The Death of Anglo-American Banking

The Death of Anglo-American Banking

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With New York and London disgraced, where will the next center of global finance be?
From the September 2012 Trumpet Print Edition

There is a single number at the heart and core of the world’s financial system. This number sets the interest rate for a whopping $800 trillion of financial products, including your car loan, your adjustable-rate mortgage, the student loans you are still paying off, your credit card, any personal loans you have, and even your savings account at the bank. And even though you probably don’t deal with hundreds of trillions’ worth of complex financial instruments, like swaps and futures, they too are linked to this number, and they affect you.

The number is called libor, the London Interbank Offered Rate.

And apparently it’s rigged.

That’s right. The world’s largest banks and financial institutions stand accused of colluding to manipulate the most important benchmark in global finance. Some have already admitted to it. And if regulators allow lawsuits to proceed, and if banks are proven in court to have manipulated libor rates, the financial consequences will be massive.

More importantly, the damage to confidence in the English-speaking world’s financial system will be catastrophic.

And what will happen if this crisis obliterates the great financial institutions of Britain and America? Who will the world look to next?

Unparalleled Corruption

The good news—if you can call it that—is that so far, only British bank Barclays has actually admitted to fixing the libor rate.

The bad news is that British regulators seem to be trying to dodge the scandal. As punishment, authorities fined Barclays $455 million—not too tough for an organization whose pre-tax profits last year were more than $9 billion. Barclays’ stock price plunged and its ceo resigned, but so far, no one has been prosecuted or gone to jail.

America and Britain’s other big banks have been implicated. JP Morgan Chase, Citi Group, Bank of America and others are under investigation. If they are guilty, they may have defrauded investors, states, municipalities, pension plans—even everyday homeowners—tens of billions of dollars. Maybe more.

According to allegations, once the banks colluded to set interest rates, they passed on the information to their trading units, which were then able to speculate with impunity—at the expense of virtually the whole world.

But the scandal goes beyond banks cheating. Barclays has indicated that both the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve of New York (then under current U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner) were aware of the manipulation at least as far back as 2007—but chose to do nothing. The Bank of England stands accused of actually encouraging Barclays to manipulate the interest rate so as to let it appear financially stronger than it actually was during the 2008 financial crisis.

But most shocking of all is the lack of shock. The consensus of some analysts is that, yes, the banks were cheating—but they are banks! Isn’t that what they do? One Barclays manager excused the bank’s actions this way: “So, to the extent that, um, the libors have been understated, are we guilty of being part of the pack? You could say we are.”

Everyone was lying. Everyone was cheating. Everyone was stealing. And for years nobody had any problem with that!

Jeremy Warner, assistant editor at the Daily Telegraph, has been following British finance for years. “In all my years as a financial journalist,” he wrote June 28, “it’s hard to recall a case quite as shameful as [libor]—and I’ve certainly seen a few.” It’s as if people check their moral coats at the door when they become global bankers. “Dude! I owe you big time!” wrote one happy bank trader in an e-mail to a Barclays staffer after colluding to manipulate the interest rate. “Come over one day after work and I’m opening a bottle of Bollinger.”

Since national regulators were in on it, the banks pillaged with abandon. “It was a criminal conspiracy from the start, and a whole slew of regulators and politicians were in on it. And still are,” wrote popular economics blog The Automatic Earth. “[A]ll the evidence over the past week, if not long before, suggests that libor was set up the way it was, because the idea was to make it prone to manipulation” (July 10).

The Nation’s Robert Scheer calls it the crime of the century: “Modern international bankers form a class of thieves the likes of which the world has never before seen. Or, indeed, imagined …. It reveals that behind the world’s financial edifice lies a reeking cesspool of unprecedented corruption. The modern-day robber barons pillage with a destructive abandon, totally unfettered by law or conscience and on a scale that is almost impossible to comprehend” (July 6).

