Volume 87, Issue 1 ________________________________Bible Prophecy Ministry


Iran: The Center of the East-West
Strategic Balance of Power Conflict




Focus on Jerusalem Prophecy Ministry

By: Darrell G. Young

June, 2005



   Every good prophecy student is well aware of the significance of the Middle East as it relates to world events in the Last Days. After leading the Allies to victory in WWII, General Dwight D. Eisenhower was quoted in 1951 as saying (before he became President) that there is no region in the world which was geopolitically more important than the Middle East. It was true in 1951 and it is even more profoundly true today. The Middle East lies geographically at the land-bridge between Africa, Asia, and Europe, and its strategic waterways (Persian Gulf, Red Sea) form the life-line for the rest of the world to the regions vast reserves of natural resources, such as oil and natural gas.

   Even the most casual observer today of world news events would have to wonder why a sliver of land about 50 miles wide and 200 miles long such as Israel, should occupy the whole world’s attention, and pose as such a potential geo-political and geo-religious holocaust to the entire world. Oppressive and murderous regimes dot the political landscape all around the globe, and yet the world views tiny little domesticated and friendly Israel as the most vile and aggressive nation in the world. Most of the world actually views Israel as the single greatest threat to world peace on the planet. In Europe, eight out of 10 Europeans named Israel as the top contender for being the most serious threat to world peace. This is a hard statistic to fathom in light of the fact that Israel has never launched an offensive war against any of its neighbors. In reality, it is Israel’s neighbors that pose the greatest threat to world peace. And this ignominious flip-flop of perceptions demonstrates the power that the demonic forces of delusion already have in today’s world. And given the fact that Satan is ultimately seeking Israel’s total destruction, and will soon (tribulation) unleash a massive final campaign to deceive the entire world (Revelation 16:14-16 and II Thessalonians 2:9-11) into an all out assault against Israel, one can easily foresee that the princes of darkness are already geo-politically positioning themselves at the controls of many nations of the world, and driving the world toward the Armageddon precipice. The Prince of Persia is just one of these principalities.

   The state of Iran is central to today’s geo-political strategic balance of world power. The four contending spheres of power superstructures (Russia, China, Europe, US) in the world are all focused on the Middle East, and Iran has become the major wild card component in the strategies for the next world order. The outcome of the American-led war on terrorism and the efforts at preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, (Iran and North Korea) particularly nuclear weapons, are key elements which will determine the success or failure of the current US policy in the Middle East, and affect the regional security of Israel. The ultimate security of the entire region is dependent on these issues, and the stability of the region and international order is crucial to the flow of energy which is vital not only for the US, Europe and Japan, i.e. but also for Russia and China.

   The Middle East region was dominated by Great Britain for nearly three centuries. Great Britain truly became the super-force of the region after the fall of the Ottoman Empire in WWI. The core of British foreign policy towards the Middle East was to keep other foreign powers (Russia) as well as local forces from changing the balance of power or sharing in the domination. The British domination lasted until World War II when the US gradually and steadily replaced Great Britain as the dominant force in the Middle East, and continued essentially the same policy, with Great Britain falling into a position more as complementary player to the US. It was in the aftermath of WWII that the US and the Middle East region developed the strategic balance context for the present geo-political situation. Great Britain lost its strategic preeminence in the Middle East because she compromised Israel’s right to the Promised Land, (British Mandate over Palestine) and that fact should stand as a warning from the Almighty for the US, especially today as America engages the world (UN) in partitioning the Promised Land, in its vain attempt to appease the Arab world for oil concessions. (you may note that America’s major ally in Iraq and in the war on terror is Great Britain) The geopolitical importance of the Middle East emanates from the fact that:

