More uncertainty abounds in Iran as Russia seeks to intervene in the Middle East peace process
Rapture Forum Staff: Chris
Welcome to this edition of the Rapture Report. Today we will look over the various news reports concerning the recent elections in Iran and the protests that continue over a week later. The news coming out of Iran, little that it is, indicates that the protests in Iran continue despite increasing government crackdowns. There are reports that indicate that the Iranian election authority has also upheld the election results. An Iran Focus website report states:
Iran’s state TV reports the country’s top electoral authority has ruled out annulling the results of the disputed June 12 election in which President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was named the winner. A spokesman for the Guardian Council, Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei, was quoted by Iran’s state-run English language Press TV as saying Tuesday that the organization had found "no major fraud or breach in the election." As a result, he said, the results would not be annulled. Ahmadinejad’s main challenger, Mir Hossein Mousavi, has charged the election was a fraud and insists he is the true winner. His followers have been staging near-daily rallies. In recent days, the government has intensified a crackdown on the protests.
This development is not surprising as the supreme leader in Iran announced the other day that his ruling on the election would stand. The supreme leader, who holds virutally unrestricted powers in Iran, has openly endorsed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad so that the election authority which is under his control has basically rubber-stamped the election results.
While the situation in Iran continues to play out, there is debate in Israel about who the state of Israel would want in power in Iran. While Mousavi is typically seen as a "moderate" and a "reformist" candidate there have been comments that the positions between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi are not that far apart. As a result, there were concerns that a Mousavi win would just "mask" the problems and threats of Iran. An Israel National News article reported:
Israeli experts disagree on whether the Jewish state is better off with Mahmoud Ahmadinjad as Iran’s president, or with his challenger Mir-Hossein Mousavi. While Mousavi is seen as more moderate than the incumbent, many experts think this actually makes him a greater threat – because the danger he poses is harder to see. Mossad director Meir Dagan told the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee last week that "if the reformist candidate Mousavi had won, Israel would have had a more serious problem because it would need to explain to the world the danger of the Iranian threat."
If Admadinejad ends up the winner of the elections, which I think he will, then Israel will have an easier time showing the world that it needs to do something about the mad mullah regime in Iran. Of course, that even depends on whether the international community has any intestinal fortitude to do anything about Iran. The world is already aware of the anti-semitic and troubling positions of Ahmadinejad. A Mousavi win would just tend to "confuse" the world community which in turn would probably end up appeasing the ruling Iranian regime. This would not be good for Israel.
To illustrate the similarities between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi, the Israel National News article further mentioned Mousavi’s previous actions:
As prime minister in the late 1980s, Mousavi was among the initiators of Iran’s military nuclear program, explained veteran analyst Ron Ben-Yishai in a recent article on the Hebrew language website Ynet. "He was the one who began the clandestine program for acquisition of know-how and equipment for nuclear weapons production from Pakistani scientist Abd-el Kadr Khan." In addition, Mousavi made it clear on the eve of the recent elections that he would continue Iran’s nuclear program as President, meaning that his election probably would not cause Iran to give up its military nuclear ambition.
As for contianing the Iranian nuclear threat, the YNetNews website is reporting that the IAF is preparing options for Iran. The website reported:
Air Force Commander Major-General Ido Nehushtan said Tuesday that the Israel Defense Forces was preparing for any option in terms of the Iranian nuclear threat. "The State of Israel has said that any other solution to the issue is preferable, but at the same time, the army understands its duty to prepare other options and acts accordingly," Nehushtan said in a press briefing in honor of the IAF’s 61st anniversary. As part of the IAF’s operational activity in the past year, the commander said, the force has been cooperating with field units, particularly during the Israeli offensive in Gaza.
It appears to me that while the world is currently focused on the elections in Iran, Israel continues to have their main focus on eventually dealing with the Iranian nuclear threat. As we’ve mnetioned before in the Rapture Report, the window of opportunity to stop Iran is slowly but surely closing. I think with recent US administration announcements, Israel is clearly alone in making any significant attempts to stop Iran and their evil nuclear program.
Meanwhile, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is calling for a Middle East conference in Moscow. The Jerusalem Post is reporting that:
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev claimed Tuesday to have secured the support of Israel and all other involved parties for a Middle East peace conference in Moscow. A "Moscow conference on the Middle East should become an important stage in our actions" toward peace talks, Medvedev said in a speech to the 22-member Arab League in Cairo. "Today we have principal agreement from all parties."
While Bible prophecy watchers know that Russia is eventually destined to join in an end times attack on Israel as outlined in Ezekiel 38-39, it was not surprising to see that while Russia was calling for a peace conference in Moscow that Medvedev was also calling for the West to back off of Russia’s islamic allies. The Jersalem Post article went on to report:
The Russian president also warned against forcing democracy on Arab states and praised US President Barack Obama’s address to the Arab world, saying it showed more tolerance. "There are things to learn from the Arab world and therefore, mentoring, forcing democracy and especially direct interference are absolutely inadmissible," Medvedev said.
"Now the two sides are taking some steps and attempts to resume the peace process and together with the international community we support this trend," Medvedev said. Russia has aimed to be a key player in the Middle East peace process and has promoted the idea of an international conference in Moscow for the past year and a half. The plans have repeatedly stalled. Israel and the United States had resisted conference participation by Hamas, while Moscow continues engagement with the group…..Following Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s visit to Israel last year, government sources told The Jerusalem Post that Russia was determined to go ahead with the Middle East conference whether Israel likes it or not.
As we see Russian involvement increase in solving the Middle East peace problem, Bible prophecy watchers should keep a close eye on the Russian Bear. Russia has shown recently with the short armed conflict with Georgia, that it is serious about protecting their interests and will resort to force to do so. The prophet Ezekiel outlined a future last days scenario where Russia (Magog) would be aligned with the islamic hordes and make an ill-fated invasion of Israel in which they are utterly destroyed by God as he intervenes to sanctify his Holy name. We could well be moving toward this event as Russia increases it’s involvement in the Middle East situation.
As watchmen on the wall, let us remain sober and awake as we move closer to the end times prophechies being fulfilled in our lifetimes. As we see more and more instances where the puzzle pieces of prophecy are coming together, we should remember the Lord’s words where he told us that as we see these things come to be to "lift up our heads, for our redemption draws nigh".