Another retired FX trader, Bruce Krasting, stated, “I don’t believe that there is a money pro on either the buy or sell side over the past 30 years who didn’t understand that the libor fixing was fixed. If they claim to be ‘shocked’ today, they are either lying or stupid. The same goes for every central banker and treasury official …” (July 13; emphasis added throughout).

Compared to this, Bernie Madoff is a carnival sideshow. Bank of England Deputy Governor Paul Tucker says his investigation has revealed a rotten system. He says that beyond libor, other indexes and markets need to be investigated too. “I can’t be confident about anything after learning about this cesspit,” he said.

If all the allegations prove true, this is by far the biggest financial scandal the world has ever seen.

The whole Anglo-American financial system—from head to toe—is sick. And that’s an understatement.

Is the Whole System a Racket?

Everyone knows that the crude oil market is subject to manipulation. The opec cartel exists for that reason. Similarly, everyone knows the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, the Bank of China and other central banks manipulate the values of their currencies to achieve policy goals.

But now investigators are finding that even the most widely relied-upon and important indexes—ones that the public has been led to believe are accurate reflections of the free market—may actually be fixed too. Markets for natural gas, various metals, foodstuffs and other commodities may be just as fraudulently manipulated by financial institutions and their traders as libor.

On July 2, the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission sued JP Morgan over possible manipulation of electricity markets in California and the Midwest. On June 27, hsbc admitted to allowing money laundering by terrorist organizations and Mexican drug cartels. Investigators say it is a “case study” of the rampant problems in the finance industry. The revelations keep coming and coming.

The global financial system was apparently a racket all along; the bankers just temporarily convinced the world otherwise. “If you can’t trust what is believed to be a market-based price, then you have to question all market-based prices,” says Cumberland Advisers chief investment officer David Kotok. “libor is probably the single-most supposedly market-based price of credit in the world,” he says. “And now we see it may have been rigged—and rigged for a long period of time. It’s destructive of confidence to the ‘nth’ degree and calls into question huge elements of finance.

“If you can’t trust the regulatory authorities, who are supposed to be protecting investors, institutions and participants, then who can you trust?”

That’s a hugely important question that investors and governments around the world are asking: Can the Anglo-Saxon financial system be trusted?

If not, it’s the death knell of Anglo-American financial dominance.

Yet, there is much more at stake—especially for Britain.

Here Comes Europe

Across the English Channel, European politicians and bankers are watching this saga and licking their chops.

From the moment Britain joined the European Community in 1973, it has been the goal of European elites to beat their Anglo-Saxon “partners” into submission. For nearly four decades, Brussels has worked toward this end by bombarding Britain with an ever increasing number of laws, regulations and policies. One of the loftiest aspirations of European elites has been to directly or indirectly Europeanize British finance.

For Europe, this scandal is a giant opportunity.

“European policymakers will delight in the ammunition they have been given to rein in the Anglo-Saxon bankers and make them subject to the rule of Brussels and Frankfurt,” warned Warner. Bloomberg reported that in Europe “the Barclays fine [has] provoked renewed calls for tougher oversight of the financial system and pushed regulatory probes of interbank lending rates to the top of the political agenda.”

On July 25, the European Commission published proposals designed to “put an end to the criminal activity in the banking sector.” That sounds noble and altruistic. In reality, it’s an attempt by the EU to impose its will on British banking. According to the Daily Mail, the European Commission also warned “the EU could take over the supervision of benchmarks used to set mortgage rates and trillions of pounds in financial investments” (July 25).

One EU politician even suggested that the EU be vested with more authority, including the power to “break up big institutions,” like the banks.

Watch out Britain, Germany and its cohorts are coming after you!

The damage Europe could potentially inflict is devastating. Banking and finance is Britain’s most important industry. It is the one industry that gives Britain global relevance. The sector comprises about 10 percent of Britain’s entire economy, contributes more than 50 billion annually to the nation’s coffers, and directly employs more than 1 million people, accounting for roughly 4 percent of total UK employment. It is the only industry that consistently generates a large trade surplus and is the only sector that continues to attract business to Britain on any significant scale. (For example, 80 percent of Europe’s hedge funds are based in London.) Additionally, London’s concentration of big banks attracts other companies, which means more money and jobs for Britain. In fact, more multinational corporations are headquartered in London than in any other city in the world.

