This summer Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, published a 400-page book called Palestine, which lays out his vision for the future of the Middle East. In no uncertain terms, Khamenei calls for a single Muslim state to occupy all of the land of Israel to be ruled under Islamic sharia law. At the very beginning of the book, Khamenei declares that “ISRAEL HAS NO RIGHT TO EXIST AS A NATION.”
The book, which labels Israel as an enemy, lays out a specific plan to destroy the Jewish state. Khamenei says he does not support conventional “classical war” against Israel but rather calls for an escalating series of terror attacks that will drive the Jewish people to seek safety by fleeing from Israel.
Just as Hitler did in writing Mein Kampf years before coming to power in Germany, Khamenei is perfectly willing to lay out his plans, confident that the world will take no action to stop his evil plot. Iran has a long history of funding terrorist groups like Hezbollah to carry out third-party proxy attacks on Israel and on Jewish businesses, synagogues, and homes around the world.
The Iranians have a plan to destroy Israel, and every friend of the Jewish people needs to understand what is happening...and how we can respond.
A Three-Pronged Plan of Attack
The enmity of Iran toward Israel is well documented. Hundreds of speeches by the military, political, and religious leaders of the Islamic Republic have made it abundantly clear that Iran would love to see Israel destroyed. Though Israel is not a natural enemy of Iran—the countries do not share borders or compete for strategic resources, nor is there any history of warfare between them—the religious zealotry of those who believe a bloody war is essential to instituting Muslim rule over the entire earth has brought the two nations to the brink of war.
In dealing with Israel, Iran has three primary strategies. By better understanding how they are attacking the Jewish state (and make no mistake, although there is no open or declared war, the war is being fought every day), we can better pray for and support the Jewish people in these prophetic days.
1. Arm and equip Israel’s enemies
The first prong of Iran’s assault on Israel has been to funnel billions of dollars’ worth of military equipment, hardware, weaponry, and training to terrorist groups, primarily Hezbollah and Hamas. Hamas operates from Gaza and Hezbollah from Lebanon and Syria. By equipping Israel’s enemies on both the northern and southern borders, Iran hopes to tie Israel’s hands regarding a strike against its nuclear program.
There is no doubt that in the event of open war between Iran and Israel, Hezbollah and Hamas will use the estimated 100,000 missiles and rockets they have been provided to strike Israel’s civilian population. This threat, Iran hopes, will be a deterrent to Israel taking military action against them. In addition, by maintaining a continual small-scale attack on the Jewish state, they will force the Israeli Defense Forces to remain on high alert. This is costly both in financial and human terms.
By using Hamas and Hezbollah as proxies in their war against Israel, Iran is able to remain one step removed from ongoing terror strikes on the Jewish state. With their hands officially clean, they are able to convince a world willing to be deceived that they are not responsible for the continual terror campaign against Israel, while still funding and directing much of this evil activity.
It is known that elements of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard are actively involved in the fighting in Syria, working hand-in-hand with Hezbollah terrorists. They are attempting to prop up the brutal Assad regime in Damascus. Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed so far in the fighting, and more than a million refugees have fled looking for safety. Israeli analysts are greatly concerned that Hezbollah will gain control of Syria’s large stocks of chemical and biological weapons and that Iran will help them transport these weapons of mass destruction to hidden caches so that they can be used against Israel in the future.
Hezbollah plays a crucial role in Iran’s plans for America as well. It is important to remember that to Iran, Israel is only the “little Satan,” while America is the “great Satan.” Their anger is not just directed at the Jewish state, but at the entire Western world, and particularly America. In part, this goes back to the Iranian revolution in 1979 and America’s involvement in helping the Shah of Iran take power in the 1950s, but it is also fueled by the clash of religious beliefs and the spirit war between light and darkness.
Hezbollah operatives have been active for some time in Mexico, working with the powerful drug cartels that control much of our southern neighbor. This is of great concern to America’s defense experts because of the porous nature of the border with Mexico. Hundreds of thousands of people cross this border illegally, and the prospect of Hezbollah terror cells being smuggled into the United States to await the command to strike is very real.
Coupled with the arrests of dozens of people in the U.S. for helping to fund Hezbollah and other terrorist groups, it is not hard to see how these groups could find supporters to allow them to carry out attacks within the United States at so-called “soft targets” that are heavily populated but not heavily defended.
2. Play for time
Iran’s pace of nuclear weapons work continues, despite the signing of an agreement that is supposed to keep Iran from getting nuclear weapons. The agreement allows Iran to retain its most advanced centrifuges and prevents any meaningful inspections from taking place. The best-case scenario under the plan would give Iran 24 days’ notice before any inspection is done, and even worse, Iran’s military bases where nuclear work is taking place are completely off-limits to inspection.
The lifting of many of the sanctions that was part of the nuclear agreement offers many new potential trading partners to Iran, including nations like Russia and China that are more than willing to look the other way while their companies and military provide Iran advanced equipment. The level of uranium enrichment Iran has already reached is more than enough to produce “dirty bombs”—radioactive devices that could easily be concealed in a shipping container or truck and kill tens of thousands in a single blast.
