Foreign Minister Zarif Confirms Ram’s Second Horn Done Growing

One of the problems people have with recognizing when a prophecy is fulfilled is that the information that would tell them it was fulfilled is hard to come by. Even if a Scripture passage is interpreted correctly, without seeing the event a fulfillment is not known. And an event may have happened, nonetheless, even without the availability of good information.
On that last point for example, over 99% of the people in the world living two millennia ago, as well as all the people living today, would have never known about a man from Galilee, crucified, and raised from the dead, unless they were told. This is the Gospel that is to be preached to every nation.
Likewise, certain events that happened in Iran for the last forty years are not that well known. However, these relatively unknown events fulfill the beginning of Daniel 8, the prelude to the Second Signpost, as told in the Signpost interpretation.
The relatively unknown events I mention here are the existence, beginning, and growth in power of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in Iran. Books and papers were being published only as recently as the years since 2013, though IRGC activity began in the 1980’s. One had to dig to find this information.
From my own research and digging, I wrote all about the IRGC and how it fulfills Daniel 8:3 as the second horn growing up longer and later, in Daniel Revisited chapter 10, and Iran’s Great Invasion chapter 4.
The IRGC is now more powerful than the supreme leader. The IRGC grew from a bodyguard for the supreme leader in 1979, to a body of men who are defenders, police, and invaders-to-be for, the 1979 Iranian Shia Revolution.
Zarif’s Confession
According to news from Arab News and Fox News, a recording of comments by Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif was leaked telling us in the open what was already known by those who know the Signposts. Other news sites tell how this revelation comes as a surprise.
What was leaked was that the power of the IRGC is equal to or greater than that of the supreme leader, the first horn of the ram of Daniel 8:3. Before the Second Signpost can happen, i.e. Daniel 8:4, the second horn must grow up to be longer than the first horn. The horns are said to be long, or tall, and therefore have absolute power in Iran. In 1979 the supreme leader was declared to speak for Allah, and now the IRGC sometimes makes rulings in place of the supreme leader.
Some of the more notable quotes from the Arab News article are as follows:
1) “Most notable from the hours-long leaked recordings . . . were Zarif’s revelations that Soleimani and his accomplices in the IRGC exert near-total control over foreign policy.”
2) “. . . this power imbalance is a result of the IRGC’s ascendancy to power since its formation during the Iran-Iraq war.” [emphasis added]
3) “It transitioned from only guarding the office of the supreme leader and his ideology to territorial protection, which led to it sidelining the army and Foreign Ministry.”
Some of the Fox News article quotes are as follows:
1) “. . . Zarif was heard in audio confirmed by The New York Times as authentic saying that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) overrules many government decisions, strongly suggesting it’s the military that’s actually fully in control of the country. While this may be to some degree stating the obvious, it’s hugely unexpected for Iran’s top civilian diplomat to actually candidly admit as much.” [emphasis added]

The fact that the NY Times has confirmed this shouldn’t put us off since though they may lie about various American political topics to push the Leftist agenda, what’s the motivation to lie about Iran’s internal politics?
2) “. . . he’s heard discussing slain Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani and how the elite commander undermined him in a variety of ways, noting he often went against Iran’s interests.”
I would say here “Iran’s interests” is what Zarif thinks they should be, but he is also not part of the two horns so his opinions do not matter in the big picture.
Conclusion
Whether by accident, or by intentional act, I believe our God has allowed the events behind the growth of the second horn of the ram to be shouted out via bullhorn to all the world that the IRGC runs Iran’s foreign policy, which in decades past was the supreme leader’s role. It still is technically, but the IRGC in many ways has exceeded the power of the supreme leader.
“Now the two horns were long, but one was longer than the other, with the longer one coming up last.” Daniel 8:3 (NASB)
Next to come is Daniel 8:4: “I saw the ram butting westward, northward, and southward . . .”



Categories: In The News, Signpost #2: Iran

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13 replies

  1. In leaked recording, Iran’s Zarif criticises Guards’ influence in diplomacy
    April 26, 202111:32 AM CDT

    https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/leaked-recording-irans-zarif-criticises-guards-influence-diplomacy-2021-04-26/

    This caught my eye a few days ago, and it brought to mind the second horn coming up. I thought about mentioning it then, but it’s a little more on-topic to this post.