Banking and finance is the last vestige of Britain’s greatness.

And now Germany and Europe have even more of a reason to come after this industry!

No one denies that something needs to be done to stop the corruption and deceit. But the fallout from this scandal—which will undoubtedly include massive fines, more regulation and laws, and greater government oversight—could have debilitating consequences. Not just for banking and finance, but for Britain’s larger economy too. “Finance’s golden age may be drawing to a close; with no new industry or manufacturing renaissance coming up in the wings, it is not entirely clear what’s going to take its place as a source of British wealth, jobs and tax revenues. It is not just finance for which hard times lie ahead,” explained Warner.

The potential economic crisis, initiated by the loss of tens of billions in banking revenue and the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs, is cause for deep alarm!

More alarming, however, is the way this debacle could thrust Europe forward—especially Germany—as the world’s leading financial power!

What God Says Will Happen

Written around 790 b.c., Hosea’s prophecy contains a strong message for Britain, the modern-day descendant of ancient Ephraim. In it, God explicitly warns that Britain in the end-time would still look relatively good on the surface, but be riddled with corruption, injustice and lawlessness within. The prophecy also shows that this condition will result in Germany dominating Britain.

In Hosea 5:11, God says, “Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment ….” In verse 12, God likens end-time Britain to a moth-eaten rag. Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry expounds on this prophecy in his booklet Hosea—Reaping the Whirlwind (request a free copy). “A moth-eaten garment looks good in the closet,” he writes, “but take it off the hanger, and it falls apart. God says Britain is like a moth-eaten garment. … Even though certain things may look good on the surface, [this nation is] ready to fall apart!”

In Hosea 7, God describes end-time Britain using the analogy of a baker and a fiery hot oven. Verses 7-8 read, “They are all hot as an oven, and have devoured their judges …. Ephraim, he hath mixed himself among the people; Ephraim is a cake not turned.” Again Mr. Flurry explains, “The phrase ‘hot as an oven’ refers to Britain’s corruption. There is no true justice left in the land. Britain may look good on the surface. But God says in verse 8 that it is like a ‘cake not turned’—already burned out underneath.”

Using the authority of Bible prophecy, Mr. Flurry then warns explicitly: “Serious crises are going to make our nations crumble suddenly, like a burned-out cake!”

The libor scandal threatens to make Britain crumble!

Amazingly, the book of Hosea also specifically forecasts that a German-led European power will exploit Britain during this period of weakness and vulnerability. In Hosea 5:13, it says that “when Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah saw his wound, then went Ephraim to the Assyrian ….” Modern-day Germany is the descendant of ancient Assyria (this is proved in The United States and Britain in Prophecy; request a free copy). God prophesies that Britain will become so weak that it will feel compelled to turn to Germany and Europe for sustenance and protection. In Hosea 7:11, God says that “Ephraim also is like a silly dove without heart: they call to Egypt, they go to Assyria.”

Another prophecy in Hosea 8 says Britain will be compelled to trust in Germany, and that Germany will exploit its weakness. “For they are gone up to Assyria, a wild ass alone by himself: Ephraim has hired lovers. Yea, though they have hired among the nations … they shall sorrow a little for the burden of the king of princes” (verses 9-10). The term “burden” means tribute. The Amplified Bible says that Ephraim begins to “diminish because of the tribute imposed by the king of Assyria.”

This is moving when you dwell on it. These prophecies, written about 2,700 years ago, describe Britain today perfectly. A nation wallowing in corruption, deceit and lawlessness. A nation on the cusp of social, political and economic collapse. And a nation finding itself increasingly vulnerable—especially now, in the wake of the libor scandal—to being pushed and bullied, and eventually crushed, by the German-led European behemoth next door.

