Category: Gog-Ezekiel 38 & 39

Iran to increase uranium enrichment. US-Israeli strike on nuclear facilities comes closer

Jun 5, 2018 @ 8:29 Ayatolla Ali Khamenei, Binyamin Netanyahu, Donald Trump, Iran nuclear, Kim Kong-un, uranium enrichment

Iran is to inform the UN nuclear watchdog in Vienna on Tuesday, June 6, of its decision to increase uranium (UF6) enrichment capacity in response to the US exit from the 2015 nuclear accord. Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi, announcing this, did not mention a date for this process to begin or the grade of enrichment. Supreme ruler Ayatollah Khamenei’s said Monday night: “I have ordered Iran’s atomic energy agency to be prepared to upgrade our (uranium) enrichment capacity” if the 2015 nuclear deal with the world powers falls apart after the US withdrawal. Chairman Ali Akhbar Salehi of the atomic organization forecast this development some days ago.

DEBKAfile reported on May 24 that if Iran returned to expanded uranium enrichment, the US and Israel would prepare to attack its enrichment facilities and other key nuclear facilities to prevent the Islamic Republic from resuming its progress towards a nuclear weapon capability. Now that Tehran is taking that step, it is up to President Donald Trump to decide on America’s response. His decision will be colored heavily by his fast approaching summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12. To convince Kim that he is coming well-armed for demanding the total dismantling of Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic programs, Trump may find it necessary to meet Iran’s decision to expand uranium enrichment with a military response. Khamenei’s step gives Trump a very tight timeline for a decision.

It was also timed to override the object of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s European trip. The European signatories of the deal, Germany, France and the UK have been scrambling to save the nuclear deal by diplomatic efforts to persuade Iran to limit its ballistic missile program and expansionist activities in the Middle East. Khamenei made it clear that the two issues are non-negotiable, as Israel warned them would happen. Netanyahu therefore finds their leaders floundering for their next step.
Now the statement by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg this week that the alliance would not back Israel if it came under attack from Iran comes closer to reality than before. So too, does Khamenei’s decision on May 29, to replace the commander of the Khatam al-Anbiya Air Defense Headquarters Gen. Farzad Ismail, which is in charge of Iran’s air defenses, and appoint his deputy Brig-Gen. Alireza Sabahi Fard as acting commander, after two Israel F-35 stealth fighters flew over Iran’s nuclear facilities and left Iranian air space unnoticed.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9215

Russia said to test missile that can down F-35 fighter jet

In world’s longest-range surface-to-air missile test, S-500 missile reportedly hits target 300 miles away

By TOI staff Today, 2:31 pm 4

Russia has successfully conducted the world’s longest-range surface-to-air missile test, according to a report in US media on Thursday.

The S-500 missile, which Russia said will be able to down F-35 fighter jets — the most advanced in America’s (and Israel’s) fleets, as well as ballistic missiles — was able to hit a target 480 kilometers (299 miles) away CNBC reported, citing “sources with direct knowledge of US intelligence concerning the weapons program.”

Israel said this week its F-35 fighter jet conducted airstrikes on at least two occasions, reportedly in Syria, which Air Force commander Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin said made Israel the first country in the world to use the American-made stealth aircraft operationally.

The US military source, who spoke to CNBC anonymously, said that the Russian test was 80 kilometers (50 miles) further than any previous test.

A photograph of an Israeli F-35 stealth fighter jet flying over the Lebanese capital of Beirut, which was apparently leaked to Israel’s Hadashot news, May 2018. (Screen capture)

Russia has said that the S-500 will be operational by 2020 and will also have the capability to hit targets in near space, 100 kilometers (62 miles) above earth.

There was no confirmation of the test from the Kremlin.

The S-500 will operate alongside the S-400 missiles and are set to replace the aging S-300 systems.

Russia had reportedly contemplated supplying S-300 missiles to Syria, but earlier this month, after intensive lobbying by Israel, Moscow said it would not provide Damascus with the advanced air defense system.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9203

Netanyahu’s Popularity Skyrockets After Successfully Orchestrating Iran Missile Attack Response And May 14th US Embassy Opening In Jerusalem

Benjamin Netanyahu placed his chips on Trump and on him leaving the nuclear deal and he is now celebrating big-time with 35 seats. He has shown that there is nobody to match him in the diplomatic-security field,” Israel Radio political analyst Hanan Kristal said.

by Geoffrey Grider May 11, 2018

Israel’s tough stance on Iran has boosted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s popularity at home, and he can expect more good press in the coming days when the United States opens its embassy in Jerusalem.

