IRAN - Recent History

Arno Froese

We have no hard intelligence which indicates an attempt to overthrow the Shah’s rule is imminent. Yet many reports from a variety of sources indicate that basic and widespread dissatisfaction with the regime has created an atmosphere in which a coup could occur at any time. If, however, the Shah took dramatic and forceful steps to reform the corrupt social, political, and economic system, he might be able to maintain his position for the next few years. We believe the Shah is unlikely on his own to take such drastic actions. If he does not, we believe the regime will.

At the same time, his personal prestige has decreased sharply. He is criticized and blamed for the continuance of near feudal economic and social conditions in the country.

More importantly, there is today little belief or even hope in the country that his rule will bring such reforms.

Although a façade of representative government has been preserved it is regarded by the vast majority of politically conscious Iranians as a farce. Elections are strictly controlled, debate in the Majlis is limited, and all real opposition elements are suppressed through arrests and censorship. Opportunities for political expression and responsibility have decreased markedly over the past two years.

Wealth is concentrated in the hands of a small group. Only two percent of the land is owned by the peasants who work it. Eight percent of government tax revenues are from taxes which fall most heavily on the poor.

We believe the future of the Shah’s rule in Iran is extremely uncertain.

It is generally believed in Iran that the US is committed to the support of the Shah and hac a high degree of influence, even control, over the Shah. It is further believed that the US has not pressed the Shah to institute political and social reforms. Furthermore, it is widely assumed that the US supports and finances the Iranian intelligence service, SAVAK, which works against all groups opposing the government. For these reasons the prestige and influence of the US have declined along with those of the Shah., 13 June 2013

Arno's Commentary

The few excerpts from classified documents now declassified and released on 13 June 2013, shows that the US government’s virtually unconditional support of the Shah of Persia is the root of the deep-seated hatred of the United States by the Iranian people. That is part of politics.

What about Israel? When the State was declared in May of 1948, Iran was the second Muslim-majority country to recognize Israel as a sovereign state after Turkey. That changed when Muslim religious leaders took over the country in 1979. So, why hate Israel? Most Jewish political analysts use one word: antisemitism. 

Wikipedia reveals: “The relations between Iran and Israel can be divided into four major phases: the ambivalent period from 1947 to 1953, the friendly period during the era of the Pahlavi dynasty from 1953 to 1979, the worsening period following the Iranian Revolution from 1979 to 1990, and the ongoing period of open hostility since the end of the Gulf War in 1991.” Addition information from Wikipedia reveals Biblical history: “The beginnings of Jewish history in Iran date from late Biblical times. The biblical books of Isaiah, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, Chronicles, and Esther contain references to the life and experiences of Jews in Persia. In the book of Ezra, the Persian king Cyrus the Great is credited with permitting and enabling the Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild their Temple; its reconstruction was carried out ‘according to the decree of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia’ (Ezra 6:14).”

The King of Persia liberated the Jews and supported their return, with the explicit instruction to build the temple in Jerusalem. Today, it’s the opposite. An Islamic “temple” (mosque) and Dome of the Rock stand in the place where once the Temple stood. Thus, our question: Will there be another Jewish temple? Paul writes: “Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:4). Many theologians interpret this to mean the living Church of Christ, because 1 Corinthians 3:16 declares: “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” 

Another interpretation refers to the words of our Lord: “But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not” (Mark 13:14a). We take note of the words, “standing where it ought not.” This could be interpreted as the temple being built in Jerusalem, but not in the same place, “standing where it ought not.”

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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