Putting Iran “on notice”

613px-Army_of_the_Guardians_of_the_Islamic_Revolution_troop_marching_with_gun_and_headbandPresident Trump has put Iran “on notice” for its recent ballistic missile tests, which were forbidden by its accord with the previous administration.  An article in the Washington Post shows how Iran has grown into a major military power, forming alliances throughout the Middle East and becoming one of the few nations capable of projecting military force beyond its borders.

The analysis shows–without, of course, saying so–just how weak President Obama’s policies towards Iran were, enabling its economic and military revival so that it’s now a major threat in the Middle East.  Trump has re-imposed some sanctions and sent the destroyer U.S.S Cole to waters where Iran has been throwing its weight around.  It’s not clear what else he has in mind, should Iran continue its aggressive stance.

The Sunni Arab countries, such as Saudi Arabia, are delighted with Trump’s tough talk on Iran.  According to the article, the prospect of the United States standing up against their Shi’ite rival more than makes up for Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric.

But the president will have to deal with a couple of complicating factors:  The Shi’ite Iranians, with their proxy militias, are fighting the Sunni ISIS, arguably a much greater enemy of the United States.  And Iran is closely allied with Russia.  If Trump wants to improve relations with Vladimir Putin, that would conflict with his desire to get tough with Iran.

Read the article, excerpted and linked after the jump. [Read more…]

Where Christianity is growing the fastest

The world’s fastest growing church is that of IRAN.

Despite–or maybe because of–horrific persecution, the number of Christians in Iran has shot up from around 500 in 1979 to hundreds of thousands, maybe over a million, today.  More people have become Christians in the last 20 years than have done so in the 13 centuries of Islamic domination combined.

In second place: AFGHANISTAN.

So reports Mark Howard and his sources, excerpted and linked after the jump.

All of which is instructive for us depressed and discouraged American Christians.  If God can build His church in lands of such anti-Christian hostiity as Iran and Afghanistan, He can build it here.  And if those Christians can live out their faith in the face of such powerful cultural opposition and government-sponsored persecution, with our far smaller problems, we can too.

[Read more…]

Sunni vs. Shiite conflict intensifies

In another reminder that the turmoil in the Middle East is not all about us, the Saudis executed, along with 46 criminals, a prominent Shiite leader.  Protests have broken out throughout the Muslim world.  Iranians have occupied the Saudi embassy, and the two countries have severed diplomatic relations.

Those two types of Islam are hostile to each other, about like Catholics and Protestants during the 30 Year’s War.  Many of the predations of ISIS, which is Sunni (as is al-Qaida), have targeted Shiites, whose center is Iran.  Some Islamic countries, like Iraq and Syria, have mixed populations, which is a big reason for their instability. [Read more…]

We’ve reached a nuclear deal with Iran

The Obama administration, along with 5 other countries, reached a deal with Iran, cutting sanctions in return for a ten-year moratorium on that country’s nuclear weapons program.  So now, without sanctions, Iran can potentially sell its oil and grow rich and powerful, and possibly after a decade become a nuclear power.  Israel is profoundly worried, if not panicked, and the balance of power in the Middle East is altered.  But at least maybe the Shi’ite Iran can counter the Sunni ISIS.  What do you think of this deal? [Read more…]

Our nuclear deal with Iran

The Obama administration has signed a deal with Iran that would cut the economic sanctions in return for a scale back of its nuclear program.  See the terms after the jump.  Do you think this is a good achievement?  [Read more…]

Anti-terrorist ally overthrown

The United States lost another ally in the war against Islamic terrorism.  The pro-American government in Yemen–which helped us fight the ruthless Yemeni al-Qaida and allowed our drone attacks–was overthrown by  Houthi rebels.  The Houthi are Shi’ites, meaning they oppose the Sunni al-Qaida and ISIS, but are allied with Iran.  Still, they oppose the drone strikes and are strongly anti-American and anti-Israel.  The coup is another setback for American anti-terrorism efforts. [Read more…]