With all the corruption in the Anglo-Saxon financial system, many people—libertarians, tea partiers, those on the far left—will probably gloat when the big banks come crashing down. But they won’t be gloating for long. The destruction of London and New York will have ramifications that will quickly work their way from the rich of the rich to the very poor.

When financial systems collapse, few escape unscathed.

If confidence in America and Britain is broken badly enough, the economy will collapse. Foreign investors will flee; capital flight will ensue; governments will be unable to borrow money, so they will print it; inflation will soar, currencies will devalue; economies will devolve—and our First World nations will become Third World.

This horrid future is what America and Britain may shortly be facing. And Brussels and Frankfurt will more than willingly pick up the scraps.

France Refuses to Face Its Muslim Problem

France Refuses to Face Its Muslim Problem


The media makes a bad situation more dangerous by refusing to talk about it.

Around 150 youths shot at police and torched cars as they rioted in Amiens, France, August 13. “The confrontations were very, very violent,” said the mayor of Amiens, Gilles Dumailly.

Yet, after discussing the subject for a week, the French and international media haven’t come close to talking about the real problem at the heart of these riots. The papers are full of talk on income inequality and relations with the police. What they never talk about is the Muslim background of the rioters.

France’s Muslim problem simmers in the background, ready to bubble into full boil at any point. In 2005, French suburbs burned as thousands of mainly Muslim youths rioted. Since then, sporadic attacks on police, cars, shops and police stations have stirred fears that the 2005 riots could come back.

The latest riots follow the same pattern. The government responded forcefully to prevent the riots spreading. But why the fear of the 2005 riots? Because the cause of those riots hasn’t been dealt with.

The world’s media doesn’t want to talk about the cause.

Just as in 2005, key parts of the identity of the riots are just ignored by the media. All they think the public needs to know about the riots is that they were caused by inequality and by the fact that the poor don’t get on well with the police, and may have been mistreated by them.

To get more depth, you have to read between the lines. News reports show that the rioters were mainly the children of immigrants from North Africa. They’re mainly Muslim.

France has a problem with its Muslims. But instead of talking about the problem, looking at the grievances on both sides and trying to fix the problem, it’s ignoring it. The government talks about a group of people rioting because they hate the police. It doesn’t talk about who those people are, or what could have caused this division.

That’s not to say that the French government should be blaming the Muslims. Perhaps they have a legitimate grievance with France’s authorities. But if it keeps ignoring the problem, it will get worse. The anger will build, on both sides. Nothing was ever fixed by a refusal to talk about it.

The foolishness of this refusal is obvious when thinking about interpersonal relationships on a small scale. The Bible tells Christians to quickly and openly deal with offenses—acknowledging the problem quickly and solving it, lest it fester into more serious division. A foolish parent ignores a disobedient child, hopes the problem will go away, and then finally snaps and responds angrily after a slight provocation. A wise parent deals with the fault in the child, calmly, as soon as he or she notices it.

By ignoring the problem, France, and all of Europe, is allowing the tension to build. Eventually, the French people will snap and lash out. An outpouring of fury will hit France’s Muslims, seemingly out of nowhere.

Already there are signs that France’s patience is nearly over. Last April, National Front’s Marine Le Pen won a record 18 percent of the vote. The mainstream parties, on the left and right, support France’s ban on veils that hide the face.

But they still won’t talk about France’s problems with its Muslim youths. And so the hate and the anger builds.

Across the continent, Europe is ignoring its Muslim problem. But that won’t last forever. Watch for Europe to snap, undergoing a violent and dangerous transformation.

For more information on the confrontation brewing in Europe, read our article “Catholic Europe vs. Islamic Hordes: Round 2.”

South Africa Is Past the Point of No Return

South Africa Is Past the Point of No Return

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What the Lonmin platinum mine massacre portends for South Africa.

Africa’s best example of a functioning society exploded with violence on Thursday. Almost two decades after the end of apartheid, the world is waking up to the fact that Africa’s last hope is a ticking time bomb.

