In a recent post, I opened by citing the words of Iranian foreign minister, Javad Zarif, who pointed out that Israel has been claiming for the last 22 years that Iran is mere months away from having a nuclear weapon. It turns out that this rhetoric has actually been going on for at least 29 years – since I was in kindergarten, Ronald Reagan was nearing the end of his first term in office, and seven years before the World Wide Web was introduced.
On November 27th, Mondoweiss re-posted a Twitter status from Richard Silverstein, the creator of the Tikun Olam blog, showing a Maariv headline from April 25, 1984. The headline read: “Iran In Final Stages of Production of Nuclear Bomb.”
Maariv is a Hebrew-language daily newspaper, which was founded in 1948, and is the second highest selling newspaper in Israel. To be fair, the above story in Maariv cited Jane’s Defence Weekly, which quoted West German intelligence sources regarding Iran. For a good perspective on the long-repeated warnings about Iran’s nuclear program, see this timeline at The Christian Science Monitor. The loudest warnings have come from the United States, the world’s nuclear champion and a signatory of the NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty), and Israel, a nation believed to have as many as 200 nuclear weapons (undeclared) and a nation which has refused to sign the NPT.
As is now well-known, Iran signed an interim 6-month agreement on November 23rd, after a couple rounds of discussions with the United States and several other nations. The US will provide “limited” and “modest” sanctions relief in exchange for Iran “halting certain levels of enrichment and neutralizing part of its stockpiles,” among other concessions. According to President Obama, America’s toughest sanctions will continue to be applied to Iran. New channels of communication have certainly opened between Iran, the US, and other countries in recent weeks.
Many nations have treated these developments as good news. Saudi Arabia and certain other Gulf States (strongly opposed to the Shiite form of Islam) have not. Israel, predictably, is going nuts. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had these words to say the next day:
“What was achieved last night in Geneva is not an historic agreement; it is an historic mistake. Today the world has become a much more dangerous place because the most dangerous regime in the world has taken a significant step toward attaining the most dangerous weapon in the world… Israel is not bound by this agreement. The Iranian regime is committed to the destruction of Israel and Israel has the right and the obligation to defend itself…”
It’s hard to know if Netanyahu actually believes what he says or not. The government he represents has been crying wolf on Iran for 29 years. Some are suggesting that Israel needs to keep hyping up the Iran issue in order to deflect attention away from its illegal settlements, bulldozing of Palestinian homes, the blockade on Gaza, and other controversial domestic activities.
Just as predictably, Christian Zionist sources (for example, author Joel Rosenberg) have lined up to agree with Netanyahu and continue to demonize Iran.
I’m glad to see these recent developments, though, and I believe they are good steps in the right direction. They are especially good for the people of Iran, who have been suffering the effects of harsh sanctions. As I shared in a post on this subject almost a month ago, the effects of sanctions on the Iranian people have included “a 20% unemployment rate, a 30% – 50% inflation rate, expensive basic goods, the plunging value of Iran’s currency, increasingly unsafe commercial aircraft, an increasing inability to export oil, and other economic ramifications. They are also said to be resulting in half the population struggling to provide food and shelter for themselves, and struggling to maintain emotional health.”
Iranian Muslims, Iranian Jews, and Iranian Christians alike have experienced these things, in part due to a relentless campaign of deceit, politicking, and warmongering that has been vigorously supported by the Christian Zionist movement. Only God knows the extent to which Iranian and Palestinian Christians have suffered needlessly as a result of activities and rhetoric coming from many of their professing brothers and sisters in Christ.
An NBC News article highlights the provisions Iran can expect to see with the new easing of sanctions, concluding that Iran’s people will only see “precious little” relief in the short-term future, but that this deal provides “far more of a psychological benefit than an economic one” for now. Some groups are still investing in efforts to not only reverse these changes, but to bring even harsher sanctions quite soon. Others are watching for the slightest indication that Iran is not holding up its end of this deal, so that such actions can be justified (allegedly). Meanwhile, in plain sight are 2007 intelligence reports and other official statements from the CIA, Mossad, and other agencies agreeing that there is no evidence Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons.
