Welcome to this edition of the Rapture Report. Today we will look at the continuing protests in Iran over the recent elections amid the cries of fraud and vote-rigging. There have been many reports coming out of Iran on the situation on the ground in Iran and they seem to point to the current regime growing tired of the opposition to the election results. Today the "supreme ruler" of Iran denied any wrongdoing at the polls and confirmed his previous claim that Ahmadinejad was re-elected in a fair and open election. Of course, the many people in the streets protesting the election certainly disagree with that opinion. In fact, the situation is starting to grow more serious as the "supreme ruler" threatened to "exile" Mousavi if he did not join with the ruling regime in unity and accept the election results. The Jerusalem Post reports:
Iranian reformist Mir Hossein Mousavi was given an ultimatum by the Islamic Republic’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in a call to support the reelected regime of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the London Times reported Friday morning. Khamenei made it clear to Mousavi that if he failed to report to Friday prayers at Teheran University, during which he planned to deliver a sermon calling for national unity, the oppostion leader would be exiled. Khamenei is expected to be assisted by "an army of Islamic volunteer militiamen" during the sermon. According the report, Khamenei made the demand while meeting with the representatives of candidates of the national elections that Mousavi had claimed were rigged.
The article went on to talk about the protests and the attempts by the ruling regime to try to compromise with the Mousavi lead opposition. The article further stated:
On Thursday evening, hundreds of thousands of protesters wearing black and carrying candles filled the streets of Teheran, joining Mousavi to mourn demonstrators killed in clashes over Iran’s disputed election. The massive protest openly defied orders from Iran’s supreme leader, despite a government attempt to placate Mousavi and his supporters by inviting the reformist, and two other candidates who ran against Ahmadinejad, to a meeting with the country’s main electoral authority. Iran’s Al-Alam Arabic television channel said the three candidates would meet with the Guardian Council on Saturday.
There was vearying disagreements on how many people attended the protest rallies but the figures indicated that the number reached several hundred thousand. Mousavi’s camp claimed the number was more around 1 million. Regardless of the the correct number, the protests are becoming a serious issue of contention for the ruling Iranian regime. In fact, the regime called for the protests to end or there would be a "crackdown" on the protesters. This is likely to be where the rubber meets the road and could be a deciding point of whether the regime is able to successfully squash the so called protests or if this opposition movement is going to blossom into something more serious. The Jerusalem Post also reported:
Iran’s supreme leader said Friday that the country’s disputed presidential vote had not been rigged, sternly warning protesters of a crackdown if they continue massive demonstrations demanding a new election. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei sided with hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and offered no concessions to the opposition. He effectively closed any chance for a new vote by calling the June 12 election an "absolute victory." The speech created a stark choice for candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi and his supporters: Drop their demands for a new vote or take to the streets again in blatant defiance of the man endowed with virtually limitless powers under Iran’s constitution.
The "sumpreme ruler" also took a swipe at the so called "foreign" elements that he blamed for the unrest after the elections. The Jerusalem Post article went on to further report:
Khamenei accused foreign media and Western countries of trying to create a political rift and stir up chaos in Iran. Iranian leaders often blame foreign "enemies" for plots against the country, but Khamenei’s comments suggest Iran could remain cool to expanding dialogue with the West and the offer of opening talks with Washington. "Some of our enemies in different parts of the world intended to depict this absolute victory, this definitive victory, as a doubtful victory," he said. "It is your victory. They cannot manipulate it." In one part of his speech, Khamenei slammed "Zionist radio," referring to the Israel Broadcast Authority’s Persian language station, for "planting doubts" in the hearts of Iranians.
But the truth of the matter is that:
Mousavi and his supporters have staged massive street rallies in recent days that have posed the greatest challenge to the Iran’s Islamic ruling system since the 1979 Islamic Revolution that brought it to power.