The footage of the massacre is disturbing: yelling, sporadic gun shots, and in the distance, smoke from grenades designed to disperse crowds. But then all of a sudden you can sense extra tension in the atmosphere. More shouting, and then a mass of men holding what appear to be metal spears and machetes charge out of the smoke. It is hard to tell who was first to pull the trigger, but within split seconds the air is filled with gunfire—and row after row of men are mowed to the ground.

That was the deadly culmination to Thursday’s mine worker strike at Lonmin’s Marikana platinum mine—and the above video didn’t even show the most graphic footage. Thirty-four are dead, almost 100 injured, and 259 arrested.

As the Guardian reported, had this massacre happened under the old apartheid regime, there would have been sustained furor around the world. As it is, the world just sees this recent violence as typical Africa. It’s just another case of incomprehensible black-on-black lawlessness and vicious violence.

It is very telling of the deteriorating state of the country today. South Africa never used to be that way.

Some people blame the trigger-happy police. A front-page editorial in the Sowetan newspaper wondered if anything had changed since the end of apartheid. “It has happened in this country before where the apartheid regime treated black people like objects,” the paper said. “It is continuing in a different guise now.”

South African President Jacob Zuma has ordered an official investigation into the police action. But it is hard to blame the police for shooting first and asking questions later. Just days earlier, mine workers had brutally hacked two police officers to death and burned two security guards alive.

Other people blame the unions. When the mine workers illegally went on strike, Lonmin tried to bring in other workers. Violence erupted. Eight miners from one union were killed by miners from a competing union.

“They can beat us, kill us, and kick and trample on us. We aren’t going back to work and they won’t be able to employ anyone,” said Makhosi Mbongane, a striking miner interviewed by Associated Press. “If they employ other people, they won’t be able to work either. We’ll stay and kill them. We are justified to ask for a higher salary.”

The reality is that South Africa’s wealth is about to be divvied up among the various power players. The union leaders, the populist politicians and the rich black elite are all jockeying over the post-apartheid jewels. The angry mine workers don’t know it, but they are just useful, but expendable, pawns.

Jacob Zuma in June made a big political point out of the fact that the country’s economy is still largely under the control of whites. The president said that “certain compromises” over the economy and ownership had been negotiated in 1994 in order to ensure a smooth transition from white to black rule at the end of apartheid. But now, according to Zuma, it’s time for a “second transition” to put the wealth balance in favor of the black majority.

Zuma said the current “willing buyer/willing seller” policy is too slow in transferring ownership and wealth from whites to blacks. More forceful steps need to be taken, he said, but did not specify details. Zuma did say that black empowerment policy must be strengthened.

South Africa’s various post-apartheid leaders have made it clear that South Africa’s wealth—whether that means farms, mining companies, banks, or other businesses—needs to be redistributed. And since the government doesn’t have the money to do it through a willing buyer/willing seller policy, it is signaling that white-owned businesses will eventually be taken from whites and given to blacks—just as happened in Zimbabwe.

The violence at the mines is a result of South Africa’s redistribution policy. What is really going on is a battle over who will own South Africa’s mines. Unions are battling over who will be bequeathed ownership in South Africa’s richest properties to fulfill Jacob Zuma’s black-ownership policy. But it won’t be individual mine workers—of that you can be sure. For them, nothing will change. They will just get new bosses. So social tension will grow.

But the signs that South Africa is a time bomb getting ready to explode are evident elsewhere too.

Many blacks point out the land ownership disparity. Whites still own an unfair amount of land, they say. So frustration grows with the slow pace of land redistribution. And the farmers are targeted in hate crimes.

On August 12, 70-year-old Owen Charles was stabbed to death on his farm. He was killed while celebrating his wife’s birthday. The attackers turned on her too before leaving. She was sent to the hospital in critical condition.

On August 13, in Ladybrand, near the border of Lesotho, farm manager Allen Rodgers was shot and attacked with machetes by three men. The men were waiting for him inside his house, with his terrified girlfriend tied up.