While Israeli and Christian Zionist leaders continue to say that Iran is bent on destroying Israel, Iran’s Jewish parliamentary representative, Siamak Moreh Sedgh, praises Iran for allowing Iranian Jews to worship freely. Sedgh states that conditions for Iranian Jews are “better than yesterday, and today, our condition is much better than 10 years or 20 years ago.” Interestingly, he added that Iran’s Jewish community chose not to commemorate Israel’s 60th anniversary in 2008 because they are “in complete disagreement with the behavior of Israel” and its “anti-human behavior.”
The secular nation of Israel will do as it will do. As for God’s people, may we reflect and work toward God’s desire to see the nations, including Iran and Israel, healed by the river of life that flows from His throne (Revelation 22:1-2).
15 thoughts on “The Wolf Has Been Approaching for 29 Years/Good News for the People of Iran”
Hi Adam, Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!
I also saw this at Mondoweiss the other night and all i could say was WOW! Twenty-nine years and the wolf still hasn’t arrived. 🙂
Yes i believe this deal is a good one, and have spent some time this week saying so on a number of Christian Zionist web sites. Of course i received many “not so nice” responses to my comments, but i expected it. As followers of the Prince of Peace, all of us that follow Christ, should be praising God over this deal, for it’s an answer to many who have been praying for war to be averted. But sadly many are not, but are instead angry.
Thanks for reposting this interesting headline. And may God bless you brother for loving the truth…even when the truth is a thorn in the side of many others!
Thank you, PJ. Happy Thanksgiving to you too!
Do wolves even live for 29 years? 🙂
I can imagine the kind of responses you received at those CZ sites. It’s like going into the lion’s den sometimes. “Israel Today” seems to be even more active than Charisma’s “Standing With Israel” section, and I’ve seen some of the hardcore followers there rip into people pretty good when they offered an alternate view or asked the “wrong” questions.
I agree – this deal and some of the recent happenings are answers to prayer for many who have been praying for peace and reconciliation instead of war. I believe God wants to engineer even more surprising breakthroughs.
God bless you too.
I am stunned at this utterly ignorant rant and I am sorry to use such strong language, but this is akin to a pro-Hitler article being written in 1935! Do you not know that Christians and Jews are persecuted and imprisoned by the Iranian government? Iran is simply a radical nation that would gladly take part in Jihad. Yes, their people suffer but they suffer because of the government. Your article is simply spreading propaganda about Iran and it is really sad that the author does not vet his sources.
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/11/25/wife-imprisoned-pastor-says-family-devastated-after-iran-deal/ will be a head’s up!
I do not think Israel as a nation has anything to do with prophecy nor am I a Zionist…unless a Zionist is a guy who is aware of the Balfour agreement and the history of the nation of Israel from 1948 until now. Jordan was to be the Palestinian Arab refuge and Israel invited all Arabs to stay and help build the country, but the surrounding Arabs warned that all that stayed would be killed in the coming war. Israel beat them back and carved a great country out of the neglected area.
Said Abedini is trapped in a bad Iranian jail and may wind up dead before long…even John Kerry (hardly a Christian or a zionist) is aware that the Iranian government is anti-American, anti-Jew and anti-Christian. We have our citizens being held and tormented and you think mean old Israel is mistreating Iran???!!! I have enjoyed reading your Biblical posts. But when it comes to political science you get an “F!”
The Palestinians teach their children of the Intifada – teaching them how glorious it is to be a martyr by blowing up Jews with a bomb jacket! They had a Mickey Mouse club that was all about killing Jews. Palestinians regularly lob bombs into Israel…so Israel is naturally going to want to have take up space and keep Palestine away. Have your forgotten the wars that the Arab nations started with Israel? Do you want to let the warlike Islamic nations become able to drop atomic bombs on us???!!! Yes, they would take out Israel first probably…but they hate us as well.
