On Tuesday, the highly anticipated nuclear renegotiations between the Biden administration and Iran finally began in Vienna. And as with the last set of talks that culminated in the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, it is already obvious that although the United States holds all the leverage, it is Iran who will come out on top.
Iran wants to reinstate the deal that President Barack Obama’s team negotiated with little desire to make it tougher. In essence, this means undoing the economic sanctions President Donald Trump imposed in 2018 in return for the promise of halting its nuclear weapons program, at least for the next four or five years.
Luckily for Iran, the same cast that negotiated the deal for Obama is back in the room with the same Iranians.
Representing Iran is Abbas Araghchi, the deputy foreign minister who reports to the ever smiling Javad Zarif. The American side is led by Robert Malley, Obama’s point man on the 2015 accord. The last time around, Obama’s team agreed to a deal that would limit Iran’s overt nuclear program for a decade. All the while $150 billion of unfrozen cash would be wired to Iran, as well $1.8 billion in cash that jetted to Iran coinciding with the release of American hostages.
This time, there is about $30 billion that would be unfrozen on day 1 of the deal. At the same time, President Trump’s sanctions would come down, giving Iran open access to international markets.
There have been rumors that the United States will try to harden the deal to include Iran’s work on ballistic missile testing, the delivery system for a nuclear weapon, as well as limiting some of Iran’s other malign activities—but given the Obama team’s track record, there is little chance of that.
Yet with all of the talk of the specifics of a nuclear deal, there is also an eerie sense that the whole scene in Vienna is but a show, simply a cover for the U.S. to justify its foreign-policy shift toward strengthening Iran rather than containing it. Obama wanted to empower Iran in 2015 and did so with the nuclear deal. Now it’s 2021, and Obama’s men are back to finish what they started.
This notion that the nuclear negotiations are a fraudulent show becomes even more believable when considering that Iran may already have nuclear weapons.
On March 19, National Review published a piece titled “Iran Probably Already Has the Bomb. Here’s What to Do About It.” The article goes through a series of points to show why it is highly likely Iran already possesses nuclear weapons.
The article is not some pie-in-the-sky fantasy written by the uninformed. Instead, it holds the byline of five distinguished intelligence specialists. Listed first is a former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Ambassador R. James Wolsey.
The official line based on reports from the International Atomic Energy Agency (iaea) is that Iran is about 3-6 months away from a nuclear weapon, should the regime choose to pursue one. However, this calculus is fraught with problems. As noted, the International Atomic Energy Agency and the United States intelligence communities have a poor track record at being nuclear watchdogs. “iaea inspections failed to discover clandestine nuclear weapons programs in North Korea, Pakistan, Iraq and Libya. In 1998, the intelligence community’s ‘Worldwide Threat Assessment’ failed to warn that, just a few months later, Pakistan and India would overtly ‘go nuclear’ with a series of nuclear-weapons tests,” stated the report.
Specifically, with Iran, the authors show that the ability of the International Atomic Energy Agency to present a true picture of Iran’s weapons program is limited by access. They write, “iaea inspections are limited to civilian sites, and restricted from military bases, including several highly suspicious underground facilities where Iran’s nuclear-weapons program almost certainly continues clandestinely. Imagery of one vast underground site, heavily protected by [surface-to-air missiles], shows high-voltage powerlines terminating underground, potentially delivering enormous amounts of electricity, consistent with powering uranium enrichment centrifuges on an industrial scale. So iaea reports on Iran’s enriched-uranium stockpile almost certainly are not the whole story.”
Added to the lack of true accountability, the authors of the National Review story highlight Iran’s close relationship with North Korea. As we have reported previously, North Korea’s nuclear weapons program is intertwined with Iran’s. North Korean scientists have been spotted working with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Iran, and Iranian scientists were in North Korea for several of its nuclear tests. “North Korea could easily have exchanged information with Iran and even tested Iranian nuclear weapons as well as their own—if there is any difference—without the U.S. and its allies knowing whose weapons were being tested,” they write. Given the collusion between the two, it’s likely that North Korea’s nuclear tests were also Iran’s nuclear tests.
