Iranian Nuclear Agreement: Progress or Dangerous?
The United States and some of its allies promise to ease some sanctions as Iran agrees to some restrictions on its nuclear progress. But can Iran be trusted?
At the suggestion of Iranian officials, U.S. President Barack Obama phoned Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sept. 27, and the two leaders agreed to accelerate talks about Iran’s nuclear program. This was the first time leaders of the United States and Iran have had direct public communication since the Iranian Revolution in 1979.
During the weeks following, talks continued between Iran and the United States, along with the other four permanent members of the UN Security Council (Britain, France, China and Russia), plus Germany. At one point France left the negotiating table. Finally on Nov. 24, an agreement was reached in Geneva, Switzerland.
Some proclaim this agreement to be a historic event, while others—especially the nation of Israel—claim it is a historic mistake.
Why Iran’s motives are questioned
Just before 1979, Iran was a pro-Western nation. But after the Iranian Revolution, the nation became anti-Western under the leadership of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Prior to 1979, Khomeini had been in exile for 15 years. But after his successful revolution, Khomeini became the supreme leader of Iran.
Although Iran’s nuclear program was temporarily stopped in 1979, just three years later, in 1982, Iran announced its intentions of building its own nuclear reactor, powered by its own uranium. Since then, the Iranian nuclear program has slowly proceeded.
After Khomeini’s death in 1989, he was succeeded by Ali Khamenei, who was president of Iran from 1981-1989. Under Ayatollah Khamenei’s leadership, Iran’s nuclear program escalated.
Tensions between the West and Iran hit a peak under Iran’s last president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who publicly promoted Iran’s nuclear program and ratcheted up tensions with fierce anti-Israel rhetoric. Current President Hassan Rouhani is now espousing a seemingly more dovish tone—but some are saying that red flags should go up. The question remains: Is Iran softening its stance to bide time and reduce economic sanctions, or is it a genuine attempt for peace?
Sanctions hurting Iran’s economy
Ever since the Iranian Revolution, the United States has imposed sanctions on Iran. But in response to Iran’s defiance about its nuclear program, the United States increased sanctions in 1995. The United Nations has adopted eight resolutions against Iran since 2006.
These sanctions have seriously affected Iran’s oil and gas industry, which is by far its largest source of income. After years of lost revenue, Iran is definitely feeling the effects of these sanctions.
Has Iran had a change of heart?
Do Iran’s leaders really want to stop their nuclear program, or are they merely putting up a front? Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that Iran’s current president is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. And after Sunday’s agreement he said, “Today the world [became] a much more dangerous place, because the most dangerous regime in the world took a significant step towards getting the most dangerous weapon in the world” (NBC).
Even some members of Congress don’t believe this agreement is in America’s best interest. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida said, “This agreement shows other rogue states that wish to go nuclear that you can obfuscate, cheat, and lie for a decade, and eventually the United States will tire and drop key demands” (NBC).
A step down which path?
Yet both President Obama and Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron said this agreement with Iran is a “first step.”
But down which path?
Time will tell whether this agreement will make the Middle East (and the world) safer or more dangerous. Bible prophecy reveals that there will be “wars and rumors of wars” (Matthew 24:6), intensifying in the end times.
The Bible shows that because the descendants of the patriarch Jacob (primarily the United States and Great Britain) have forsaken God, their modern leaders will make bad decisions.
Through the prophet Hosea, God says, “Ephraim also is like a silly dove, without sense” (Hosea 7:11). This prophecy is in the context of foolish alliances with nations that are not truly friendly.
Though the recent agreement with Iran is not an alliance, it is fair to question the wisdom of the agreement. Why would a nation that publicly expresses its hatred for the Western world want to eagerly work with the West—unless it has a hidden agenda?
Will this agreement really cause Iran’s leaders to permanently abort their nuclear weapons program? Or does Iran intend only to slow down its progress for a while—in order to get more revenue coming in—and then accelerate its nuclear program later?
What we do know for sure is that the world has reason to fear the proliferation and use of nuclear weapons. Bible prophecy reveals that the world will eventually come to the brink of total human destruction (Matthew 24:22).
And the solution to the danger of nuclear destruction is the return of Jesus Christ to this earth (Matthew 24:30).
Pray for that day to come soon!
Read more about what the Bible says about the coming end of the age and the good news on beyond in the articles about End-Time Prophecy and Jesus Christ’s Second Coming.