In yet another display of the threat to international peace and stability that their nation presents, Iran's nuclear chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, warned the European Union recently of “ominous” consequences if the EU does not follow through with actions to perpetuate the economic benefits of the 2015 nuclear agreement. Salehi, the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, frankly told reporters in Brussels, “If words are not turned into deeds, then ... it is very ominous, the situation would be unpredictable.” This threat comes on the heels of U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement in late 2018 that the United States would abandon the ill-advised Iran nuclear deal struck by former President Obama and will seek to reactivate the economic sanctions that existed prior to the deal. Striving to circumvent those sanctions, EU nations plan to facilitate non-dollar transactions with Iran. A so-called Special Purpose Vehicle would act as a barter system offsetting Iranian exports with purchases of EU goods. Speaking to Reuters news service on the condition of anonymity, one EU diplomat admitted that the EU can only do so much to urge firms to brave the risk of U.S. penalties for doing business with Iran. “What we are doing now is a lot of symbolism,” he said. Thus, the threat of Iran’s “ominous” and “unpredictable” consequences looms in the air as most European businesses do not want to risk U.S. penalties for doing business with Iran.
Iran Has A History of Threats
It should be noted that the nation of Iran has issued numerous threats over the years including threatening to attack locations in Pakistan that it viewed as supporting anti-Iranian terrorists. Similarly, Iran threatened to launch missile attacks against Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates over Iran’s claims that these countries were responsible for terror attacks in southern Iran. Additionally, Iran also threatened to crash the world oil market by blocking the Strait of Hormuz. Ironically, these threats ignore the reality that Iran is widely recognized as the world’s leading state sponsor of international terrorism! Both directly and indirectly, Iran funds, trains and arms groups that share the regime’s stated goal of destroying Israel and the West, as well as overthrowing regimes in other Muslim countries such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Yet, in what was likely the most provocative series of threats, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has repeatedly threatened to wipe Israel “off the face of the earth.” This habitual practice of leveling threats should not be taken lightly. In fact, this should serve as a reminder that the nation of Iran may be verging on the brink of collapse and they are willing to resort to violence – on an international scale – to perpetuate their totalitarian regime. This should demonstrate that Iran presents a clear and present danger to the world.
Relevant Scripture Passages
As the rhetoric and threats coming from Iran continue to increase, we cannot help but be reminded of numerous scriptural passages. Daniel and Jesus both warned of continual wars and rumors of wars until the return of Christ (Daniel 9:26; Matthew 24:6). The Old Testament prophet Joel also fearfully predicted that the citizens of the world would be engaged in such a great degree of warfare that they would need to turn their everyday tools into weapons of war (Joel 3:9,10). With the threat of Iran promising “ominous” and “unpredictable” consequences, the grim predictions of the prophet Joel no longer seem so difficult to imagine. With such potential for tensions to escalate, we should be in serious prayer.