  2. Unless we are into God’s word, Bible prophecies can be spectacularly fulfilled without us even knowing about it.

    Human stampedes that kill people trapped in them have happened in sports stadiums and in Mecca. That a recent human stampede in Israel should kill 45 people was a shock to me. Iranian media seemed to relish reporting on the event. As I was reading an article in The Times of Israel concerning mourning in Jerusalem over the tragedy https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-marks-day-of-mourning-for-45-victims-of-meron-stampede/ I suddenly realized that a prophecy in Isaiah 22 had just been fulfilled.

    Isaiah 22:1-2 NASB:
    The pronouncement concerning the valley of vision:
    What is the matter with you now, that you have all gone up to the housetops?
    You who were full of noise,
    You tumultuous town, you jubilant city;
    Your dead were not killed with the sword,
    Nor did they die in battle.

    “Gone to the housetops” refers to the practice in Isaiah’s day of mourning on housetops. Jeremiah 48:38 NASB is a good example: “On all the housetops of Moab and in its public squares there is mourning everywhere; for I have broken Moab like an undesirable vessel, declares the LORD.” The fulfillment of Isaiah 22:1-2 should be a sign that other statements in Isaiah 22 may soon be fulfilled.

    Isaiah 22:6 NASB [my comments in brackets]:
    Elam [Iran?] picked up the quiver,
    With the chariots, infantry, and horsemen [offensive weaponry];
    And Kir [Jordan?] uncovered the shield [defensive equipment].

    Bible prophecies can be difficult to understand. But those into them, even if they are struggling to understand, will at least notice when they are fulfilled. Because I read Daniel Revisited and Chronicles of the End Times, I began looking at Isaiah 22 and wondering about it, and now suddenly I see its first two verses fulfilled before my eyes.

  3. The Supreme Leader is displeased.

    https://apnews.com/article/middle-east-iran-50e307cb18c535c3d3006ee63dd5f13a

    Iranian foreign minister apologizes for leaked comments
    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — After coming under fire from Iran’s supreme leader, the country’s foreign minister offered him a direct and extensive apology Sunday for recorded comments leaked to the public last week.

    The recordings that surfaced of Mohammad Javad Zarif, including a blunt appraisal of the country’s internal power struggles and criticism of the powerful late Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, have sent shock waves through Iran less than two weeks before presidential elections. Officials in the Islamic Republic carefully mind their words amid a cut-throat political environment that involves the powerful Revolutionary Guard, ultimately overseen by the country’s supreme leader.

    “I am so sorry,” Zarif wrote in an Instagram post, “that part of my comments were stolen and published for misuse by enemies of the country and its people, and that it caused you, supreme leader, to feel regret.”

    The statement came after Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei appeared to lambast Zarif in a televised speech on Sunday.

  4. In his address, Khamenei refrained from calling out Zarif by name. But he described “a big mistake that must not be made by an official of the Islamic Republic,” noting that the leaked comments “are a repetition of what Iran’s enemies say.”

    “Some remarks have been heard from officials that are regrettable and surprising,” he added.

    So, it would seem Khamenei wants to avoid mentioning Zarif in a negative context by name even though there was no doubt whom he meant, but by going so far out of his way to avoid naming him, Khamenei reveals weakness in his own position. He has to play political games to keep from being swept into irrelevance altogether. He may need Zarif’s help in the future, even though by Zarif’s own admission he doesn’t hold enough sway to do his job the way he thinks it should be done.


  5. Zarif’s Instagram apology followed an earlier one to the family of Soleimani, who was killed by a U.S. drone strike in Iraq last year. In the post, he repeated that the leaked seven-hour conversation was never meant for release. He expressed remorse for departing from Iran’s official line, acknowledging that “following the supreme leader’s suggestions and decisions is an undeniable necessity.”

    He added: “Your comments are the final say on all matters for me and my colleagues. As an expert in foreign relations, I always believe that it should be managed and guided by the superior.”

    Zarif’s criticism of the revered Soleimani, whose funeral processions in Iran drew millions of people to the streets, ignited instant controversy. In the recordings, Zarif takes issue with Soleimani’s relations with Russia, which he accused of trying to sabotage Tehran’s 2015 landmark nuclear deal with world powers. He also denounces Soleimani’s refusal to stop using the U.S.-sanctioned national carrier, Iran Air, for operations in war-torn Syria despite Zarif’s objections.

    Speculation had mounted in recent weeks that Zarif, the Iranian official most closely associated with the now-tattered nuclear agreement, would challenge hard-liners in the upcoming vote. But Khamenei’s censure of the foreign minister is likely to dismiss any such ambitions, as the Guardian Council, a body of senior clerics and legal experts that serves under Khamenei, vets candidates for office. Zarif has insisted he doesn’t want to run.

