IRAN - Middle East Influence Declining?

Arno Froese

The foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran is going through tough times. Growing global dissatisfaction with Tehran’s approach to its nuclear program and delays in returning to the negotiations, as well as developments in Iran’s backyard, are undermining Iranian claims to successful “resistance” and rising influence.

Iran’s closest ally, Hezbollah, has been blamed for a variety of Lebanon’s ills, including the massive Beirut port blast in August 2020. Its members were involved in recent armed clashes on October 14 that broke out during protests against a judge investigating the port disaster. Although Hezbollah denies involvement in the violence, many Lebanese, who have been protesting in the streets for more than two years, want an end to Iran’s intervention in their country’s affairs. Increasingly, there is concern that a new civil war could erupt.

Arab countries have long complained about the role of militias and other groups created and nurtured by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Quds Force. The new Iranian foreign minister is well known for his close ties to the Quds Force and his appointment, intended to show Iran’s regional focus, in fact intensified the anger and grievances of Arab states about the Islamic Republic’s interference.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan mocked Iran. “I do not expect the recent events to result in a military confrontation between Iran and Azerbaijan, because on the one side, Azerbaijan has relations with Israel and on the other side, Iran takes into account the sizeable Azeri population inside,” he said on October 21.

Tehran’s regional problems are embedded in broader difficulties. It cannot expect to succeed in the neighborhood without resolving barriers to trade and investment, which include Iran’s failure to enact financial transparency measures required by the Financial Action Task Force, (FATF) and continuing US secondary sanctions.

Meanwhile, officials in the previous Hassan Rouhani government stress that China, despite its continued indirect purchase of Iranian oil, will not be able to increase trade and investment without Iran ratifying the FATF-related legislation., 5 November 2021

Arno's Commentary

Iran’s weakening relations with neighboring countries is definitely welcome news to Israel. Interestingly, Israel is making significant gains in friendship with a number of Arab countries. While Israel maintains full diplomatic relations with Egypt and Jordan, agreements establishing relations are in the works with four Arab League countries: Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Sudan, and Morocco. Apparently, more is to come.

What are the reasons? Israel is a reliable and powerful nation that commands a disproportionately high number of successes in various fields, be it medicine, agriculture, science, and especially security, which is what every country on planet earth is feverishly racing toward in our days. According to, Jews account for 23% of all Nobel Prize winners. Iran has only one, Shirin Ebadi, an Iranian lawyer, writer, and teacher, who received the Nobel Prize for Peace in 2003. She now resides in London. states, “Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi believes Iran could be the next North Korea.”

It is of interest what the prophet Micah writes: “Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion: for I will make thine horn iron, and I will make thy hoofs brass: and thou shalt beat in pieces many people: and I will consecrate their gain unto the Lord, and their substance unto the Lord of the whole earth” (Micah 4:13).

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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