Wow! Will you have the courage to post this comment?
Thanks for the “F,” but I have to say I’m glad I’m not taking a political science course from you. I say that mischievously and not with malice. It’s also not to say that I can’t learn anything from you or from others who might take issue with what I write. You’re certainly free to disagree with what I’ve written and how I view this situation.
I share your concern for Saeed Abedini, just as I have concern for non-American citizens persecuted in Iran for their faith, and just as I have concern for persecuted believers in so many other countries. When believers in the early church were imprisoned, killed, and persecuted for their faith in Christ, did the others lobby for Philippi, Thessalonica, Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra to be punished politically? Or did they pray for their brothers and sisters in hardship, send them spiritual encouragement, visit them when they could, and protect them when they could?
I don’t believe that the Iranian people are suffering only because of their own government, nor does that reflect expert opinions on the matter. The sanctions have been harsh and they’ve been going on for a long time. Seeing John Hagee demand that I sign “blast faxes” to be sent to all US Senators and Congressmen, calling for even harsher sanctions (or worse), is sickening.
Are these sanctions leveled at Iran because the Iranian government has persecuted Christians and Jews there? No, they’re primarily leveled at Iran because of its nuclear program which is allegedly all about producing the world’s most dangerous weapon, and allegedly because they’re determined to destroy Israel. There’s a mountain of deceit behind those two premises. The real propaganda has been there, and the Christian Zionist movement has been pushing it as hard as anyone. The nations leading this charge are also hypocritical at best, as they (the US and Israel) both possess nuclear weapons, one has used them, and both have used deadly chemical weapons on their “enemies.”
Are you able to see that there has been a lot of crying wolf over Iran’s nuclear agenda?
I don’t plan to dissect the rest of your comment, or the remarks about the Palestinians, as tempted as I am to do so. Grace and peace to you.
What many fail to realize is the fact that Christians are persecuted for their faith within Israel, as well. Especially Jewish believers in Christ. See: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3558795,00.html and: http://maozblog.com/israel/ongoing-persecution-of-messianic-jews/#.UppnHn5Er0Q also see this recent story: http://pjmiller.wordpress.com/2013/11/27/israel-orders-deportation-of-jews-for-jesus-missionary/
Those are only two of countless reports and stories. If one takes time to do a basic google search many more similar accounts will be found quite easily.
The point is, we’re not told of these incidents. These actions are never openly discussed nor as they reported in the media in the US. Nor do we ever see mentioned the many Palestinian brothers and sisters in Christ, still living within Gaza or within any of the other occupied territories.
Something else which seems to have escaped the media’s attention, or the attention of Christian Zionist groups since this deal with Iran has been struck: the majority of Jews living peacefully within Iran, and have done so for generations, support this deal. As do the majority of American Jews. If you doubt this, do a brief search. There are many stories posted recently, many on Israeli news sources. which have related this as fact.
Israel, or rather their government, has indeed been crying ‘wolf’ for years concerning Iran nuclear capabilities. And what has finally occurred, as in the old Aesop’s Fable of the little boy who cried wolf, no one is paying heed to them anymore. Also, by the fact they have “basically” claimed they will do anything to stop this deal from being accomplished, it is showing the world (many, for the first time) that Israel desires war…not peace. The are now being perceived as warmongers, and have no one to blame for this but their own government. Their recent attempts to openly and blatantly influence American policy by appearing on Sunday morning political talk shows, and speaking out disparagingly against our president time and again this past week, didn’t help his cause either.
PJ, I’ve seen the same thing – polls/statements showing that Jews in Iran and in America are glad to see the recent developments involving Iran.
Thanks for bringing up Israel’s lobbying frenzy in the US over the Iran deal. I recall that you highlighted even more of those tactics at your site. All that drama really showed the desire for war very transparently, and I’m grateful that it didn’t prevail.
