote in The King of the South. “The most precious jewel of Iran’s plan is to conquer Jerusalem. This would then galvanize more of the Islamic world behind Iran and spread radical Muslim influence to many countries outside of the Middle East. It could lead to dangerous rioting and terror in Europe, Asia and even America.”
Iran wants nuclear weapons. But it wants Jerusalem more. The Trumpet expects Iran will eventually acquire a nuclear bomb. But the more Iran stalls its nuclear development, the closer it is to taking Jerusalem.
To learn more, request a free copy of The King of the South.