The big story in the news right now is that Israel could strike Iran this spring. U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta believes there is a strong likelihood that Israel will launch a military strike against Iran in April, May or June.
The reason for the apparent nearness of this coming attack is that the Israelis fear that, very soon, the Iranians will have stored enough enriched uranium in deep underground facilities to make a weapon — and only the United States could then stop them militarily. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not want to leave the fate of the Jewish nation on American action. This is because Israeli leadership is far from convinced that the White House really intends to halt Iran's progress toward building a bomb.
Right now, according to Israeli Vice Prime Minister and Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya'alon, all of Iran's nuclear facilities are currently vulnerable to a military strike. But Iran is seeking to enter into a "zone of immunity" to protect its nuclear program. Defense Secretary Panetta believes "there is strong likelihood that Israel will strike Iran" before Iran can accomplish this.
Iran realizes this possibility as well, which is why Iranian leaders are now warning of a coming war with the West and with Israel. Ayatollah Khamenei, the Iranian supreme leader, is proclaiming that Iran will be victorious in this religious war. While speaking to youths gathered from more than 70 countries attending a world conference on the Arab Spring this past week, Khamenei told a cheering crowd in Tehran that "Allah's promises will be delivered and Islam will be victorious."
Khamenei is not just making a boastful prediction to scare the West and Israel into submission; he is referring to the Mahdi-driven, apocalyptic religious path he and the rest of the Iranian leadership is traversing. The goal is to introduce the Mahdi (a.k.a. the Twelfth Imam or the Muslim messiah) to the world. But, to do that, Israel first needs to be eliminated and global chaos must ensue. This is where the attainment of nuclear weapons comes into play for Iran.
Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz stated last week that Israel is the only nation targeted for destruction by the pursuit of nuclear weapons. After all, it is no secret that both Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the ultimate leader of Iran, and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have called for Israel to be "wiped off the map." For this reason, their pursuit of nuclear weapons has to be taken seriously. After all, Israel's survival appears to hang in the balance.
Harold Rhode, who for decades served in the office of the U.S. Secretary of Defense as an analyst of the Islamic world's culture in politics, stated that regime change in Iran is the only answer—for the Middle East and for the world. But this will not occur in isolation.
Though there is a growing opposition movement in Iran, it still does not have the power to overcome the ruthless government and its military, the Revolutionary Guard. Yet, the Iranian regime WILL be deposed. How do I know that? The Bible shows us that truth.
First, the Bible clearly demonstrates that God will not allow the destruction of Israel (see Jeremiah 31:31ff. and a whole host of other passages). Furthermore, God proclaims that Israel will be at the center of His future, prophetic program. Thus, Iran will not obtain the nuclear weapons it needs to eliminate the Jewish nation.
Since the Iranian leadership is driven by religious zeal (not by politics or power), it will not be swayed from accomplishing its pursuit of nuclear weapons, on its way toward the goal of the Islamization of the world. This is why the Obama administration, with all of its efforts to do so, has not been able to persuade Iranian leadership to negotiate over its nuclear program. Neither have sanctions swayed Iranian leaders. This is because true religious zeal will not be stopped until, either it accomplishes its goal, or those with the zeal are eliminated.
Israel understands this, while the U.S. still does not get it. This is why the Jewish nation will need to act before it is too late. And it will.
When it does, I predict that the opposition movement will take advantage of the resulting chaos and bring down the regime. When that occurs, a domino effect (which may begin with the fall of the Syrian regime) will pervade the Middle East, bringing down the terrorism that Iran has been sponsoring and opening the region for a treaty with Israel, as well as the proclamation of "peace and security" (cf. 1 Thess. 5:3) by world leaders.
It will be that treaty that will begin the final seven years leading to the return of Christ. Thus, the coming face-off of Israel and Iran could be one of dramatic and gigantic proportion! We will certainly find out soon enough.
[John Claeys serves as Executive Director of John Claeys Ministries through writing, speaking, and radio ministries and is the author of Apocalypse 2012: The Ticking of the End Time Clock—What Does the Bible Say?, a riveting look of the events leading up to the return of Christ. See http://johnclaeys.com/ for more information.]