    Sounds like Zarif wanted the deal to work, that he may actually have hoped to avoid wider warfare in the Middle East, which if advisers of President Obama’s administration told him about, would make the 2015 nuclear deal seem more likely to succeed than it really ever was. Even if President Trump hadn’t tried putting a stop to the deal, the Iranian regime’s hardliners are hardly afraid of using force and intimidation to remove inconvenient moderates from positions where they might actually try to uphold the deal from their end.

    As for Russia trying to ruin the 2015 agreement, what would Putin stand to gain from doing so, when Russia helped negotiate the JCPOA in the first place? For one, they get to look like heroes for trying to stop weapons of mass destruction programs they never actually opposed. Like when they covered for Assad in Syria after the Syrian Arab Air Force and Army were accused of using chemical weapons on multiple targets, causing civilian casualties, Russia again gets to step in and put on an outward appearance of constructive, proactive participation in a leadership role in the international community and the world order it is trying to destroy. For two, the Russians get to keep selling Iran more antiaircraft missiles that won’t stop drones or modern combat jets to give them a false sense of security as the IRGC and proxies continue to ratchet up tensions between Iran and Israel, and with whomever else they feel like. Putin gets to show off the Russian brand name to folks at home on all that Iranian-bought hardware, pitching it as a wise investment in regional security on Russia’s part as the Kremlin’s pet outlets vilify ‘destabilizing’ U.S. and Western aggression, never mind Russia’s propping up dictators and warlords waging war across a fair portion of three continents. For now, Russia still doesn’t want too much trouble with the U.S. or Israel that selling Iran their very best antiaircraft weapons systems would bring. Better air defenses would be the most logical of the top three or four areas for the IRGC to focus their efforts, and they want to see if they can fly drones to intercept planes.

    https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/38580/iran-just-fired-its-sidewinder-missile-clone-from-a-drone

    It’s not a war-wnning weapon by itself and the Iranians know it, but they’d still rather have this than nothing at all.

  6. Turkey, Armenia, and why Biden used the ‘G’ word
    May 02, 2021 22:07
    https://www.arabnews.com/node/1852591


    In a practice that has almost become a ritual in the US presidential campaign, the Armenian diaspora managed, at the start of the campaign, to extract a promise from the presidential candidate that on April 24 he would use the word genocide if he is elected. In the past, many presidents have promised it but did not fulfill their promise. Instead, they found an excuse for not using that word on the commemoration date and used other terms such as “great tragedy.” The only exception was Ronald Reagan, who in 1981 mentioned “the genocide of Armenians” in a different context.

    Biden last week deviated from this tradition and used the word genocide in a written statement issued on the occasion of the April 24 commemoration. One of the reasons was probably because he wanted to demonstrate that he is a different president, but there are other reasons too.

    Firstly, Turkish-US relations are in one of their most turbulent periods in history. The reasons for this include: Turkey’s purchase of the Russian-manufactured S-400 air defense system; the involvement of the Turkish state-owned Halkbank in circumventing US sanctions on Iran; Washington’s refusal to extradite Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is considered by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as the man behind the failed 2016 military coup in Turkey; Turkey’s expulsion from the advanced F-35 fighter aircraft program; the US military support for the Kurds in the north of Syria; the collision course between Turkey and Greece in the eastern Mediterranean; the unstable cooperation between the two countries in Syria and Libya; and Turkey’s support for Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict last year.

    “Secondly, throughout his 45-year political career, Biden has consistently sided against Turkey in almost all controversies.”

    If Turkey had faced an Iranian invasion with nearly unqualified European and American support, as would have been the case if Iran had tried a couple of decades ago, it would be easy to see a new Turkish leader emerge with enough power to re-establish Turkey as a power on a scale similar to where the Ottoman empire weighed in, able to unilaterally redraw regional borders. Turkey would now receive far less direct support, especially if they took a provocative action that Iran cited as a pretext. As it is, with Turkey’s deteriorating relations with Western nations, their relations with Sunni Muslim countries become more important. Erdogan couldn’t turn back now even if he wanted. It’s like God has hooks in Erdogan like in Ezekiel 38:

    And the word of the LORD came to me saying, 2“Son of man, set your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him 3and say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I am against you, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal. 4“I will turn you about and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you out, and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them splendidly attired, a great company with buckler and shield, all of them wielding swords; 5Persia, Ethiopia and Put with them, all of them with shield and helmet; 6Gomer with all its troops; Beth-togarmah from the remote parts of the north with all its troops—many peoples with you.

