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Nuclear Iran: If or When?

When I bought my first motorcycle I was issued a friendly head’s up.

Statistically everyone who rides a motorcycle will get in a wreck someday.

It’s not a question of if, but when.

Now being young and stupid I immediately thought, “I’ll be careful. I’ve got good reflexes. It won’t happen to me.”

But when I woke up wedged between my motorcycle and the center divider of the 101 Freeway I realized I wasn’t the exception to the rule.

It wasn’t “If” but “When”.

This same principle seems to be in play in the ever simmering conflict in the Middle East.

There are those who believe that diplomacy and economic sanctions can lead Iran back from the brink of becoming a nuclear power and that a military show down with Israel can be avoided.

But as much as we are called to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, it appears that the mad mullahs in Iran have set their nation on a collision course with no signs of turning back.

Norman Podhoretz writing in today’s on line edition of Commentary offers this bitingly realistic assessment of the prospects for peace in the region.

The upshot is that, barring military action by Israel (or a miracle), Iran will get the bomb, and sooner rather than later. What then? For some time now, many pundits with the ear of the Obama administration have finally recognized that neither carrots nor sticks nor any combination of the two can work. But instead of going on to support military action, they have fallen back on the position that we can “live with” a nuclear Iran.In line with the doctrine of Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD), they soothingly tell us, the mullahs can be deterred by the fear of retaliation much as the far more heavily armed Soviets and Chinese were deterred during the cold war. They also say that Ahmadinejad—who in his fanaticism admittedly sounds as though he can hardly wait to use nuclear weapons against Israel—neither runs the regime nor speaks for it.

What they forget to mention, however, is that Ahmadinejad could never have issued his threats without permission from the Ayatollah Khamenei, who does run the regime, and who has himself described Israel as a “cancerous tumor” that must and will be excised. Besides, even Ahmadinejad’s predecessor as president and the current Speaker of the Assembly of Experts, the Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, known far and wide as a “moderate,” has declared that his country would not be deterred by the fear of retaliation:

If the day comes when the world of Islam is duly equipped with the arms Israel has in its possession . . . application of an atomic bomb would not leave anything in Israel, but the same thing would just produce damages in the Muslim world.

If this is the position of even a reputed Iranian moderate, how could Israel depend upon MAD to keep the mullahs from launching a first strike? Much anxiety has been voiced over the nuclear arms race that would be triggered throughout the region if Iran were to get the bomb, but in all truth we would be lucky if there were enough time for such a race to develop.For consider: if the Iranians were to get the bomb, the Israelis would be presented with an almost irresistible incentive to beat them to the punch with a preemptive strike—and so, understanding this, would Tehran. Either way, a nuclear exchange would become, if not inevitable, terrifyingly likely, and God alone knows how far the destruction would then spread.

Measured against this horrendous possibility, even the worst imaginable consequences of taking military action before the mullahs get the bomb would amount to chump change. But to say it again, with American military action ruled out, the only hope is that such action—which could at the very least head off the otherwise virtually certain prospect of a nuclear war—will be taken by Israel.

The prophetic perspective on this crisis?

As we have noted in this space, Ezekiel 38-39 clearly indicates that Iran will be a part of a Last Days invasion of Israel.

But they will only be one of many nations that will be a part of this predicted Russian lead coalition.

This would indicate that Iran will not succeed in going nuclear.

The driving force behind the bizarre and reckless behavior of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the mad mullahs governing Iran is the conviction that the Muslim messiah, the Mahdi will return at a time of global war.

If they get the bomb, no amount of rational appeals even to self preservation will prevent them from using it.

Since the United States seems less and less willing to confront this threat, the words of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu take on even greater significance –

“Deal with Iran, or we will.”

The scenario presented in Ezekiel 38-39 tells us three certain things.

Israel will continue to exist until the true Messiah, Jesus returns.

Iran will be demoted to a supporting cast member in a future invasion of Israel.

And as we have seen repeatedly since her rebirth in 1948, God will continue to intervene on behalf of His chosen people.

The next example of this divine intervention may very well be the successful destruction of Iran’s nuclear weapons capability.

“ Behold, I have created the blacksmith
Who blows the coals in the fire,
Who brings forth an instrument for his work;
And I have created the spoiler to destroy.
No weapon formed against you shall prosper,
And every tongue which rises against you in judgment
You shall condemn.
This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD,
And their righteousness is from Me,”
Says the LORD. (Isaiah 54:16-17)

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