“For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: The speed at which events have transpired over the past few weeks is truly breathtaking. In America, President Trump seemed pinned to the mat with allegations from porn actress Stormy Daniels about an affair, a payoff and a coverup. Fake news media talking heads gleefully predicted Trump’s soon impeachment and removal from office. Yet today, President Trump has not only managed to bring home 3 American prisoners from North Korea, he announced last night a June 12th Summit with Kim Jong-Un to denuclearize the Korean peninsula. And he’s been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in the process. In Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu has been weathering relentless charges of corruption with his enemies also gleefully anticipating his downfall. Yet today he stands as a heroic defender of Israel after skillfully responding to an Iranian missile attack on Friday, and preparing to open the new US Embassy in Jerusalem on Monday. Why are these two world leaders – Trump and Netanyahu – not just surviving but thriving in this hostile political environment? I submit to you it is because both men, however flawed and human they may be, are each God’s appointed leaders for the end times to fulfill Bible prophecy regarding Judah and Jerusalem. And until they complete the work that God has ordained for them to do, they will remain untouchable. 

As the closest Middle East ally of President Donald Trump, Netanyahu has been central to U.S. decisions that have reshaped the political map of the region. On April 30, he appeared on prime-time television to present Israel’s case that Trump should abandon the 2015 international nuclear deal with Iran. The president did so barely a week later.

Netanyahu publicly hailed the decision and followed up with air strikes on Iranian military positions in Syria, a country that borders Israel and which Israel fears may increasingly be used as a base by Iran to attack the Jewish state.

A poll on Channel 2 television the day after Trump scrapped the Iran deal showed Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party would gain five seats if elections were held now, winning 35 in the 120-seat parliament and strengthening its position in a ruling coalition. A poll in April had Likud on 28 seats.

On Thursday Israel accused Iran of firing rockets from Syria into the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, the first time that Iran has attacked Israel with rockets. Israel struck back with its heaviest air strikes in Syria since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011, saying that it attacked nearly all of Iran’s military infrastructure.

That attack came too late for a poll in the Israeli daily newspaper Maariv on Friday. But the survey found that 69 percent of respondents were satisfied with Netanyahu’s handling of “Israel’s policy regarding Iran’s presence in Syria.”

The survey also showed 59 percent of Israelis polled said they considered Trump’s decision to pull out of the deal and reimpose U.S. sanctions on Tehran would aid Israel’s security.

But 54 percent of respondents said they feared a direct military confrontation with Iran was looming and agreed with officials who said that it would be better “to have the fight now and not at a later stage,” the paper said.

Israel’s next elections are set to be held in November 2019, but Netanyahu could seek an early ballot to capitalize on the boost in popularity.

“Benjamin Netanyahu placed his chips on Trump and on him leaving the nuclear deal and he is now celebrating big-time with 35 seats. He has shown that there is nobody to match him in the diplomatic-security field,” Israel Radio political analyst Hanan Kristal said.

Abraham Diskin, political science professor with the Hebrew University said standing up to Iran was likely to increase support for Netanyahu, as it would for any government, left or right. Despite Likud’s surge, Diskin said, the balance of power between right- and left-wing blocs in the Israeli Knesset, pr parliament, had not significantly changed.

“According to the poll, Netanyahu doesn’t have a majority but he does hold all the cards,” he said in a phone interview with Reuters.

The corruption investigations against Netanyahu “are perceived by his supporters as persecution and as the probes drag on, his supporters are strengthened in this belief,” Diskin said.

The next few days see “Jerusalem Day” on Sunday, the date in the Hebrew calendar when East Jerusalem was captured in the 1967 Middle East war.

A day later, on May 14, the United States will open its embassy in Jerusalem. The ceremony is timed to coincide with the day in 1948 — on the western calendar — that Israel declared its independence.

May 15 is the day Palestinians commemorate what they call the “Nakba“, or “Catastrophe”, when hundreds of thousands fled or were driven out of their homes in 1948.

Israel’s security forces have readied themselves for Palestinian protests to mark the embassy move from Tel Aviv and the anniversary, with the Islamist militant group Hamas talking of attempts to breach the Gaza-Israel border.