I suppose that one reason the Evangelical community doesn’t talk about Israel’s persecution of Jewish believers in Christ is because of the Christian Zionist doctrines it would undermine. For example, “God’s chosen people” (allegedly the nation of Israel) persecuting God’s chosen people (those in Christ) for their faith just doesn’t sound right.
I am pretty old but old enough to be alive in 1948. I did read journalist Leon Uris’ account of the events of 1948 and the Arab hostility towards dividing the area into a Jewish and Arab homeland, respectively. Eretz Israel was divided by agreement but the Arabs insisted upon war. Israel has been surrounded by enemies that lob bombs into the countryside and occasionally engage in full warfare. Adam, it is important to know the history of Israel from the Balfour Declaration until now to understand why Israel is diligent to prevent Iran from getting atomic weapons. It is hardly a cry of “Wolf” as they fended off full-scale warfare at the start of their nation and then in 1967 and again in 1973. You can imagine how we would feel of London, Ontario was lobbing scud missiles into Ohio and Michigan, right? So then if you were certain that people in Toronto were trying to acquire the technology to build missiles with nuclear warheads, you would be doing anything reasonable to stop it!
Jews in Europe were begin persecuted systematically since well before the 20th Century. The British Empire and other empire-building nations were beginning to divest themselves of colonies and Israel was just one of many “freed” areas. Jordan was supposed to be the haven for the so-called “Palestinians” who are all squatters and are a terrorist state from children to grandmothers? Try Googling “Palestian Mickey Mouse” or research how children from three years old and older are taught to believe that suicide-bombing Jews or Americans is glorious Intifada rather than terrorism. I have seen the orchestras with full choirs singing of the glories of suicide bombing for the purposes of indoctrination of children. You do not think this happens in other Islamic nations as well?
Now on to Iran. I have been in contact with an Iranian blogger since before the Iraq conflict after 9/11. He has consistently told of the desire of the Iranian people to have a free government rather than the series of puppet and tyrannical leaders foisted upon them by even the USA among others..until hs suddenly disappeared a couple of years ago. They probably lopped off his head. Pastor Abedini is not the only American being illegally held, a retired FBI agent has been imprisoned for six years now by the so-called moderate Iranian government. Robert Levinson is 65 years old and the Iranians have no better reason to imprison him than they do Abedini. It is obvious from their actions that this Iranian government is hostile to the USA, Israel and freedom for the people of Iran.
I would say that the Saudis are our biggest problem because our own State Department treats them like royalty when they have been funding much of the terrorist activities against the USA including Bin Laden’s group. But Iran is very dangerous to the region and those who want to believe that they are sheep instead of wolf? What will you say when the terrorists have nuclear capability to bomb our installations in the region and kill off thousands of us at one time? What will you say if Iran drops nukes on Israel?
Adam, I commend you for having the class to publish my comments despite my complete and utter despair at your position. But you have yet to give us any good reason to agree with you. Publishing the propaganda that the official Iranian government puts out, including the flattering picture of their leader? Sigh.
Thanks, Radar, for the commendation. I have no problem publishing comments from people who simply disagree with me. Comments would have to be very ugly for me to put them in the trash and not allow them to post.
I have to admit that I get put off when people refer to the Palestinians as “so-called Palestinians.” There are plenty of pre-1948 documents showing that this is exactly how they were known – as Palestinians. This also matches the testimonies of people who lived in the land prior to 1948. There were Palestinian Jews and Palestinian Arabs. Some were Muslims, some were Jews, and some were Christians. I reject your claim that the Palestinian people “are all squatters.” My goodness, they were born there. Many Palestinians have parents and grandparents who were living in the land well before a lot of the Jewish (and mixed-race) people arrived from Europe.
I agree that it’s good and important to know the history of modern-day Israel. There are numerous versions of it out there, and I’m still studying the subject from time to time.
