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The Timer is Ticking in Tehran

There is an ancient Chinese curse that states, “May you live in interesting times.”

In the aftermath of the Iranian elections of last Friday, we may find ourselves among the most “cursed” people the world has ever known.

If you are a regular reader of this space, you know that we put forth the proposition that the results of the Iranian election would function almost like a timer, giving us a good reading of how far off the mad mullahs are from having a functional nuclear weapon.

Both Ahmadinejhad  and former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mousavi were only up for office after having been vetted by the ruling Guardian Council.

In fact, neither could serve without the final approval of Grand Ayatollah Khameni.

As such, both would have to have signed off on continuing Iran’s path to becoming a nuclear power, as well as a willingness to use that power to usher in the coming of the Shia Muslim messiah, the so called 12th Imam.

Mousavi’s election would have provided Iran a reformist face man, custom designed to play into Western hopes of a more reasonable leadership.

And while negotiations and diplomatic opportunities would have increased, Iran would also have more time to complete their WMD program.

Evidently, Iran’s leadership doesn’t think it needs this kind of extended season to fulfill its goals.

In an election that brought back memories of “democracy” as practiced by Saddam Hussein, Ahmadinejhad was declared the winner by a two to one margin, before the first votes were counted.

Grand Ayatollah Khameni not only certified the results but referred to the winner in such glowing terms some analysts believe his speech was written by the ever humble Mahmoud himself.

The fall out from this election?

In today’s Wall Street Journal, Middle Eastern affairs analyst Amir Taheri sums up the consequences:

Mr. Ahmadinejad’s victory has several immediate consequences. First, it should kill the illusion that the Khomeinist regime is capable of internal evolution towards moderation. Mr. Ahmadinejad sees Iran as a vehicle for a messianic global revolution.

Second, the election eliminates the elements within the regime — men such as Mr. Mousavi and Mahdi Karrubi (another of the three unsuccessful candidates who ran against Mr. Ahmadinejad) — who have pursued the idea of keeping the theocracy intact while giving it a veneer of democratic practice. According to a statement published yesterday by Mostafa Tajzadeh, a former deputy interior minister who was among 132 anti-Ahmadinejad activists arrested over the weekend, the regime’s “loyal opposition” would now have to reconsider its loyalty.

Mr. Ahmadinejad’s victory has the merit of clarifying the situation within the Islamic Republic. The choice is now between a repressive regime based on a bizarre and obscurantist ideology and the prospect of real change and democratization. There is no halfway house.

Buoyed by his dubious victory, Mr. Ahmadinejad appears itching for a fight on two fronts. He thinks he can have his way at home and abroad. As usual in history, hubris may turn out to be his undoing.

I would love to hold out hope that Ahmadinejhad has gotten too big for his britches and is about to take a fall, but events on the ground indicate otherwise.

The heavy handed response to protests in Tehran, including the shooting death of a demonstrator give a good insight into the mind set of Iran’s leadership.

They are on a mission.

And the death of a few protesters is a small price to pay if it means seeing their messianic vision fulfilled.

They are following the Red Chinese model a’la Tiananmen Square.

Because what does it matter what the world, or even their own people think when you are paving the way for the arrival of the Mahdi?

With the transparent ham fisted power play that was last Friday’s “elections”, the Iranian leadership has not only shown that it is not reasonable, cannot be negotiated with,  and will not be deterred from its stated goals of wiping out the “little Satan” Israel, and the “big Satan” the United States.

But most sobering of all, Iran’s actions also show that it is confident that it will have all the weaponry necessary to achieve these goals, sooner rather than later.

So with the imminent threat of war on an unprecedented scale rising in the Middle East, how are we as believers in Christ to respond?

First, we need to pray.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May they prosper who love you.” (Psalm 122:6)

Second, we need to maintain a balanced prophetic perspective.

And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you.  For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for allthese things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.  For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.  All these are the beginning of sorrows. (Matthew 24:4-8)

The word Jesus uses that is translated “sorrows” is the Greek word used to describe labor pains.

There is no doubt that the conflicts we are seeing in the Middle East are a heavenly heads up.

The presence of Israel back in the land, as well as Iran and Russia coming together as allied enemies of the reborn Jewish state is incredibly significant. But it doesn’t mean we are facing the battle of Armaggedon yet.

This is a birth pain. And like all birth pains it will become quite intense and then subside for a time.

It is my belief that Iran will be stopped from being able to independently attack Israel with weapons of mass destruction.

They are a predicted partner of a Last Days invasion of Israel (see Ezekiel 38:1-6), but not the driving force behind it.

So how will Iran’s increasingly menacing moves be blunted?

Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel also made a headline or two last weekend.

Log in tomorrow for insights into what I believe was a brilliant counter move.

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