Iran is not yet known to have produced the level of enrichment necessary for a nuclear missile, but it is continuing to increase its output, and its existing missile technology is already sufficiently advanced so that once it has weaponized warheads it could launch a strike on any nation in Europe, Africa, or Asia. Many analysts think they might well prefer to hand over a dirty bomb to Hamas or Hezbollah rather than launching a missile attack to avoid direct responsibility and retaliation.
In addition to its nuclear program, Iran has ramped up spending on its conventional military capacity as well. It has bought advanced air defense systems from Russia and is working with the Chinese to upgrade its navy and submarine fleet. Iran is preparing for a war, and the longer it has to do so, the greater threat it poses.
Israeli officials have publicly described their fear that Iran will reach the point where it will enter a “zone of immunity”—a situation where even full-scale military action will not be able to end its nuclear weapons program. Iran does not have to complete their work on a nuclear weapon to pose an unacceptable threat to Israel; it simply has to advance to the point where it cannot be stopped…and it grows closer to that point every day
3. Cash-in on the financial windfall
Under the terms of the nuclear agreement, Iran will quickly receive between $100 and $150 billion that has been held under the sanctions regime. This massive financial infusion provides Iran the resources to greatly increase its evil work in the world. Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Ron Derner said, “The truth is that billions of dollars will be used to replenish the Iranian regime’s ATMs in the region. Those ATMs are the Ayatollah Terror Machines: the Shiite militia in Iraq, Assad’s regime in Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen, Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza, and the many other Iranian terror proxies throughout the region.”
Iran also has massive oil reserves, and it is expected to increase its sale of oil to further boost its economy with the end of the sanctions regime. European countries are reportedly scrambling to cut deals with Iran even before the official expiration of sanctions, referring to the Iranian market as an untapped bonanza of wealth...without regard to the evil ends they are abetting.
In addition to money and weapons it has provided to terrorist groups and organizations, Iran has also not been shy about using its resources to influence the behavior of governments. Iran has reportedly been heavily involved in lobbying members of the United Nations Security Council concerning a potential vote on Palestinian statehood. Countries were allegedly offered contracts with national companies, reduced prices on oil purchases, and other incentives to try to influence them to vote in favor of the Palestinians.
Iran has hosted a number of conferences designed to give legitimacy to the Palestinian cause. It has funded efforts to highlight what it describes as Israeli atrocities, and their former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is a noted Holocaust denier and supporter of those who hold that evil position. Iran provides government backing and respectability to some of Israel’s most virulent enemies.
The vast oil wealth of the mullahs of Tehran makes them less susceptible to world economic pressure and a more attractive trading partner. As noted above, countries like China and Russia have found the lure of Iranian money irresistible, and Iran is committed to using its resources to further its efforts against the Jewish state.
The Holocaust was the result of a concerted effort to utterly annihilate the Jewish people. Hitler’s “Final Solution” left six million Jewish men, women, and children dead. Though the death camps were liberated 70 years ago and almost everyone today speaks of that shameful part of history with horror, the sad truth is that the same demonic spirit of Jew-hatred that lit the fires in the ovens of the death camps is still alive and well in our world today.
Before new Israeli troops complete their training, they are taken to the ancient mountain fortress of Masada. There a tiny band of Jewish warriors held off the might of the Roman Empire for years in a last desperate struggle for freedom. When the battle was finally lost, they killed themselves rather than be captured. There the new members of the Israeli Defense Forces take the vow that they will fight to the death so that their nation can survive.
Make no mistake, “Never again” is more than just a promise, it is also a threat...a threat that Israel has carried out time and again over the years. In 1967, with Egyptian and Syrian troops amassing on their borders, Israel launched a defensive preemptive strike and achieved an incredible victory in the Six-Day War.
In 1981, Israeli pilots carried out a daring mission to destroy Saddam Hussein’s fledgling nuclear program by bombing the reactor being built at Osirak in Operation Opera. In 2007, they carried out a similar mission to halt Syria’s illegal nuclear weapons program. When Israelis say, “Never again,” they mean every word.
In his speech to the United Nations in 2012, Prime Minister Netanyahu urged the world to take Iran’s nuclear threat seriously. He said, “The relevant question is not when Iran will get the bomb. The relevant question is at what stage can we no longer stop Iran from getting the bomb. The red line must be drawn on Iran’s nuclear enrichment program because these enrichment facilities are the only nuclear installations that we can definitely see and credibly target. I believe that faced with a clear red line, Iran will back down.”
Rather than drawing a clear red line, the world put up a shining green light. Now the threat of an Iranian nuclear bomb has increased as the world has allowed Iran to pull the wool over its eyes and sign an agreement that allows Iran to do basically whatever it wants. That does not mean that Israel will accept an Iranian nuclear weapon—it cannot. It is literally a matter of life and death.