The following is my understanding of the near future, based on my study and interpretation in the field of eschatology. My views on this subject are speculative and fallible. (But as events in the past few years have unfolded, it all fits what I said previously, including the schism against Pope Francis.)
In the near future, Iran will announce they have nuclear weapons. (Their recent sudden increase in aggressive behavior proves that they have completed their nuclear program successfully, and that they already possess working nuclear bombs.) Then the other extremists will want to ally with, and be led by Iran, because nuclear weapons gives them much power. Being allied with a nuclear Iran will allow them to claim that “we” have nuclear weapons, just like the West.
Iran will make a pact with ISIS. Iran is run by Shiites, and ISIS is run by Sunnis. But ISIS will be willing to ally with Iran, due to the power Iran has from nuclear weapons. This will give ISIS the ability to raise many supporters very quickly, as everyone will want to be a part of this new power. Iran will be willing to make this pact with ISIS because it gives Iran, run by Shiites, a great deal of control over Sunnis; it puts Sunnis under the virtual control of the Iranian Shiites. Iran wishes to be the leader of all Muslims.
Iran and ISIS will cooperate to give control of Iraq and Syria to ISIS, under the aegis of Iran. Subsequently, they will cooperate to take control of one nation after another, in the Middle East and northern Africa. They will prefer resurrections and coups, but will wage small wars or limited battles when necessary. They will use nuclear blackmail to prevent a nation they wish to control from obtaining help from allies.
Soon, they will raise a vast number of troops — poorly trained, poorly equipped, highly motivated. They will use the combination of threat of massive invasion of these troops along with threat of nuclear attack in order to sweep across the region, uniting the Arab/Muslim nations under ISIS or Iran. With ISIS under the thumb of Iran, this will give the Iranian leader much power.
However, it is my belief that, before Iran can undertake this plan, Hassan Rouhani must remove Supreme Leader Khamenei from power (probably by plotting his death) and then replace him. So Rouhani will be both President and Supreme Leader — an unprecedented dual role. When this happens, all the rest of the events will be at the very threshold.
This power is necessary for Rouhani to achieve his aspiration (as an extremist type of Twelver) to start an apocalyptic war with the West toward the goal of a worldwide Islamic Caliphate (run by himself and by Iran, he imagines). He thinks this war is required to bring about the reappearance of the twelfth Imam (al-Mahdi). This war is not a general belief of Muslims, but a particular view of both ISIS and Iranian leaders.
It has long been the goal of Iran to take control of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Once Iran consolidates its power with ISIS over other nations in the region, they will seek to overthrow the Kingdom and the Royal Family. There will not be many options at that point. The West will not be willing to intervene to any substantial degree. Europe does not want to risk a nuclear attack from Iran, and the number of troops that Iran and ISIS will gather will be well over a million men. With those numbers, their lack of training becomes almost irrelevant. As long as they can walk and carry a gun, they will be counted among the troops.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will face the dual threats of invasion and nuclear attack. They could put up a fight, and assume the Iranians would not nuke a neighbor, due to the radioactive (and political) fallout. But the number of troops they will face will make this defense nearly impossible. And how many of their fellow Arabs can they kill, in battle after battle, without becoming hated by their own people and their neighbors?
The strategy of a launching a counter-coup against Iran is not practical. The Shiite-Sunni divide makes it too difficult, and any successor government of Iran would break away from the Saudis and take the same path to great power. The rulers of the Kingdom will have no viable option, in the end, but to flee to the United States.
I know that many of my fellow Catholics and fellow Americans would criticize Saudi Arabia for various reasons. But the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is really the greatest enemy of extremism in the Middle East and northern Africa. Despite the differences between the Saudi government and the West, they will be the main bastion against advances in the region by the Iranian-ISIS pact. And when the Iran-ISIS alliance unifies all the nations of that region, and begins a war against the West, the Saudi government in exile will have an important leadership role; the Saudi king will lead all the other Muslim/Arab nations and peoples in exile. So he will not only rule formally over his own people, but informally over the other nations. They will see him as their leader, even though they each have governments in exile. Who will be this Saudi king in exile, with such an important role? He will have almost more power in exile than in his own nation. Then, as the Iran-ISIS alliance attacks and gradually conquers Europe, the European governments in exile will also rely upon the advice of this ruler.
As for Israel, the nation will remain uncaptured by the Iranian-ISIS extremists. Israel has hundreds of nuclear missiles, and a strategy called the Samson Option — a massive nuclear attack on all enemies, all at once, to utterly destroy them as a reaction to any attack that would destroy Israel. So a single nuclear attack on Israel would result in the utter destruction of Iran and other targets. It’s not clear what the list of targets might include. It might be as broad as attacking many Arab and/or Muslims nations in the entire region. But as a last resort strategy, I believe it is an option they will never exercise.
As I’ve predicted previously, the first hostile act if World War 3 will be a nuclear attack by Iran on New York City. They will send a nuclear bomb on a ship and explode it next to United Nations headquarters. Iran would like to attack Israel, but the Samson Option prevents them. So the next favored target is NYC. The city has the largest number of Jews outside of Israel. It is a center of economic power for the West, and is the home city of the U.N.
The response of the U.S. will include troop movements, a declaration of war, and limited military strikes. But the U.S. will not use nuclear weapons in response. World War 3 is not an all-out nuclear war. I tend to think that President Trump would respond with nuclear weapons, which suggests that these events occur when he is no longer president. Perhaps he dies in office (prior to the next election), or perhaps he loses the next election. And the President in office at the time that NYC is attacked (probably in summer) will not be disposed to respond with nukes. The most likely type of President to make such a decision would be a liberal Democrat, or a very religious Republican (like Pence), or a liberal woman Democrat. The latter type of President actually increases the likelihood of a nuclear attack by Iran, as they would see the U.S. as being weakened by a liberal and female leader (their point of view, not mine.).
more on this topic in future posts.
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