Most Israelis, from across the political spectrum, see the U.S. embassy move as a rubber stamp on recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Israel has always regarded the city as its eternal and indivisible capital but the city has not gained that recognition internationally. The United Nations regards East Jerusalem as being held under military occupation by Israel, and Palestinians say it must be the capital of their future state.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9178

IDF HITS BACK: Israel Launches Massive Counter Attack Against Iranian Forces In Syria In Largest Exchange Since 1973 Yom Kippur War

The Israel Defense Forces is taking action at this moment against Iranian targets in Syria. Any Syrian involvement against this move will be met with the utmost seriousness,” wrote Avichay Adraee, the Israeli military’s Arabic-language spokesperson, on Twitter. A source in the Israeli security establishment said this attack was the largest carried out by Israel since it signed on a disengagement agreement with Syria in May 1974.

by Geoffrey Grider May 9, 2018

 

In response an earlier Iranian missile attack, Israel launched an extensive retaliatory campaign, striking suspected Iranian bases throughout Syria for hours following the initial Iranian bombardment, an Israeli military spokesperson said, warning Syrian dictator Bashar Assad not to get involved.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Israeli Air Force has just finished with an absolutely blistering counterattack on Iran in Syria, in the largest show of firepower by Israel in Syria since the 1973 Yom Kippur War. The IDF warned Assad to not even think about using anti-tank missiles against its planes, and would be hit immediately if they did. This is breaking news and we will update this story as it develops…

“The Israel Defense Forces is taking action at this moment against Iranian targets in Syria. Any Syrian involvement against this move will be met with the utmost seriousness,” wrote Avichay Adraee, the Israeli military’s Arabic-language spokesperson, on Twitter.

A source in the Israeli security establishment said this attack was the largest carried out by Israel since it signed on a disengagement agreement with Syria in May 1974.

According to Arabic media reports, the Israel Defense Forces struck numerous targets across Syria, including weapons depots and Assad regime radar and air defense systems. The Israeli military would not immediately comment on its specific targets.

Syrian rebels said these strikes targeted three airfields: the Shayrat air base, which was targeted by the United States last year for its role in an alleged chemical attack in the Syrian town of Khan Shaykhun; the Tha’lah air base, in southwest Syria, which has been tied to Hezbollah; and the Mezzeh military air field outside Damascus, which is reportedly home to Assad’s elite republican guard.

A large Israeli bombing raid was reported near the northwestern Syrian town of Qusayr near the Lebanese border, a known Hezbollah stronghold.

Syria’s state news agency, after initially reporting that the country’s air defenses were intercepting dozens of “hostile Israeli missiles,” later said Israeli jets were “aiming to destroy anti-aircraft defenses and radar

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9173

Trump announces plans to withdraw from Iran nuclear agreement

By Alex Pappas | Fox News

President Trump on Tuesday announced plans to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal, saying it has failed to halt the country’s nuclear ambitions.

Speaking in the Diplomatic Room of the White House, Trump said: “I am announcing today the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.”

He said, “The Iran deal is defective at its core.”

A source said that Trump’s announcement will start a 90-day countdown to the restoration of sanctions.

Once sanctions are re-imposed, the U.S. effectively would be out of the deal.

It’s not clear which sanctions lifted under the deal Trump plans to immediately re-impose. He has several options. A more limited move could leave Trump more room to potentially stay in the deal if other members agree to toughen it.

If he follows through on a sweeping imposition of sanctions, the move threatens to topple the Iran nuclear agreement as a whole – and with it, his predecessor’s signature foreign policy achievement.

The president began briefing foreign and congressional leaders on his decision ahead of his 2 p.m. announcement.

And he started the day by warning former Secretary of State John Kerry not to meddle in the negotiations.

“John Kerry can’t get over the fact that he had his chance and blew it! Stay away from negotiations John, you are hurting your country!” Trump tweeted early Tuesday.

This was a reference to reports that Kerry was meeting with foreign officials in a bid to salvage the pact. Speaking at a summit Tuesday in Italy, Kerry did not back down, saying the Middle East is “safer with this agreement” and framing this juncture as a choice between peace and war.

Trump’s announcement comes ahead of a May 12 deadline to make a decision on sanctions.

It follows efforts by European allies to convince Trump to keep the deal, even with changes.