    7“Be prepared, and prepare yourself, you and all your companies that are assembled about you, and be a guard for them. 8“After many days you will be summoned; in the latter years you will come into the land that is restored from the sword, whose inhabitants have been gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel which had been a continual waste; but its people were brought out from the nations, and they are living securely, all of them. 9“You will go up, you will come like a storm; you will be like a cloud covering the land, you and all your troops, and many peoples with you.”
    (NASB)

    In this case, the hooks are pulling Erdogan forward so that he will keep antagonizing Iran instead of seeking rapproachement, but also keeping him from jumping forward too fast for God’s planned role for Turkey under his leadership during these events. Erdogan is not even guaranteed to live long enough to see events of the Third or Fourth Signposts. Erdogan wants nuclear weapons of his own, and part of the reason he helps Iran launder money is to keep them around as a credible threat, to help justify his own authoritarianism and militarism. The militarism part isn’t going to be so easy for him now that he’s purged the officer corps, alienated Turkey’s most powerful allies, and demonstrated a double-edged sword with the same tricks that Azerbaijan pulled with drone strikes and precision missile and artillery strikes against Armenia showing just how vulnerable Turkey’s forces would be to the same kinds of attacks from Iran.

    For the Second Signpost invasion to occur and put Iran solidly in the same corner as all the other countries and regions mentioned for the events of the later two signposts, Iran has to come rampaging out and overextend itself, so that it will eventually receive a defeat from which the current regime will never recover, but gets replaced with, at minimum, a dictator more willing to ally directly with Sunni-led nations against Israel, but still a religious zealot, even though the new leadership of Iran would not strictly have to be ethnically Iranian. An occupying army from a four-nation coalition could place a form of government over a defeated Iran that would give Iranian citizens even less say in their government than they now have. The Ummayyads and Seljuks each ruled Iran for a time, but were hardly Persians. It is still far too soon to tell. It is hard to expect any army occupying a country as big as Iran to replace Shia with Sunni Islam, but not impossible. Many in newly conquered Sassanid Persia weren’t exactly eager to convert to Islam in the first place, but the conversion still happened, and the occupiers who enforced the conversion then didn’t have the advantage of modern industrialized technology and communication to ensure compliance with official state-sanctioned belief. Christians in Iran would face persecution under the ‘arrogant little horn’ from Daniel whenever he comes, that’s a given. In some ways, communities of underground brethren in Iran are being prepared for that now with the current persecutions they face. Jews in countries allied with Nazi Germany also faced persecution as the Nazis sought to sway their allies to apply the same policies as the Holocaust to Jewish people living in the territories they controlled. Even if some countries which end up helping Antichrist are only allied to his empire rather than directly under his rule, the governments thus allied would likely not be pro-Christian.

    Turkey’s Halkbank urges end of U.S. prosecution alleging Iran sanctions violations
    April 12, 20215:15 PM CDT
    https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/turkeys-halkbank-urges-end-us-prosecution-alleging-iran-sanctions-violations-2021-04-12/

    The Turkish state-owned bank is arguing that they should be covered by sovereign immunity. The Biden administration undid then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s last-minute designation of the Houthis as a terrorist organization. Freedom of worship is apparently not the Houthis’ top priority, which isn’t likely to help them win popular support or break the stalemate on the ground in Yemen.

    Arab Parliament denounces Houthis’ banning of Tarawih prayers in areas under their control
    https://www.arabnews.com/node/1852786/middle-east
    Updated 03 May 2021

    The parliament said this behavior was considered one of multiple flagrant violations committed by the militia against Yemeni people
    The Arab Parliament called on regional and international unions and organizations to reject and denounce Houthis actions

    DUBAI: The Arab Parliament condemned the Houthis’ banning of Tarawih prayers in Sanaa’s mosques and other areas under their control by force of arms, Yemen’s state news agency Saba News reported on Sunday.

    The parliament said this behavior was considered one of multiple flagrant violations committed by the militia against Yemeni people.

    “This hateful behavior contradicts the principles of religions and contradicts international conventions that affirm respect for freedom of belief and the protection of places of worship,” the Arab Parliament said in a statement.

    It also said the behavior is added to the militia’s record of multiple crimes against humanity. It added that Houthis are showing their lack of respect to the sanctity of religious rituals and the feelings of Muslims during the month of Ramadan.

