The year-long saber-rattling rhetoric between Iran and Saudi Arabia was raised another notch this past week. This is another thread of activity prior to the Second Signpost or any war – making enemies out of your neighbors.
I wrote in an earlier post about the Hajj stampede in which 400 Iranians died about a year ago. Iran and Saudi Arabia were always at odds, but the Hajj stampede gave Iran an excuse to make an outright enemy out of Saudi Arabia. In January 2016 Saudi Arabia executed a number of Shia Muslims and then the Saudi embassy in Tehran was attacked.
And now this past week there was another exchange of rhetoric between Iran and the Saudis. This time the exchange was of outright insults, and not just accusations. Supreme leader Khamenei accused Saudi Arabia yet again of mismanaging the Hajj in Mecca. Then came the following slow-motion exchange between Al-Sheikh, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia on Sept. 6, followed by Mohammad Zarif, the Foreign Minister of Iran in a NY Times Op-ed piece yesterday (Sept 13):
AL SHEIKH: Iranians are “not Muslims” but are “the sons of the Magi.”
ZARIF: “The toxic threat of Wahhabism cannot be ignored…concrete action against extremism is needed.”
The head cleric in Saudi Arabia just declared Iranians to be effectively infidels, accusing them of clinging to Iran’s ancient religion of Zoroastrianism. This is an insult to Iran’s Shia Muslim faith. As far as they are concerned, it is Sunnis and Wahhabis that are not Muslim. Zarif, the foreign relations mouthpiece for supreme leader Khameini sounds like he made an outright threat against the religion of central Saudi Arabia. Khameini earlier spoke against the royal family – now his foreign minister spoke against their religion. Their religion must be dealt with; its the same kind of phrase Islamic fundamentalists might use against Jews or Christians.
How much more will the rhetoric step up before the Second Signpost begins? As always we don’t know, but we will be watching. At least we believe we know that this is the place to watch, for the next great event is likely the great invasion of the Middle East by Iran just as Daniel 7 and 8 seem to be showing.