The Terror War: What Iran Is Actually Afraid Of
The war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza is a tragedy. As I write this, over 1,300 Israelis have died at the hands of Hamas jihadists. But while everybody is eyeing Israel and Gaza, another flash point is simmering on the opposite side of the Middle East, and this one threatens to be even more chaotic, bloody and game-changing: Iran.
Iran pulling Hamas’s strings is nothing new. It feeds the terrorist group tens of millions of dollars annually and even orchestrated this current operation. But why did Iran launch the attack in the first place?
Since its beginning in 1979, Iran has declared its goal to “wipe Israel off the map.” The most recent attack occurred the day after the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War. The symbolism of Iran picking up where the Egyptians left off 50 years ago is massive. Hamas attacked during the Jewish festival of Shemini Atzeret, when Israelis were distracted.
But there is another, arguably more important, reason.
A few days before the start of the war, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said, “The usurper regime [Israel] is coming to an end.” He claimed the Palestinian terrorist movement “is more energetic, more alive and more prepared than ever, and you can see this.” He was most likely referring to the coming war. Reports have shown Iran had advance knowledge of the October 7 attack.
Khamenei also said:
The firm view of the Islamic Republic is that the governments that are gambling on normalizing relations with the Zionist regime will suffer losses. Defeat awaits them. They are making a mistake. As the Europeans say, “They are betting on a losing horse.”
This year, Israel and Saudi Arabia began normalization negotiations with the United States as the third party. In exchange for American security guarantees, Saudi Arabia is offering to open diplomatic relations with Israel.
Israel and Saudi Arabia are among Iran’s biggest rivals in the Middle East. An alliance between the two would be a thorn in Iran’s side. For the attacks to happen as negotiations near fruition suggests the Israel-Saudi normalization process had something to do with the attack.
There are some wrinkles in this idea, however. Years ago, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and other Muslim-majority countries recognized Israel under the Trump administration’s Abraham Accords. Iran never retaliated in a significant way against those countries. Granted, the U.S. had a stronger government then. But Bahrain has a large Shiite population (the same sect of Islam practiced in Iran). Iran already backs the militant group Polisario Front against Morocco. It would have been easy to go after these countries if Iran wanted to.
But Israel and Saudi Arabia already have strong relations in all but name. They’ve participated in joint exercises together. Saudi Arabia partly enabled the Abraham Accords by allowing Israeli flights to use Saudi air space to reach the Gulf states. Before the Gaza invasion, Saudi Arabia and Israel were even working on a trade corridor through Jordan.
Israel-Saudi normalization also could have benefited Iran. Israel and Saudi Arabia wanted to organize a deal that bypassed the Palestinians, but the Biden administration was pushing to give Palestinian territories more autonomy. If Israel went ahead with this, the West Bank could have been taken over by Iranian proxy terrorist group, giving Iran an increased foothold in the area.
But something in the deal scared Iran.
Khamenei implied that if Saudi Arabia were to move forward with normalization, it would “suffer losses” and “defeat awaits them.” This is a direct threat. Seeing Hamas’s rampage through southern Israel shows what kind of losses Iran can inflict via its proxies.
There was one other provision in the proposed deal: The Saudis wanted U.S. help in setting up a nuclear program. This is supposedly for civilian purposes (even though Saudi Arabia is the world’s biggest exporter of fossil fuels and doesn’t need nuclear energy), but Saudi Arabia balked when Biden wanted safeguards in the nuclear program to prevent it from being converted to military use. It even threatened to go to the Chinese for a program instead.
Saudi Arabia wants a nuclear weapon because Iran wants a nuclear weapon. Normally Iran would have great difficulty getting the bomb, but the current U.S. administration is doing all it can to help Iran. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman knows that if he doesn’t do something before Iran reaches breakout, Khamenei can hold his kingdom at nuclear gunpoint.
Crown Prince Mohammed summed up his nuclear policy in a September interview with Fox News’s Bret Baier: “If they [the Iranians] get one, we have to get one.”
If Iran was far from nuclear breakout, the Saudis wouldn’t be so desperate for a program of their own. But the Saudis know Iran is close, and they’re racing to catch up. A nuclear-armed Saudi Arabia—allied with a nuclear-armed Israel—would change the balance of power in the Middle East drastically against Iran. Two anti-Iran nuclear powers would negate a lot of Khamenei’s power. Khamenei needed to kill two birds with one stone: Distance Saudi Arabia from Israel and from a nuclear program.
It looks like the October 7 invasion was Khamenei’s attempt to do just that. His desperation to stop the Saudis shows how close Iran is to building nuclear weapons.
In other words, the terror war on Israel is a sign Iran is closer than ever to acquiring nuclear weapons.
A nuclear-armed Iran would be a game changer in the Middle East. Iran is a radical jihadist theocracy. If it gets nuclear weapons, it will use them. A nuclear Iran would bring the world much closer to nuclear annihilation.
In Matthew 24, Jesus Christ prophesied of the conditions on Earth right before His Second Coming. Notice what He said in verses 6-8: “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom …. All these are the beginning of sorrows.”
Christ specified that just before His return, there would be a sudden uptick of “wars and rumours of wars,” enough to make people think the end of the world is coming.
All the major conflicts that started this year—Sudan, the Wagner coup, Niger and now Israel—make Christ’s prophecy come alive. But these, as Christ said, are only “the beginning of sorrows.” Notice where they lead: “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved [‘alive,’ Moffatt translation]: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” (verses 21-22).
Mankind was not able to extinguish all human life from Earth until weapons of mass destruction were invented. The Matthew 24 prophecy is talking about a nuclear conflict.
Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry states in his booklet Nuclear Armageddon Is ‘At the Door’ that Khamenei’s nuclear program has already “changed the nuclear equation in the world.” He writes:
Would you say we are close to that time? Intelligence agencies and defense experts say that North Korea could now have the power to destroy major cities in America. And the whole world knows that Iran could become a nuclear power extremely soon. This means that two madmen could be ready to attack America with nuclear weapons!
It is childish folly to think anybody but Christ could stop this nuclear madness.
Thankfully, Matthew 24:22 concludes: “[B]ut for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” Mankind will not be snuffed out by nuclear bombs. This world crisis will conclude with the Second Coming (verse 30).
To learn more, request a free copy of Nuclear Armageddon Is ‘At The Door.’