ANALYSIS: The Iran issue is heating up this week. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Moscow at 2:45am local time for two days of meetings with senior Russian leaders at the Kremlin. His main focus: trying to persuade President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin to support “crippling economic sanctions” against Iran at the U.N., and to promise not to deliver and install the S-300 anti-aircraft missile system that Russia agreed several years ago to sell to Iran.
In recent days, there have been some indications from the Kremlin that the Russians might go along with sanctions. But no firm decision has yet been announced and the situation is very complicated given the increasingly close alliance Russia and Iran are building together.
Also questionable is whether China would support real sanctions. International pressure on Beijing to do so is building. Vice President Biden is indicating that he believes China will back — or not veto — sanctions in the Security Council. But this remains to be seen. Beijing imports 15% of its oil from Iran and could suffer economically from turning against Iran.
The White House and State Department, to their credit, having been working hard for the past month both to create an international consensus to back new sanctions, and to show renewed solidarity with Israel.
> Vice President Biden is planning to head to Israel within weeks to coordinate on the Iran issue.
> Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was in Israel over the weekend to meet with Israeli defense officials and coordinate on the Iran issue. He also visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial. Mullen warned that an Israeli first strike on Iran could have “unintended consequences.” Still, he pointedly noted that the military option was still very much on the table.
> Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been meeting in recent days with senior officials in Qatar and Saudi Arabia, urging the Arabs to unify against Iran lest the Persians obtain nuclear weapons and promising the U.S. will defend its allies from Iranian threats. ”The United States, Mrs. Clinton said, would protect its allies in the gulf from Iranian aggression — a pledge that echoed the idea of a ‘security umbrella” that she advanced last summer in Asia,” reported the International Herald Tribune. “She noted that the United States already supplied defensive weapons to several of these countries, and was prepared to bolster its military assistance if necessary. ‘We will always defend ourselves, and we will always defend our friends and allies, and we will certainly defend countries who are in the Gulf who face the greatest immediate nearby threat from Iran,’ she said. ‘We also are talking at length with a lot of our friends in the Gulf about what they need defensively in the event that Iran pursues its nuclear ambitions.’”
Netanyahu is backing the Obama administration’s efforts to get serious sanctions passed and implemented by the U.N. He is in Moscow pushing the Russians to back crippling sanctions and to at least delay the S-300 system. He is doing so to exhaust every peaceful means possible of stopping Iran from getting the Bomb. This is admirable. But time is running out. Iran is getting dangerously close to having nuclear weapons. Netanyahu knows this better than most world leaders. He recently ordered several Israeli missile boats through the Suez Canal en route to the Persian Gulf region. He is steadily getting Israel ready for potentially the biggest war in its history.
Now is the time to be praying and fasting like never before:
- Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
- Pray for the Prime Minister, that the Lord owuld touch his heart, draw the PM close to Himself, and reveal Himself and His wisdom to the PM in a dramatic and special way.
- Pray that the Lord given wisdom to the PM’s advisors and military leaders.
- Pray that the Lord changes the regime in Tehran, or at least dramatically change their hearts.
- Pray that the Lord would strengthen His Church in Israel, Iran and throughout the epicenter
- Pray that the Lord would awaken His Church around the world to “learn, pray, give and go” to His work in the epicenter.
- Please also pray that the Lord would give our Joshua Fund team wisdom and His grace as we seek to educate and mobilize the Church to show Israel unconditional love and unwavering support; as we seek to provide food, clothing, medical supplies and other relief aid to the poor and needy in the epicenter; and as we seek to stockpile supplies in Israel ahead of the next war.
NEWS: “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Moscow early Monday on a two-day working visit with Russia on the verge of backing tough international sanctions against Iran, the Jewish state’s arch-foe,” reports Agence France Presse. ” Netanyahu’s plane touched down at 2:45 am (2345 GMT Sunday). The Israeli leader was to hold talks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. This is Netanyahu’s first official trip to Moscow since taking office a year ago, but follows a clandestine visit in September, a secretive move that highlighted the key role Russia plays in Israel’s drive to thwart Tehran’s alleged nuclear weapons ambitions.”
- AP: Netanyahu’s Russia Visit to Focus Heavily on Iran
- Reuters: Netanyahu to lobby in Russia for Iran sanctions
- Haaretz: Despite Netanyahu pressure, Russia defends Iran missile deal
- Ex-IDF chief: Israel can’t handle nuclear Iran alone
- Vice President Biden to visit Israel soon to coordinate on Iran issue
- VP Biden expects China’s support on Iran sanctions
- Pressure building on China to back crippling sanction on Iran, but Australian MP in the WSJ notes China gets 15% of its oil from Iran
- Clinton expected to seek Saudi Arabia’s help in confronting Iran