So if Iran already has nuclear weapons, why go through the charade of nuclear talks?
Simply because nuclear blackmail is a heavy incentive for Iran to get what it wants from the West. Iran needs access to international trade to fund the regime’s expansionist goals, and a deal that looks to slow Iran’s quest for a bomb in return for that access is palatable to many Westerners. If Iran revealed its nuclear weapons, there would be little chance the West would agree to bring Iran in from the cold. But by keeping it covert, Iran can get the money it needs to stabilize the regime in Tehran, as well as continue its nuclear program.
The National Review authors also posit another, more alarming, reason for Iran keeping a lid on its nuclear arsenal (emphasis added throughout):
Ominously, Iran may be forgoing the deterrence benefits of an overt nuclear posture because it is building toward the surprise future employment of nuclear capabilities to advance the global theological agenda of the ayatollahs and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard, the world’s largest and most sophisticated terrorist organization.
In the opinion of the authors, Iran may be hiding its nuclear weapons because it is waiting until it has enough nuclear ammunition for an overwhelming surprise attack.
This is a chilling warning. But it is one that falls in line with Iran’s messianic objectives, as well as biblical prophecy.
In his book The Rise of a Nuclear Iran, former Israeli Ambassador Dore Gold wrote an entire chapter explaining why the traditional nuclear calculus of mutually assured destruction does not apply to Iran. For other nations, it’s irrational to use nuclear weapons against another nuclear power, lest the nuclear retaliation destroys your own. But Iran does not follow this same logic.
Gold writes, “Can a nuclear Iran be effectively deterred from engaging in nuclear brinksmanship in the future, just like the ussr was deterred during the Cold War? This is an area where there is an extreme amount of uncertainty. … During the Iran-Iraq War, it used the methods of martyrdom again for large human wave attacks against the well-equipped Iraqi Army. While the leaders of the Iranian regime might not want to lose their own lives in a military exchange with the West, they have not demonstrated many reservations about sacrificing hundreds of thousands of their own people.”
Even Dennis Ross, a former adviser to President Obama, agreed with Gold’s assessment. In 2006, he said, “As for those who think that the nuclear deterrent rules that govern relations between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War will apply in a nuclear Middle East: Don’t be so confident.”
Based on its theology, Iran’s leaders aren’t bothered by the destruction of Iran if it furthers the global Islamic cause.
Rationality and logic are often sacrificed on the altar of religion. With Iran, this is especially true. Since 1979, Iran has been ruled by radical Islamist ideology that glorifies martyrdom, even on the national level.
“We do not worship Iran, we worship Allah,” declared the late Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini following the 1979 Iranian Revolution. “For patriotism is another name for paganism. I say let this land [Iran] burn. I say let this land go up in smoke, provided Islam emerges triumphant in the rest of the world.” The Islamic Republic’s founding leader didn’t value national self-preservation. Above all, he glorified martyrdom in order to spread Islam.
“Where do we look in drawing up the national security strategy of the Islamic Republic of Iran?” asked Iran’s current supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in 1991. “Do we look to preserve the integrity of our land, or do we look to expansion? … We must definitely look to expansion. The Islamic Republic’s survival depends on the support of a global Islamic force.” Here is Iran’s top leader endorsing the violent expansion of radical Islam, even if it means destroying the nation of Iran.
To many people, this thinking is absurd and entirely irrational. What does it stem from?
Ultimately, it is rooted in an Islamic fundamentalist belief espoused in a branch of Shiite Islam called “Imamiyyah,” or “Twelverism.” Twelvers believe that a figure called “the mahdi,” or the “12th imam,” is the last of a dozen divine imams who are heirs to an Islamic nation. Their eschatology says the mahdi was born in the mid-ninth century, then disappeared from humanity, and will return during a time of global calamity. The mahdi will arrive during an apocalyptic war and will bring justice to the world by raising the flag of Shiite Islam in every corner of the Earth.