  • It is the heartland of Eur-Asia and the repository of most of the world's energy resources.
  • The region is the cross-roads of the international lines of communications and controls four of the seven choke points of the world's most important sea lanes: the Straits of Hormuz, Bab Al-Mandeb, The Suez Canal and the Turkish Straits. (about 17-million barrels of oil, or 40 percent of the world's oil exports pass through the Straits of Hormuz every single day.)
  • The Middle East region has historically been and continues to be the center of rivalry between various ethnic groups and religions. (Jacob vs. Esau/Ishmael) (Genesis 16:12 And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.)
  • It has become the fountainhead of international terrorism and the center of the advancement and proliferation of fundamentalist Islam, and the center of an accelerating conventional and WMD arms race and the hotbed of Islamic terrorism, which are aimed at the destruction of Israel, and the US.
  • Moreover, the Islamic Middle East, and in particular the state of Iran, has advanced the concept of asymmetrical warfare.

   Over the past 26 years, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been one of the foremost promoters of international terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism. From the beginning of the Islamic revolution in 1979, the ruling clerics appointed themselves as the leaders of revolutionary Islam and made its export a central factor in their foreign policy and in the undermining of US interest in the region. This fact was not lost on the Russian foreign policy managers. Russia has played the Iranian card against America much the same way the US played the Mujhadeen card in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union, and played (dual containment) Iraq against Iran in the 1980’s.  (see Iran in Bible Prophecy)

   During the 1980’s, Ayatollah Khomeini the leader of the Iranian Islamic revolution, directly threatened Arab Leaders such as Presidents Anwar Sadat and Mubarak of Egypt, King Hussein of Jordan and the Saudi Arabian King as lackeys of US and allies of infidels. Iran vigorously advanced its Shi'ite brand of Islamic fundamentalism. Iran was, and continues to be against the Saudi leadership and Saudi Arabia's Wahabbi Sunni brand of Islamic fundamentalism. This fact has enabled the Iranian Mullahs to cooperate conjunctively with terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda and others. Saudi Arabia, to compete with revolutionary Iran, advanced and exported its own version of Wahabbi fundamentalism. The Saudi-Iranian Islamic fundamentalist feud started an unending cycle of unholy competition in the international arena, one result of which was attack on the two symbols of American military and economic power in Washington, DC, and New York on September 11, 2001. Islamic terrorists openly admit that they are following Islam's fundamental teachings. The dictionary defines an 'extremist' as "one who advocates or resorts to measures beyond the norm". A 'fundamentalist' is defined as "a religious movement or point of view characterized by a return to fundamental principles and by rigid adherence to those principles." An Islamic 'fundamentalist' is one who practices the fundamentals of Islam by rigidly adhering to its principles. A Christian fundamentalist is on who adheres to the fundamentals of Biblical doctrine. An Islamic 'extremist' is one who advocates or resorts to "abnormal measures. Since both describe the 9/11 terrorists, why is the emphasis on 'fundamentalist' and 'extremist' instead of on 'Islamic?' One of the consequences of the jihadist war against America is a global review of religious fundamentalism in all its forms; Christian, Jewish, Islamic or whatever. The global assessment is that it isn't the religious teachings of the Koran that is responsible for the global war on terror. It is the religious fundamentalism that is at the heart of the terrorist war. Ironically, the religious world has also castigated Christian fundamentalists (because of their support for Israel) as a threat to world peace just as much as the Islamic terrorists are.

    To the secular world, the Arab-Israeli conflict is the product of a clash between Jewish fundamentalists who believe God ceded the land to them. And the Islamic fundamentalists who believe Allah gave it to them. Europe, and most of the world detest and hate America, with its Judeo-Christian heritage, and traditional support for Israel and cite it as the reason for al-Qaeda's declaration of jihad. The result may eventually be the demonization of all fundamentalists, particularly Christian fundamentalists, especially in these Last Days as we see the religious logistical underpinnings of the empire of the Antichrist take shape.