The biggest way that Israel has cried wolf is in constantly saying that Iran is months away from having a nuclear bomb. If that was true in 1984, then Iran would have had nukes in 1984 or 1985. If it was true in 1992, then Iran would have had nukes in 1992 or 1993. If it was true in 2003, then Iran would have had nukes in 2003 or 2004. And so on… Then there’s the matter of saying that Ahmadinejad threatened “to wipe Israel off the map.” This was a highly-politicized distortion of his statement that the Zionist regime (i.e. government) was destructive, and ought to be erased from the pages of time. It was all put together in such a way as to say that Iran is an anti-Semitic monster absolutely determined to develop nuclear bombs in order to destroy every living person in Israel, and this has been used as a pretext for war. In the midst of it all, the people of Iran are being squeezed tighter and tighter by crippling sanctions. The ugliest rhetoric and warmongering on this subject is coming from the Christian Zionist movement, and that’s what gives me the greatest concern.
In case I was unclear, I am in no way sympathetic to Christian Zionists and do not believe Israel the national entity has anything to do with Bible prophecy. I do not believe that the Temple must be rebuilt or that God will revive Israel as part of some dispensational requirement for end times. I am definitely a classic Preterist! Also, I agree that Christians are not given the respect from the Israeli government or people they deserve as citizens. So although we disagree about the Palestinians and whether there should BE a Palestine when Jordan was supposed to be the homeland for Palestinians who did not wish to remain in Israel, I certainly do not in any way fit into the Christian Zionist mold. Furthermore my opinion is not terribly relevant to the situation of 60 or 70 or 80 years ago. We can go back and forth about the Balfour and post-War intentions and eventual formation of Israel. Suppose we let that go…
Just looking at the situation now, Palestine as a nation is a breeding ground for terrorists. It is a rogue nation and a dangerous one. As to Iran, knowing what I know about the political situation, Iran has had its atomic program attacked and slowed by Israeli black operations and no doubt Washington is well aware of this. In fact I do believe that this administration will stay away from any direct action and depend on the Israelis to blow up any Iranian site they believe has come close to being able to manufacture nuclear weapons. Israel has acted in this way before and no doubt will do it again.
This President has repudiated our previously very close relationships with both Great Britain and Israel while cozying up to a few Islamic nations in the Middle East. This concerns me greatly (along with the Statist attitude of said administration) as our enemies are being treated as friends and vice-versa. Iran can tell the world whatever they wish, but they are still in favor of the USA being destroyed or overrun by Islamic nations and while they do not have even a small fraction of the ability to do this now, 40 years from now a Middle East run by Islamic leadership in possession of numerous nuclear weapons on missiles that can reach our shores will take us right back to the Cold War tensions of the 1950’s and early 1960’s. I hope I am wrong!
I forgot to include something in my last reply. You had made mention of “the series of puppet and tyrannical leaders foisted upon [the Iranian people] by even the USA among others.” It reminded me of an article I had seen recently on CNN’s site, titled “In declassified document, CIA acknowledges role in ’53 Iran coup.” It highlights the US government’s ugly role in wreaking havoc in Iran 60 years ago, working to remove a popular democratically-elected leader at the time. It also helps to give background to Iran’s history with the West over the last several decades. You may or may not have seen this before, but here’s the link to that story:
Where the hostility originated was with the Balfour Declaration–it was deceptive from shortly after it’s inception.
What the Balfour Declaration left ‘intentionally ambiguous was the meaning of a ‘national home’. The draft of August 1917 read, “Palestine should be reconstituted as ‘the’ national home of the Jewish people”. (But) In the final version in October “the” had become “a” and now read “the establishment in Palestine of “a” national home for the Jewish people”.
Was this synonymous with sovereignty or statehood, and if so, what were to be the boarders? Would it occupy ALL of Palestine, or just a portion….what was to be the status of Jerusalem?
