Iran’s role in the tribulation

As the readers of my eschatology books already know, I believe that Iran has a particular role in the tribulation. Do the eschatological passages of Sacred Scripture actually name the nation of Iran as being central to certain events during the tribulation? Surprisingly, yes.

The writing is on the wall:

{5:5} In the same hour, there appeared fingers, as of the hand of a man, writing on the surface of the wall, opposite the candlestick, in the king’s palace. And the king observed the part of the hand that wrote.
{5:6} Then the king’s countenance was changed, and his thoughts disturbed him, and he lost his self-control, and his knees knocked against one other.

{5:24} Therefore, he has sent the part of the hand which has written this, which has been inscribed.
{5:25} But this is the writing that has been decreed: MANE, THECEL, PHARES.
{5:26} And this is the interpretation of the words. MANE: God has numbered your kingdom and has finished it.
{5:27} THECEL: you have been weighed on the scales and found lacking.
{5:28} PHARES: your kingdom has been divided and has been given to the Medes and the Persians.

Persia is an ancient kingdom, located where Iran is now. The Iranian people are largely of Persian descent. The kingdom of the Medes was located approximately where Iraq is now. The Medes and the Persians are Iraq and Iran.

My interpretation is that the Christian nations of Europe have been judged by God, and found lacking. For they no longer believe and practice the Christian Faith. Therefore, God will send the Muslim nations of the Middle East and northern Africa to attack and invade and conquer Europe, giving over that kingdom (the EU) to the Medes and the Persians.

Daniel himself had a vision, with a similar meaning to the vision seen by the king of the writing on the wall.

{8:3} And I lifted up my eyes and saw, and behold, a single ram stood before the marsh, having two high horns, and one was higher than the other and growing higher still.
{8:4} After this, I saw the ram brandishing his horns against the West, and against the North, and against the Meridian, and all the beasts could not withstand him, nor be freed from his hand, and he did according to his own will, and he became great.
{8:5} And I understood, and behold, a he-goat among she-goats came from the West above the face of the entire earth, and he did not touch the ground. Furthermore, the he-goat had a preeminent horn between his eyes.
{8:6} And he went all the way to the ram that had the horns, which I had seen standing before the gate, and he ran towards him in the force of his strength.
{8:7} And when he approached near to the ram, he was enraged against him, and he struck the ram, and broke his two horns, and the ram could not withstand him, and when he had cast him down on the ground, he trampled him, and no one was able to free the ram from his hand.
{8:8} But the he-goat among she-goats became exceedingly great, and when he had prospered, the great horn was shattered, and four horns were rising up beneath it by means of the four winds of heaven.

{8:19} And he said to me, “I will reveal to you what the future things are in the earlier tribulation, for the time has its end.
{8:20} The ram, which you saw to have horns, is the king of the Medes and Persians.
{8:21} Furthermore, the he-goat among she-goats is the king of the Greeks, and the great horn, which was between his eyes, is the same one, the first king.
{8:22} And since, having been shattered, there grew four in its place, four kings will rise up from his people, but not in his strength.

The marsh is an area that overlaps Iraq and Iran, indicating that these two nations will become allied together. The two horns are two leaders (in the near future), the leader of Iraq and the leader of Iran. These two leaders will lead a group of nations, symbolized by the ram; this group of nations includes all of the Arab/Muslim nations of the Middle East and northern Africa.

The Arab Spring that is currently underway, in my view, is the upheaval that I have long said would pave the way for the unification of that group of nations under the leadership of Iran and Iraq. (So obviously, I am also saying that democracy will not stand in Iraq. Once we leave that nation, it will fall to extremists.) How long it will take for this upheaval, which prepares the way for the tribulation, to be completed? It may be only a few more months, or at most a few years.

I think that Iran will have the greater power. So the leader of Iran is the one horn that is higher than the other, and growing higher still. This greater power may be due to the development and use of nuclear weapons by Iran. By all accounts, Iran is very close to completing a nuclear weapon.

Once the group of nations is formed, and is led by Iran and Iraq, then the tribulation begins. The ram (the group of nations) attacks the West first, indicating an attack on the United States. This attack is the beginning of World War 3. And World War 3, in my interpretation, is the first event of the tribulation: it is the first horseman of the apocalypse; the first seal of the seven seals.

How can a small nation, such as Iran, attack a powerful nation, such as the U.S.? They can do so by using a nuclear bomb. They do not have the capability to strike the U.S. will an intercontinental ballistic missile; they cannot yet make a nuclear weapon small enough to fit in a missile of any kind. But they can build a rudimentary nuclear fission bomb, using highly enriched uranium. They are close to being able to do so. And they can then deliver it to a major coastal city, such as New York City, by ship (most likely). New York is a favorite target of those extremists who hate the West; I’m not entirely sure why.

But Iran is willing to attack the United States. Just today, it was revealed in the news that Iran was plotting to kill the Saudi ambassador to the U.S., on U.S. soil, and to bomb the Israeli and Saudi embassies in Washington D.C. Will Iran be less likely to plot attacks on U.S. soil now that this plan has been discovered? I think they will be more resolved than ever before to attack us. They have been humiliated by the failure and the exposure of their plot.

Once Iran has a nuclear bomb, they will use it against the United States. This terrible event will spark World War 3 — but not before Iran has control over that group of nations, which the Book of Daniel presents under the figure of a ram with two horns: the Arab/Muslim nations of the Middle East and northern Africa. When those nations all unite under extremist leadership, then you will know that the next step is for them to attack the U.S. with a nuclear weapon.

According to the Book of Daniel, this group of nations will then also attack to the North (Europe) and toward the Meridian (southward, into Africa). They will win World War 3 and will succeed in conquering the Christian nations of Europe and a vast territory. They will not invade, nor conquer the U.S.

For more on Iran’s role in the tribulation, see these eschatology books:
The First Part of the Tribulation
The Bible and the Future of the World

Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and Bible translator

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