    “The militia’s attempts to impose its religious views and beliefs by force on the Yemeni people is a form of religious terrorism practiced by them along with their continuous terrorist attacks against civilians,” the statement read.

    The Arab Parliament called on regional and international unions and organizations to reject and denounce the Houthis actions that targets the principles of religious coexistence and social peace in the country.

    The toxic mix of strains of hateful extremism should contrast sharply with the brightness of Christ’s love.

  7. I think you’re on the right track with Iran as the little horn, they have risen among 3 nations in the Promised Land – Promised to Abram all the way to the Euphrates and includes Iraq, Syria, Lebanon. But the short and long horn surely refer to the Medes and Persians, an earlier context for that section… see https://alsowritten.wordpress.com/2018/03/14/daniel-8-end-time-prophecy/

  8. There may be a whole raft of Bible prophecies concerning Jordan that must soon be fulfilled.

    During the Six-Day War of 1967, Israel seized East Jerusalem from Jordan, yet strangely allowed Jordan to maintain its control over the Temple Mount, which is actually the remains of the Roman fort Antonia. The two most important structures on the Antonia site are sacred to Islam, the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. These may be “the high place” and “his sanctuary” mentioned in Isaiah 16:12 KJV: “And it shall come to pass, when it is seen that Moab is weary on the high place, that he shall come to his sanctuary to pray; but he shall not prevail.”

    The pre-Islamic god of Moab was Chemosh, mentioned in Jeremiah 48:7,13,46. There is a giant chiasmus spanning both Isaiah 15-16 and Jeremiah 48 concerning Moab, in which the Chemosh of Jeremiah 48:6,13,46 match up with what is stated in Isaiah 16:12. Allah is the end-time equivalent of Chemosh. When prayers to Allah on the Temple Mount fail to protect Jordan from an Iranian invasion, Jordanians will flee to Israel.

    Isaiah 16:1-4 NASB
    Send the tribute lamb to the ruler of the land,
    From Sela by way of the wilderness to the mountain of the daughter of Zion.
    Then, like fluttering birds or scattered nestlings,
    The daughters of Moab will be at the crossing places of the Arnon.
    Give us advice, make a decision;
    Cast your shadow like night at high noon;
    Hide the outcasts, do not betray the fugitive.
    “Let the outcasts of Moab stay with you;
    Be a hiding place to them from the destroyer.”
    For the oppressor has come to an end, destruction has ceased,
    Oppressors have been removed from the land.

    “Let the outcasts of Moab stay with you” was mangled by KJV translators to read “Let mine outcasts dwell with thee, Moab.”

    Isaiah 16:4 Jewish Publication Society (1985):
    Let Moab’s outcasts
    Find asylum in you;
    Be a shelter for them
    Against the despoiler.
    For violence [in the Psalm 83 war?] has vanished,
    Rapine has ended,
    And marauders [Iran’s proxies] have perished from this land.

  9. K,
    The supreme leader only wants to keep a lid on the general knowledge that the IRGC is as powerful as it is so the world does not take it as a big of a threat as it really is. Khamenei, as the supreme leader, is in no danger from Zarif or from anyone. The IRGC is also no danger to the supreme leader because the IRGC’s ideology (explained in DR chap. 10) because the cult of the IRGC is to esteem the supreme leader. This is why there are two horns – two bases of power, one political and one militaristic – on the Ram.

  10. K,
    The current Turkish constitution has Erdogan staying in power until 2029, and he’s only in his 60’s. Today, Erdogan is the best candidate to be the big horn of the Goat. The Second and Third Signposts could easily fit in the years between now and then.

  11. Hi Alsowritten,

    I’m not sure why you wrote about me saying Iran is the little horn, but I say or write no such thing.

    The little horn of the fourth beast, and the little horn out of one of the four horns of the goat, are both the future Antichrist/Mahdi. The horns of the Ram are the supreme leader and the IRGC. Daniel 7 and 8 are both end-time.

    In addition, your link to your website speaks of the old, traditional views of Daniel 7 and 8 with ancient fulfillments of Daniel 8, and of Rome in Daniel 7. These traditional views are built on the Church Fathers’ views which were given out as early as 18 centuries prior to the end time – the time in which Daniel says twice that his book will not be unsealed until that time. The Church has wrongly given these ancient views of prophecy weight approaching that of canon. I also recommend you read Daniel Revisited.

  12. “K,
    The current Turkish constitution has Erdogan staying in power until 2029, and he’s only in his 60’s. Today, Erdogan is the best candidate to be the big horn of the Goat. The Second and Third Signposts could easily fit in the years between now and then.”