   After the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Iran increasingly was isolated from its neighbors and the Free World because of US economic sanctions. Thus, in its drive to carry its revolution against what they perceive as the Great Satan, Iran sought nuclear technical assistance from the North and East spheres of power. Pakistan, via the AQ Khan nuclear network, helped Iran with its with nuclear technology. The People's Republic of China and North Korea assisted Iran with long-range ballistic missile technology. China, in a strategic move to counter US power in the region has also built a naval station in Gwadar, Pakistan, that could in the future act as a chokepoint for Persian Gulf oil and sea traffic. Russia has also assisted Iran in the development of uranium development technology. Today, Iran has reached a stage in the domestic development of both technologies that it is in reality a de facto nuclear power and has in its arsenal, long-range missiles capable of delivering warheads, nuclear or conventional, at targets more than 1,500 miles away. The end result is that the world now faces the distinct threat of an Islamic nuclear bomb.

According to US terrorism experts, there is a fifty-fifty chance that terrorists will use a nuclear weapon somewhere within the next ten years. MAD, the 'Mutually Assured Destruction' military theory policy that kept Russian and American nuclear missiles in their silos all during the Cold War, is no deterrent to terrorists who have no practical connections to a state against which to retaliate in the event of an asymmetrical nuclear attack. Iran's military has moved from conventional war-making theories to the utilization of asymmetrical warfare and the acquisition of nuclear weapons. 'Asymmetrical warfare' is another name for stateless terrorism. In this model, Iran supplies weapons and funding to terrorist groups to conduct operations against enemies of Iran that can't be traced back to Tehran for retaliation. Using asymmetrical warfare and nuclear weapons, Iran could use sub-contracted sleeper cells to strike any enemy, anytime, anywhere, without fear of immediate retribution or retaliation. It is obvious that no non-nuclear state would ever dare to counter-attack a nuclear Iran, and that no nuclear state could afford to risk a nuclear exchange without incontrovertible evidence that Iran was responsible.

   Geographically, . It is within easy striking distance of about 50 percent of the world's oilfields: those in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Qatar, Bahrain, and the UAE. Iran itself has enormous proven energy reserves: 12 percent of the world's oil and 20 percent of the world's natural gas reserves. Today we know that oil revenue and its supply are important political and economic weapons. Iran is also a land-bridge between two very important energy zones of Central Asia and the Persian Gulff. Iran's Central Asian position, with its history and strong cultural identity, has always been decisive in the region and beyond. It is one of the most, if not the most important player in Central Asia. It borders 15 countries, (including five Islamic Republics that were formerly occupied by the Soviet Union) and has historically influenced the entire region culturally and economically.

   Iran is not only actively engaged in terrorism and fundamentalism as fundamental weapons of state, but in all aspects of nuclear research and weapons development. With these tools of irregular and strategic warfare, coupled with its substantial and educated population, its pivotal geographic location, and its energy resources, Iran is the leading country in the Middle East. According to Oil and Gas Journal Iran holds the second-largest reserves of petroleum in the world, so at the very least, any assessment of Iran's geopolitical importance must take into account its role in global energy. More than this, Iran is a nation-state and civilization of ancient identity and cohesiveness, the fundamental tenets of which found their way into the core of Western civilization over the past three millennia. It is critical, then, to realize that Iran is a power, which, although it has been isolated somewhat, and rendered less capable than its resources, history and people could make it in every respect a major factor in global politics. The fact that a great and geo-strategically pivotal state has been hijacked by fanatical pseudo-ideologues does not mean that it should be disregarded or under-estimated.

   The United States has vital interests in the Middle East. The Middle East is the center of gravity of international geo-politics. Iran is the center of gravity of the Asian link to the Middle East. The world’s most astute political analysts all agree that none of the current problems in the Middle East and the Islamic World can be resolved unless there is change in Iran, and a solution is found to the Israeli-Arab Conflict.

