PRAYER ALERT: Iran elected a new president, Hassan Rowhani, on Saturday, June 15. Rowhani immediately promised greater cooperation with the US and other Western powers. These powers have been supporting UN sanctions against Iran due to its nuclear program, which Iran could use in its oft-state aims to destroy Israel and the US. The UN sanctions have choked Iran’s economy and been a factor in strengthening its opposition. That opposition threatened to boycott the recent election after outgoing president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad confirmed that the 2009 elections were rigged against his moderate opponent. Ahmadinejad was briefly arrested for his statements, which implied that the 2009 votes were miscounted at the behest of Ayatollah Ali Khamanei—who is known to be the real power in Iran
This time Ayatollah Khamanei allowed the “moderate” Rowhani to win, apparently to avoid the massive protests are rocking other Islamic nations. The US responded immediately that it would engage Iran in direct talks about its nuclear program and the sanctions it provoked. But Rowhani insisted that there be no direct talks with the US until sanctions are lifted and Iran’s “nuclear rights” were respected. Israel warned that any talks would just buy Iran more time to get nuclear weapons ready to launch its promised attacks against Israel and the US.
Shiite Iran supports Bashar al-Assad’s Shiite-minority government in its civil war against mostly Sunni rebel forces. Assad is trying to draw more Muslims to his side by shifting attention to Israel, which is hated by Shiites and Sunnis alike. Assad has ordered 3000+ Syrian troops to be trained by Iranian elite forces to storm Israel’s Golan Heights at Syria’s southern border. In response the US is keeping warplanes and antimissile batteries ready in nearby Jordan. The US has also decided to send small arms to Sunni rebels—though they contain many anti-West jihadist forces—through Syria’s northern neighbor, Sunni-dominated Turkey.
Turkey is facing its own rebellion. Peaceful protests against plans to convert Gezi Park—part of Istanbul’s Taksim Square—into army barracks were disrupted on May 31 by a violent police crackdown. The protests in Turkey then escalated into a broad secular challenge to PM Recep Erdogan’s Islamic government. On June 15 Erdogan retaliated by ordering a police raid on Gezi Park, which sparked clashes in other cities in Turkey. The next day he held a rally of hundreds of thousands of his supporters by the Sea of Marmara. There Erdogan called his opponents terrorists and accused the mass media of fabricating lies about the growing conflict.
Erdogan wants Sunni-dominated Turkey to rival Shiite Iran as the leading northern Islamic power. Many are watching to see which nation in that region will produce the “king of the north.” In Dan. 11:40ff this king is the Antichrist who “at the end time will storm against him [the king of the South; i.e. Egypt]…and he will enter many countries, overflow them, and pass through the Beautiful Land [Israel], and many countries will fall…”
PRAY WITH US: Father God, You are the Mover and Shaker of heaven and earth. We ask that You shake Shiite Iran and Syria further because their governments are opposed to You. In the name of their false god Allah they are planning to attack Your chosen nation Israel. Turn Your enemies against each other instead, as You have so often done by Your word. Frustrate their plans, through the rebel Sunni Muslim forces, who are seeking their own dominance in the name of Allah. But do not let Sunni power prevail in Iran or Syria, or in Turkey either. Cause all their pride in Allah to be humbled, and their boasts of worldwide conquests to fall to the ground.
Hear the calls for religious freedom from peaceful protesters instead. Hear most of all the cries of Your people. They are fleeing from Syria, and they are suffering increased oppression in Turkey. But they are experiencing uncontrollable revival in Iran. Let the gospel of peace spread from Iran instead of the tyranny of Islam. For You chose the weak to shame the strong. You chose the things that are not to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before You. Hold back the rise of the boastful Antichrist. Cause the fullness of the Gentiles have come in instead from all the nations that are now under Islam. Then save Israel as You have promised, and make Jews and Gentiles one new people under God. You are able, and You will do it as You have always said. In Jesus’ name, amen.
For related prayer alerts and articles on Iran, Syria and Turkey:
Iran, Syria, Turkey Related sources:
Hassan Rouhani wins Iran presidential election
Iran President-Elect Wants to Ease Strains With U.S., but Sees No Direct Talks
Tags: iran, syria, turkey, erdogan of turkey, turkey protests, sunni turkey, shiites, assad, rowhani, khamanei, Ahmadinejad, iran elections, israel, hezbollah, iranian nuclear program, turkey democracy, secularism in Turkey
Sunni Turkey is a rival to Iran’s Shiite alliance with Syria