President Obama calls the new treaty with Iran “a comprehensive long-term deal . . . that will prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon.” By contrast, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu calls the agreement “a historic mistake for the world.”
Who is right? Will Congress ratify the treaty? Will Iran comply with the agreement? It’s too soon to say. I have not read the 159-page treaty. Nor am I an expert on nuclear proliferation and international economic sanctions. But I have been studying Islam and Iranian geopolitics for many years, and will make four predictions.
One: Iran will further destabilize the Middle East.
The State Department recently released its annual Country Reports on Terrorism. It notes that Iran continues to support Hezbollah, Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and several Iraqi Shia militant groups. The American Foreign Policy Council calls Iran a “state sponsor of terror.” If sanctions are lifted, Iran’s strengthened economy will enable it to threaten Israel and support radical regimes even further. This is a major reason Israel and Arab states have warned against the deal.
Two: sanctions will be difficult to replace.
The White House website states, “If Iran violates the deal, U.N. sanctions automatically snap back for a decade.” However, China and Russia are not likely to renew their sanctions. And several European powers, increasingly dependent on Iranian energy, will probably follow suit.
Three: Iran will try to deceive nuclear inspectors.
Leon Panetta, former U.S. Secretary of Defense and CIA Chief in the Obama administration: “One thing I’ve learned both at the CIA and as secretary of defense is that the Iranians can’t be trusted.” Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says of Iran, “They have done everything to make certain that you can’t trust them.” James Baker, former Secretary of State, agrees: “Experience shows Iran cannot be trusted.” The doctrine of taqiyya allows a Muslim to lie to enemies of Islam. Iran has sought to deceive nuclear inspectors for decades. We have no reason to expect a different strategy now.
Four: Iran will continue to seek global domination.
Iran’s leaders believe they are preparing the way for the return of the Mahdi, a Messiah-like figure who would rule the world for Islam. As a result, Iran’s Supreme Leader Khamenei recently stated, “there is no cure for Israel other than annihilation.” He and other Iranian leaders are committed to the destruction of Israel and global spread of Islam. (For more, see my Is Iran rebuilding the Persian Empire?)
Historian Bernard Lewis, a specialist on Islam: “There is a radical difference between the Islamic Republic of Iran and other governments with nuclear weapons. This difference is expressed in what can only be described as the apocalyptic worldview of Iran’s present rulers.” Iran’s leaders are motivated theologically to develop nuclear weapons by any means necessary.
So I’m praying for peace in Israel (Psalm 122:6) and the Middle East. I’m praying for our congressional leaders as they decide whether to support the treaty. I’m praying for those who seek to hold Iran’s leaders accountable to the terms they have accepted.
And I’m praying for spiritual awakening in Iran before it’s too late (Isaiah 45:5). E. M. Bounds believed that “God shapes the world by prayer.” Let’s join him.