Chaos is a primary prerequisite to this messianic figure’s return. Many Twelvers believe they can hasten his reappearance by intentionally stirring up global chaos. To Twelvers, it doesn’t matter whether you win the war, as long as you start the war! Bernard Lewis, an eminent scholar and historian of the past century, stated that for the Iranian regime, “[m]utually assured destruction is not a deterrent—it’s an inducement.”
Among Iranians, Twelverism is not a fringe belief. Between 90 and 95 percent of Iran’s 83 million people are Shiite Muslims. Of this group, 85 percent are Twelvers. More than 60 million Iranians believe the mahdi will return amid massive global chaos! Khomeini was a Twelver. Khamenei, the current supreme leader and the most powerful man in Iran, is too.
In 2012, Khamenei stressed how relevant the Twelver doctrine is in modern Iran. He told his people, “The issue of Imam Mahdi is of utmost importance, and his reappearance has been clearly stated in our holy religion of Islam. … We must prepare the environment for the coming so that the great leader will come.” Again, that “environment” is one of global suffering and anarchy!
“Do you know why we should wish for chaos at any price?” said former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2005. “Because after chaos, we can see the greatness of Allah.”
Mehdi Khaliji, an Iranian Shiite scholar trained in the holy city of Qom, says the mahdi will not return unless “one third of the world’s population is killed and another third die.” Carnage of this magnitude requires the use of nuclear weapons.
Certainly, there are many in Iran who value life, both individually and nationally, over chaos and destruction. But Iran’s most powerful and influential leaders, the men behind the nuclear program, believe it is their duty to create the global chaos required in order for the return of their mahdi!
And here you have a report by reputable authors in the National Review who fully believe that Iran already has nuclear weapons. Remember that quote, “Ominously, Iran may be forgoing the deterrence benefits of an overt nuclear posture because it is building toward the surprise future employment of nuclear capabilities to advance the global theological agenda of the ayatollahs ….”
As we have seen, combining a suicidal ideology that glorifies martyrdom with nuclear weapons is perhaps the greatest threat the world faces. Nuclear war becomes not only a matter of if but when.
Watch Jerusalem editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote about other dangers of a nuclear Iran in his booklet, The King of the South. He writes:
Iran is extremely radical—the king over radical Islam. Where is this nation’s pushiness leading? To war! Just as it has in the past. It’s leading to terrifying war with weapons of mass destruction. It can lead no place else.
A basic understanding of human nature and history should tell us that. All the wishful thinking in this world won’t stop that calamity—just as the pacifist dreamers of the 1930s didn’t stop Adolf Hitler!
History thunders for us to awaken.
If Iran does indeed already have nuclear weapons, Mr. Flurry’s warning only becomes more dire.
Don’t be fooled by the nuclear negotiations taking place in Vienna that are supposedly meant to curb Iran’s nuclear ambition. They are actually providing cover for the extreme danger that faces all of us. Ezekiel the prophet warned not to heed the prophets of peace when destruction was at the door (Ezekiel 13:8-16).
Nuclear negotiations promise peace and safety. But in reality, sudden destruction could be around the corner.
There is no reason that you need to be taken by surprise. God promises to always warn before destruction comes. The message of Mr. Flurry and Watch Jerusalem is that warning, which God intends to reach this world as a witness, but also to reach individuals who are willing to respond before that destruction comes.
Numerous prophecies in the Bible declare that the coming nuclear war will not be proceeded by a slow buildup of nuclear arms. It won’t come at the end of some sunset clause; it will come unexpectedly. For most, it will come without warning!
But you need not be taken off guard by what is coming. You can be aware and prepared. To get ready and to know what your response should be for the protection of you and your family, please read The King of the South, by Gerald Flurry.