To the Edge of War
By Hal Lindsey
Iran has been a thorn in the side of the United States, Israel, and the Sunni Muslim nations of the Middle East since January of 1978. For the US, it started with the Iran hostage crisis soon after the revolution. That lasted from late 1979 until the day of Ronald Reagan’s inauguration, January 20, 1981 — 444 days. In the 80s, there was the Tanker War, which was really a subset of the Iran-Iraq war going on at the same time. It required American intervention to keep oil flowing.
All the while, Iran has been funding terrorists the world over, and working to build and deploy nuclear weapons. They have also worked closely with North Korea to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles with which could send those nukes anywhere in the world.
For centuries, Russia and Iran were enemies. But since the Revolution, those two nations have been growing steadily closer and more dependent on one another. Now, along with Turkey (another former enemy), they have created an alliance in Syria. Bible prophecy students see the profound significance of this. The prophet Ezekiel foretold an alliance led by those specific nations that will one day attack Israel.
On Thursday, the United States prepared to launch an air assault on certain Iranian installations. This was to have been in response to Iran shooting down a drone that the US says was in international air space. A few days earlier, Iran attacked two oil tankers traveling through the Strait of Hormuz. But at the last minute, President Trump canceled the air strike. He said that he decided the response would not be proportional to the shooting down of a single drone.
Iran’s actions seem to be those of a desperate nation, hoping the United States will make a mistake. US sanctions continue to bite hard into Iran’s economy. That makes their foreign adventures in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, and elsewhere even more of a burden. But though their financial strength has diminished, their ambitions have not. They still want to impose their specific brand of Shia Islam on the entire Middle East, and eventually the world.
Meanwhile, the US is still fighting in Afghanistan, with other troops scattered across the globe. In recent weeks, US military force has been explicitly threatened against both Iran and Venezuela. There remains an implied threat against North Korea. America’s Navy is being used to try to slow down China’s expansion in the South China Sea. The world is heating up, and even the mighty US military can’t keep it all under control.
But even with all its commitments elsewhere, the United States must respond to Iran. As Israel learned from bitter experience, when a Muslim nation strikes, that strike must be answered. President Trump is right to make sure that we don’t overrespond. But he must respond… unless Iran shows itself ready to begin negotiating in good faith.
It’s possible that may have happened. We’ve now learned that after the President issued his warning to Iran about an imminent US airstrike, the Iranians contacted the Swiss ambassador for talks. Since the US has no embassy in Iran, they call the Swiss in order to communicate with the United States. It may only be a stall for time, but the US can ill afford another war right now.
Biblically, the important thing has been Russian President Vladimir Putin’s response. He said that any US attack against Iran, “would be a catastrophe, at a minimum, for the region.”
When it comes to his ally, Iran, he seems intent on keeping the US at bay. For now, their unlikely partnership keeps Iran in business. But one day, it will lead to the greatest disaster in those nations’ histories. Because God promises that when Russia (Magog) and Iran (Persia) attack Israel, God Himself will fight and destroy the invaders.