  Today, the Islamic Republic is the major supporter of terrorism, and is the main enemy of the US and Israel, and is emerging as a major ally, perhaps the pivotal ally, of China, a developing relationship which could easily accomplish the prophesied “drying up of the Euphrates,” that prepares the way for the Kings of the East to invade Israel. A democratic Iran (like a democratic Iraq) would definitely have the tendency to be pro-Western, progressive, and a stabilizing factor for the entire region, solidifying America’s role in world super-geo-politics. But, Iran plays a direct or indirect role in the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Arab-Israeli conflict, in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, in the export of fundamentalist and radical Islam, and in the financial, logistical, training, planning, and moral support for international terrorism, and China, together with Russia are manipulating these situation to destabilize the present US led-Western balance of power in Central Asia.

   Revelation 16:12 And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.

Iran, with its economic and geo-strategic wealth in the hands of an undemocratic, irresponsible theocracy, represents a formidable problem for global stability and a serious threat to world order. That is why Iran, in the view of many Westerners, and as forwarded by the Bush Middle East Doctrine, requires change from theocracy to secular Democracy to contribute to peace and stability of the region and to the world's equilibrium of Global Security.

   Instead, the Islamic Republic of Iran stands as the sword that tends to bring over three centuries of Western domination of the Persian Gulf to an end by opening its doors to the People's Republic of China, and by its military alliance with Russia. Russia has invested billions of dollars worth of military inventory in thebuildup and defense of Iran’s nuclear facilities. Iran has also signed extensive commercial, military and strategic agreements with China. After the second inauguration of US President George W. Bush, Chinese Prime Minister Li Zhaoxing flew to Tehran to sign a $100-billion oil and gas deal between China' state owned oil company, Sinopec, and the Iranian Oil Ministry. The Chinese need for oil is increasing every year. Presently China imports two-million barrels of oil every day. In less than two decades China must import more than 10-million barrels daily. That is why China is paying unprecedented attention to the Persian Gulf and cultivating its ties more aggressively with the Persian Gulf states. Despite US sanctions, Chinese companies continue to export military technology for Iran's development of an intermediate-range ballistic missile program.

   China also has completed its new naval port in Gwadar on the Pakistan-Iran border in the Pakistani area of Baluchistan, adjacent to the Strait of Hormuz. This is at the mouth of the Gulf of Oman and creates the opportunity for a Chinese-Iranian stranglehold for the sea lanes of the area. The alliance between Iran and China could have a decisive impact on the balance of power, particularly in the projected future rivalry between China and the US over the issues of Taiwan and North Korea. It can accurately be theorized that the second cold war has already started between China and US in these two regions.

  Whether for expediency or rivalry, Saudi Arabia is also cultivating closer relations with the China. China has sold the CSS-2S intermediate range ballistic missiles to the Saudis. Recently the Saudis have been negotiating the purchase of the CSS-6S, a more advanced ballistic missile system with longer range. This is happening because of the US' involvement and engagement in Iraq and Afghanistan after 9/11.

   The international community and most of the Iranian people had hoped that the politics and the policies of the Islamic Republic in Iran would mature and moderate with time. But the direction the clerics have taken 26 years after the revolution is to the contrary. Their policies and actions have made them a major threat to the future stability and security of the Middle East.

   It seems inevitable that Iran will become a fully-fledged and comprehensive military nuclear power. According to many accounts, it has reached the point-of-no-return, even though it might not test a nuclear weapon in the near future. The international community can do little except to try to keep the lines of communications open. There are neither the means nor the will to tackle this question head on. It is important to note that Iran now has a sophisticated National Command Authority for the conduct of strategic warfare. Defense & Foreign Affairs Daily reported on September 27, 2004: "Iran has demonstrated a substantial upgrading of its strategic weapons, doctrine and national command authority capabilities, which have profound implications for the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia. While reports in the open media about “new” Iranian missiles systems having the range to reach London were both incorrect and missed the point, it was clear that the live-fire test of a Shahab-3D intermediate-range ballistic missile on September 18, 2004, during Exercise Ashura-5 reflected a totally new Iranian capability and intent.
"Ashura-5, the 12th major military exercise by Iran in 18 months, began on September 12, 2004, in the western provinces of Hamedan, Kurdistan and Zanjan, and involved some 12 infantry and mechanized divisions, and included the first operational test of Iran's T-72 tanks. The exercise was commanded by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, responsible for Iran's missile and nuclear weapons programs, and also included the Basij Islamist paramilitary force. IRGC commander Gen. Yahya Rahim-Safavi said Ashura-5 would include the firing of surface-to-surface missiles and anti-aircraft batteries. The commander did not identify the missiles but said they would be used for what he termed deep-strike warfare." Other reports have indicated the strength of the nuclear, missile, and the strategic policy coordination between Iran and North Korea, a coordination which, because of the interrelationships, must also include China.