    Mark,
    I didn’t say one way or the other what I thought about Erdogan being the big horn of the goat, i.e. Javan/Ionia, partly because you have already covered in previous posts the reasons why Turkey under Erdogan is the current candidate of best fit for that role. As for the Third and Fourth Signposts, I’m just looking at how many enemies Erdogan is already making. There has already been one major coup attempt against him, five years ago. He doesn’t seem the sort to let constitutional term limits actually stop him, any more than Iran’s leaders do. He just puts up with pretending that the constitution matters because he would take too much flak from formally abolishing the republic and restoring himself officially as caliph, though it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if, in years to come, he did that, too, once people were used to the idea that he’s firmly in power and can do pretty much whatever he wants anyway within Turkey. Turkey under Erdogan is a ‘banana republic,’ which is old news.

    The year 2029 is only eight years away, but look at how much difference a year or two can make. Who had heard of COVID-19 two years ago? As for setting an actual date, I am still a little wary of that given Jesus’s admonition:

    Matthew 24:36-44
    English Standard Version
    No One Knows That Day and Hour

    36 “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son,[a] but the Father only. 37 For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, 39 and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. 42 Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

    I’m not saying Second Signpost events couldn’t happen in, or by, 2029. Indeed, I would be somewhat surprised at this point if they don’t. The same voice that led me back to the Lord years ago also gave the years 2030 and 2032 as significant. That was before I head about the Signpost Perspective, and does not contradict it, so I am also keeping an eye on what may happen. Biden’s withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan is going to further embolden Iran, now that they don’t feel they have to watch their backs. The militants who chased the Soviets out of Afghanistan also tried to fight them in Tajikistan, but Russia largely fought them off. Tajikistan had a civil war in the 1990’s, and the area is still far from peaceful.

    The long echo of Tajikistan’s civil war
    23 June 2017
    This year marks 20 years since the signing of peace accords in Tajikistan. But the price of peace has cost the country its democratic freedoms
    https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/odr/long-echo-of-tajikistan-s-civil-war/
    \\\

    Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan: Images of destruction after border clashes

    Published

    2 days ago
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-56963998

    Russia will be eager to do whatever they can to keep trouble from building intensity along their soft-furred underbelly. They would likely deter Iran from seeking to control Afghanistan once the U.S. withdrawal is complete, which is not as crucial to Iran’s interests as Iraq or Syria. In the prophecies in Daniel, the Persian ram charges north, south, and west. You have said before, Mark, that Afghanistan is to Iran’s north, and so might be included in the countries which Iran would take. Russia and China would both be likely to oppose any Iranian moves that would bring the Islamic Republic closer to their borders. Russia would like to keep any points of contact with Iran to the west. That way, they can keep western countries from being tempted to intervene with airstrikes against Iranian forces, at least for as long as Russia finds Iran convenient and useful. Any Iranian advances into Afghanistan would upend the balance of power between Russia, China, and Iran and cause Moscow to reevaluate ties with Tehran. China is still building economic ties with Iran, and would be in a better position to apply economic pressure on Iran than the Russians would be able to do Pakistan is still an actively changing variable. Erdogan is trying to gain influence over them. Pakistan doesn’t have the luxury of buffer states between themselves and Iran.

    I would be a little bit surprised if Erdogan doesn’t end up making Putin so mad at him that Putin relies on his old methods of removing inconveniences. Just today it made the news that a Swiss diplomat fell off a tall building. While it could be an accident, as the Swiss official claims, certain inconvenient Russians had taken similar falls in recent years. The timing, so soon after the leaked recordings of Iranian senior officials, could be a coincidence, but it might not be.

    Senior Swiss diplomat in Iran found dead after fall from high-rise
    May 4, 202111:38 AM CDT
    https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/swiss-embassy-employee-iran-dies-fall-high-rise-2021-05-04/

    Putin’s term limits aren’t up until 2036, and he has already changed Russia’s constitution to get them to that point, so as dictators tend to do, he would not be above raising his term limit or dodging around it by becoming prime minister again if he lives long enough to get to that point. In 2016, Russia’s ambassador to Turkey was gunned down in a crowded room. Erdogan is not necessarily in Putin’s good graces, and he’s certainly not bulletproof, though he’s made so many enemies it wouldn’t be a surprise if he wears a vest everywhere he goes.

    Russian ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov shot dead in Ankara

    Published

    20 December 2016
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-38369962

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