On August 14, Ronel van Eck was killed at the gate of her farm while taking her 9-year-old son to school. She was shot in the face, neck, arms and chest. The attackers have not been found.

It seems like there is a grisly farm attack every other day. But the media is growing desensitized.

Since the end of apartheid, over 3,000 white farmers have been murdered, according to Genocide Watch. This figure amounts to almost 7 percent of the total population of white farmers in South Africa. These figures make South African farming the most dangerous profession in the world.

Meanwhile, South African populist leaders like Julius Malema continue to stir up the masses. Speaking to thousands of miners after Thursday’s massacre, he was the first politician to personally address the crowds. He told the angry mourners that the police had “no right to shoot,” even if they had been fired upon first. He then blamed Jacob Zuma for not acting fast enough to nationalize white-owned property. He encouraged the workers to continue the strike until their pay was doubled, and encouraged unions at other mines to join the strike.

Malema is famous for his renditions of “Kill the Boer and Bring Me My Machine Gun.” Jacob Zuma sings the songs the South African Supreme Court ruled as hate speech too.

Back on the farms, the South African government has passed laws banning farmers from arming themselves, and allowing the government to confiscate their weapons. Who would want to be a white farmer? Maybe that is the point.

But it is not just whites who are suffering in the new post-apartheid South Africa. As the recent mine killings demonstrated, it is the blacks too.

Mobs of gang members terrorize South Africa’s many slums. In places where the police fear to go, “necklacing” is the latest form of vigilante justice. So far this year, 10 people have had gasoline-filled car tires shoved over their shoulders and ignited—causing gruesome and terrible deaths. According to WND, this practice has been used to kill political opponents as well.

Imagine the outrage if these kind of murders happened in America—and then were broadcast to the world. They would make television headlines everywhere. But occurring in a continent known for its violence, few people care about how bad things have gotten in this former First World nation.

South Africa is a nation bubbling over with racial tension and swiftly proceeding down the road toward Zimbabwe-style meltdown. The reality, as Genocide Watch is warning South African farmers, is the country may soon be facing Rwanda-style genocide. If you live in South Africa, you need to read South Africa in Prophecy to understand where the Bible says your nation is heading. Read it now, before it is too late.

Salt Water Infiltrating the Mississippi

Salt Water Infiltrating the Mississippi

Arthur Belala | WikiMedia Commons

Just how bad is the current U.S. drought?

A state of emergency was declared on Wednesday for the New Orleans parish of Plaquemines after an upsurge of ocean water in the Mississippi River was deemed to be threatening the closure of water treatment facilities there.

Normally, the high waters of the Mississippi are powerful enough to flush out saltwater from the Gulf of Mexico. But when the river’s water levels are low, as they currently are due to ongoing drought conditions, copious amounts of saltwater flow into the river. Under normal circumstances the saltwater only travels 15 to 16 miles inland. But, as of Wednesday, the saltwater had traveled 89 miles up the river, and was still moving. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has begun construction on an $8.1 million dollar underwater barrier to impede the saline flow. This building project—expected to take about 45 days to complete—has already temporarily closed the river to shipping traffic twice.

While the salt content in Plaquemines’s drinking water isn’t yet considered a general health hazard, authorities have issued an advisory to people with kidney diseases, on dialysis machines, on low-sodium diets or with high blood pressure recommending that they seek advice from their doctors. The parish has requested 30,000 bottles of clean water from the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. Plaquemines will also receive 20,000 gallons of water from the Louisiana National Guard over a five day period.

The drying Mississippi may portend economic disaster for the United States. NBC News observed that the drought has “humbled” the shipping industry along the mighty river. The Mississippi River is one of the major factors in America’s economic prosperity. The U.S.’s current drought curse bodes poorly for its already beleaguered economy. Read “The Mighty Mississippi to Run Dry?” to understand why.

Will Europe Intervene in Syria?

As Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime continues to crumble, calls for international intervention to stop the violence are increasing. The cries for help, however, are increasingly being directed not at America, but at Europe.

“If Europe wishes to effect true democracy in the wake of the Assad regime, it must stop playing into the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood and start aiding the rebels on the ground—yes, militarily, as well.” That’s from an opinion piece in the Times of Israel from August 17.

Citing the inactivity of the United States, the piece calls for Europe to take advantage of the now-weakened state of President Assad’s government and to intervene to bring about a regime change.

“Outside Syria, everyone has been waiting for the U.S. to take the lead on this issue, particularly on more advanced arms supplies. But inside Syria, as our own systematic surveys and extensive personal conversations have made clear, the Syrian people themselves are looking first and foremost to European countries, like France or Turkey, to save them” (ibid).

According to the authors, the rebel groups themselves are actually welcoming European support, envisioning European-style democracy as the model for Syria’s new government. They write, “We in the West, and especially in the EU, should turn this to our advantage and, before it’s too late, work on the goodwill we still may retain. The amazing thing is that despite the pitiful support from the EU, the Union is still viewed as the role model for what may come in Syria.”

The fact that Syrian rebels are looking to Europe instead of the United States should not surprise Trumpet readers. The Trumpet has proclaimed that Syria would break its ties with Iran and align with other moderate Arab states, eventually forming an alliance with a German-led United States of Europe.

For further insight into the coming European intervention in the Middle East, read “How the Syrian Crisis Will End.”

Islamic Group Suspends Syria

Islamic Group Suspends Syria


Another indication of Syria’s impending realignment

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation agreed on Wednesday to suspend Syria, in a demonstration of support for Syria’s opposition.

“The leaders have agreed upon the need to preserve Syrian unity and the immediate cessation of violence with the suspension of Syria’s membership,” said Nizar bin Obaid Madani, Saudi Arabia’s State Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Although Syria lacks Libya’s wealth or Egypt’s population, it is a critically important Middle Eastern player because of its location and its crucial relationship with Iran. The decision by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which is comprised of 57 member nations, represents a milestone in the inevitable realignment of Syria—away from Iran.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad comes from Syria’s Alawite minority, a branch of Shia Islam that includes 6 to 10 percent of Syria’s population. That leaves over 90 percent of Syria’s predominantly Sunni population unrepresented by Assad’s government. The uprisings besieging Syria come from these unrepresented factions. Despite Assad’s attempts at portraying himself as an ally of the West and as a force of suppression against radical Islamist elements in Syria, his true allegiance lies with his fellow Shiites in Tehran.

On surface level, Syria and Iran seem like unlikely bedfellows. Syria is Arab, and its government is secular. Iran is a non-Arab state, and is an Islamic Republic. Syria is comprised mostly of Sunni Muslims. Iran is overwhelmingly Shiite. The Iranian-Syrian partnership is a marriage of convenience, but it’s an alliance that has proven resilient over the decades largely because of common enemies like Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and the nation of Israel.

Washington supports Syria’s rebels because, under Assad, the nation is heavily influenced by Iran, America’s adversary. Syria has long been a gateway through which Tehran extends its reach into the Middle East, so regime change in Syria would equate to a noteworthy reduction of that Iranian influence.

Iran will not sit idly by as Assad is overthrown. Recognizing what it stands to lose from a regime change in Syria, Tehran has labored to arm and assist Assad in suppressing Syria’s anti-government forces. Iran wants to hold on to its strategic ally, and will go to great measures to support Assad. But Tehran won’t be able to maintain its hold on Syria forever, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s move on Wednesday represents another blow to the Iran-Syria alliance.

The sure word of Bible prophecy makes plain that, despite Tehran’s efforts, Sunni Syria will sever ties with Shiite Iran and instead align with Saudi Arabia, other more moderate Sunni-majority Arab states and a European juggernaut. To understand the details of this inevitable shift in Syria’s alignment, read Gerald Flurry’s feature article from the Trumpet’s September issue, “How the Syrian Crisis Will End.”