The answer to these and other questions had once been made plain to the indigenous people…Palestinian Muslims AND Palestinian Christians at the presenting of the Balfour papers…now, the answers to these questions were not so clear.
Further more, while it (the original Balfour document) HAD stated that ‘the civil and religious rights of the EXISTING population’ were to be safeguarded and the territory designated Palestine, in the secret revised Declaration, presented later, this was absent. By this time it was clear the authors of this document did not believe ‘the present inhabitants need be mentioned, much less consulted, either before or afterwards. Even the fact that 10% of the population were Christians seemed irrelevant to the politicians and Zionists who apparently had another agenda.
source: Palestinian Papers 1917-1921: Seeds of Conflict
Here’s the bottom-line said simply: What the population of Palestinian was presented with originally, AND agreed to….a land shared by Muslim and Christian Arabs, many who had lived and worked in the land for many generations, with returning Jews, in peace and harmony, was not what was (in the end) presented to, and forced upon them in the revised Balfour Declaration.
I too was alive in 48 radaractive, but just a baby. But what i have attempted to do is read as much history on this topic as possible. What i have found is deception from the get-go. Most people are not aware of this. Of how the people who once occupied the land, some families for many, many generations, were lied to.
Thanks for this source (“Palestinian Papers 1917-1921: Seeds of Conflict”). I’ve also seen that there was plenty of deception from the beginning, and that people were lied to. I’m always glad when I read the testimonies of people in this situation who know that they (or their parents) were lied to, yet they allow God to give them the grace to forgive and engage in peacemaking with those who “ought to be considered their enemies.” Many do choose the alternative, but God has a remnant bearing His light in the midst of the situation.
I agree completely that America foreign policy was terrible and not just in Iran. JFK had signed an executive order to withdraw our troops from Vietnam but LBJ tore it up. The history of our propping up bad regimes and being comfortable with “our dictator” is unfortunately impossible to deny when considering the current state of several nations in the Middle East and the East and also Africa. America has been at times simply idiotic. It is also true that people who support Israel as a necessary entity to fulfill Bible prophecy are surely mistaken. Israel is just a nation,. one born in the days of de-colonization. It was not a perfect beginning and yet they are our allies in an area where we are hated not primarily for any actions but simply because we are NOT Muslims.
Legally the British had ownership of Eretz Israel and they could divest themselves of that colonial ownership any way they chose to do it. The end of WWII and the worldwide horror of the Holocaust dd tend to sway the partitioning of land towards Jews. I believe the world recognized that Jews who fled or were chased from their homelands long ago deserved a shot at having a place they would not be stuck in a ghetto or have to wear a yellow star of be the target of pogroms and so Israel was created.
I would have more sympathy for the Palestinians if they had stayed in Israel and helped build the land. I would also have more sympathy if Jordan opened the door for them to emigrate there (an intended homeland for them) but Jordan doesn’t want them. None of the nearby Arab nations will take in the Palestinians because they want this conflict to continue and they want the Palestinians to bomb Israel and kill all the Jews they can. The Palestinians are pawns in this chess game between Israel and their enemies. I thank God that I was not born a Palestinian!!! I would have probably died as a suicide bomber as a teen or else become part of the truly barbaric leadership or else have become a Christian in Palestine, which would be a little bit of Hell every day.
I hereby apologize for my first rather inflammatory post. I am up to here in erstwhile apologists for the atrocities of Palestinians and I did not give you a chance to flesh out your position. I still disagree but in a more gentlemanly way.
SSDD eh Adam? Same old rhetoric the Elite have been using for a long long long long long time………………. OH NO, that Bully over there is getting ready to kick someone’s butt.
That it is, Jerry. Last night I made myself listen to yesterday’s speech, just to see what Netanyahu had to say, how he said it, and how much applause he received. It was rather torturous. I thought it was hilarious that Iran’s government called the speech “boring and repetitive.”