Some analysts are speculating the the ruling Iranian regime will crack down harshly in the coming days to avoid a second revolution in Iran. The ruling regime is protected by the well trained and armed Revolutionary guards as well as many small militias. The next week or two should provide us with more insight into what direction these events will take Iran, but I would tend to believe that the hardline ruling regime will crackdown and squash the current unrest. However, only time will tell. There was a report that stated that they believed the protests would lead to regime change and while that is possible, I don’t think it will happen. The report was made in the Israel National News paper:
Former Military Intelligence Chief Aharon Ze’evi Farkash said Wednesday that the demonstrations in Iran will likely lead to a regime change in the Persian country. "The devil is out of the bottle and it will be hard to put him back in," Farkash said. "This process is gathering steam, and it will lead to a regime change in Iran," Farkash added. On the other hand, Mossad Chief Meir Dagan estimated Tuesday that the protests would die down and not have a lasting effect.
As we can see right now the situation is hard for even the so called experts to agree on as the situation on the ground in Iran remains dynamic and fluid at this time. But I do believe that the coming days will give us a better idea of the direction these events will take. I would encourage Bible prophecy watchers to keep an eye on the news coming out of Iran for any unexpected developments.
In other news, the Middle East peace process seems to be turning into a deadlock as there have been calls from EU officials to hurry up and make a deal between Israel and the Palestinians. Tony Blair was reported to have encouraged Israel to "negotiate" with the Palestinians on the issue of "right of return" for so called refugees. The Israel National News reported:
Quartet envoy Tony Blair said Monday that Israel should be open to negotiating the Arab demand for "right of return," which would allow millions who claim descent from Arabs who fled the Jewish state during the War of Independence to claim Israeli citizenship. Israel has rejected the "right of return," and says the demand aims to destroy Israel as a Jewish state. Blair also criticized Israel for conditions in Gaza, and said Israel should work for "real change on the ground" in order to give Gaza residents "hope and the chance to lead a different life." Israel and Egypt both closed their borders with Gaza in 2007, when the area was taken over by Hamas.
Once again the world community continues to pressure Israel into making "concessions" to the islamics that would essentially destroy the Jewish state from within. The Israelis simply can’t allow the Palestinians the "right of return" as it would eventually lead to the Jews becoming a minority in their own country. The world community suffers from delusional thinking that believes that if Israel would just give the Palestinians their own state that there would be peace. Not only is the international community pushing for a two-state solution they also want to flood Israel with fanatical islamic terrorists who have no right to the land. The land of Israel was given to the Jews by God as described in the Holy Bible. Flooding Israel with islamic refugees is a satanic plot to destroy Israel and it appears that the international community has bought this plot hook, line, and sinker.
In a sign that Israel will not give into these increased demands placed on it by the international community, the Haaretz newspaper is reporting that the Israeli deputy PM stated that PM Netanyahu would offer the Plaestinians less than Olmert offered them. The article reports:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will offer Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas fewer concessions in peace negotiations than his predecessor, Ehud Olmert, Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor said Thursday. "Abu Mazen won’t get from Netanyahu what Olmert agreed to give him," said Meridor, who is also intelligence and atomic energy minister, using Abbas’ nom de guerre. He made the comments at a conference in Tel Aviv.
As we all know former Israeli PM Ehud Olmert practically offered the Palestinians the whole farm and they still did not accept it. The reason being that they are not genuinely looking for peace with Israel. In order to have taken what Olmert offered, it would have required the Palestinians to do things like fulfill their obligations on recognizing Israel, etc. With Netanyahu set to offer less, it is no doubt going to lead us to more conflict in the future as the peace process talks will become fruitless.
As we talked about in previous Rapture Reports, I believe that the signs ahead indicate that with the new right-wing government in place in Israel and their decisions to protect the interests of Israel, we will only see the way to more conflict. The Palestinians for their part have already stated that Netanyahu has buried the peace process and threatened a third intifada. This does not seem to indicate that peace is around the corner. I believe it points to conflict as the islamics will finally get tired of the peace "talks" and try to resort to military action to destroy Israel. Bible prophecy students should keep their eyes and ears turned into the Middle East as the push coming to shove over the desire to make a peace deal in the Middle East.