The Caspian Sea Oil Pipeline Affects the Balance of Power



   The new Caspian Sea oil pipeline, (2005) which crosses Turkey from Baku to Ceyhan on the Mediterranean Coast, is intended to lessen the West from its reliance on Middle Eastern oil. This pipeline may prove to be a factor in the rise of the Russian-Iranian led invasion of Israel, and also to counter the moves of the Antichrist in the region, as described by the prophet Ezekiel. The Caspian Sea oil basins reside in an area formerly occupied by the Soviet Union. The Caspian Sea pipeline is the oil flow that is meant to save the West, and insure that the instability and competition for Arab oil does not obstruct the West from enjoying its superpower status. The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan was supposed to alter global oil markets forever, and ease Euro-American dependency on Saudi oil. The 1,000-mile oil line has transformed the geopolitics of the Caucasus and its impact is now being felt in the vastness of central Asia. The pipeline is projected to shore up energy supplies in the US and Europe for the next 50 years. In reality, it is enabling the European Union to guarantee itself a place in the power structure of emerging world order. The Caspian Sea oil competition has also driven a geo-political wedge between the US and Russia. The great Russian bear is not amused by the strategic undercutting of its southern belly.

   Since the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks in the US, concern at the West's dependence on Persian Gulf oil has intensified. The politics of the pipeline have also changed the face of Georgia, and other Russian republics where democracy has sprouted. In the long-term, geo-politically speaking, US ally Turkey, where the pipeline crucially delivers its oil direct to the Mediterranean, bypassing the tanker-clogged Bosphorus straits, it is no accident that it does so right next to the American airbase at Incirlik. When big oil companies turned their attentions in the 1990’s to the potential Caspian energy reserves released from behind the collapsing walls of the Soviet Union, the region was billed as the "new Middle East."

    Western political analysts also saw that if the oil reserves of the Caspian (which sits on the north border of Iran) could be securely transported from the landlocked sea to the Mediterranean, the West would be gifted with a vital alternative to the volatile Persian Gulf and the Central Asian region would be freed from the iron grip of Russia, which had previously monopolized the export routes of their former Soviet satellites. Once the Soviet empire fell, the Caspian Sea oil found itself surrounded by five nation states, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan. The region's supply of cheap oil and key position on the historic border between the West and the East meant that countries quickly moved into position like pieces on a chessboard.

    Thus we see Europe, the US and Russia battling strategically in what Rudyard Kipling once called the "Great Game," the secret battle to dominate central Asia, and it has only reached the end of its first phase. The game now moves to the transCaspian pipeline and to the immense plains of Turkmenistan and the political cauldron of Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and beyond.

   No wonder Russia is so insistent on Iran becoming a nuclear power! Perhaps the Caspian Sea oil card, coupled with Russia and China’s strategic interest investment in Iran is the hooks-in the-jaw element that the prophet Ezekiel spoke about 2600 years ago.

Russia is certainly clothing her allies in Persia with armor, swords and shields, and is geopolitically acting as a “guard” for Iran!


   Ezekiel 38:2-7 Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee. Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.


The Four Choke-points of the Middle East and Central Asia




   Joel 3:9-16 Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong. Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O LORD. Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.


Focus on Jerusalem Prophecy Ministry

By: Darrell G. Young

June, 2005


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