But Trump reportedly was unconvinced. Since the 2016 presidential campaign, he has railed against the agreement and its Obama administration negotiators.

The 2015 pact lifted most U.S. and international sanctions against the country, in exchange for Iran agreeing to restrictions on its nuclear program making it impossible to produce a bomb, along with rigorous inspections – terms generally set for 10-15 years.

But Israel, Gulf Arab states and many congressional Republicans said the deal was a giveaway to Tehran that ultimately paves the path to a nuclear-armed Iran several years in the future.

“Perhaps the nuclear deal’s most unforgivable flaw is that its original architects chose to stand with and empower Iran’s mullahs over the Iranian people, whose opposition to their corrupt and criminal government continues to grow,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., wrote in a Fox News op-ed urging Trump to abandon the pact and ratchet up sanctions.

But Trump’s decision could lead to retaliation from Iran in the near-term.

If the deal collapses, Iran could resume prohibited enrichment activities, while businesses and banks doing business with Iran would have to scramble to extricate themselves or run afoul of the U.S.

While Trump himself was tight-lipped about his decision in the run-up to the announcement, Iranian officials also were left guessing.

In Tehran, President Hassan Rouhani sought to calm nerves. “It is possible that we will face some problems for two or three months, but we will pass through this,” Rouhani said.

Rouhani earlier warned of “grave” consequences if Trump pulled back on the agreement.

Obama foreign policy adviser Ben Rhodes, who played a key role in the deal, also tweeted that “Trump is blowing that up with no understanding of what’s actually in the Deal, no plan for what comes next, and no support from our closest European allies, Russia or China.”

A factor leading to Tuesday’s decision may have been Israel’s public lobbying. A week ago, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appealed to the U.S. president by making explosive allegations that new evidence proved Tehran had lied about its nuclear program and adherence to the pact.

But even Trump’s secretary of state and the U.N. agency that monitors nuclear compliance have agreed that Iran, so far, has lived up to its side of the deal.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9170

The Middle East Is Bracing Itself For A Week Packed Full With Milestone Events Of Biblical And Prophetic Proportions

On May 14, Israel’s 70th anniversary, the U.S. ceremoniously opens its new embassy in Jerusalem, in line with Trump’s recognition in December of the city as Israel’s capital. Israel has excitedly welcomed the move. For Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, it spells the end to hopes that the U.S. would one day get Israel to cede the West Bank and Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem — lands it captured in 1967 — to a Palestinian state.

by Geoffrey Grider May 8, 2018

The Middle East is bracing for milestone events packed into one week — beginning Tuesday — that could reverberate in unforeseen ways and change the trajectory of a region shaped by growing conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia, leaders of the Shiite and Sunni Muslim camps.

“The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him. Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.” Zechariah 12:1-3 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: The amount of potential prophetical fulfillment packed into a single week is absolutely staggering. In exactly 7 days from today, regathered Israel will celebrated 70 years of being back in the land. I can just picture the prophets Daniel and Jeremiah looking down and high-fiving each other in anticipation. President Trump, the first United States president to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the only president to move the US Embassy there, is fully expected to announce later today that the US is pulling out of Obama’s phony Iranian Nuclear Treaty. As if all that was not enough, Hamas in Gaza is promising an all-out riot on the border on May 14th protesting the US Embassy move to Jerusalem. Here at NTEB, we have been urging believers to take a very long, hard look at the time surrounding May 14th as Israel turns 70, and events are coming together exactly as we have been saying they would. The only question is will the Lord finally ‘throw the switch’ and launch Flight #777 on Tttus213 Airlines so Daniel’s 70th Week can start? Tick, tock…let’s watch and see what happens. 

In this short span, the United States is to decide whether to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal and then move its embassy in Israel to contested Jerusalem, provoking Palestinians at a time when many thousands plan to march from blockaded Gaza to Israel’s border — and perhaps overrun it.

THE IRAN DEAL

U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to announce Tuesday whether he will keep the U.S. in a 2015 deal that gave Iran relief from sanctions in return for curbing its nuclear program.

A pullout is opposed by other world powers, but supported by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. A U.S. withdrawal and the possibility of an eventual collapse of the deal raises concerns about escalation, even war —particularly if Iran is seen as resuming its pursuit of nuclear weapons and Israel retaliates.

Tensions between Israel and Iran already are high over Iran’s efforts to expand its military presence in Syria and airstrikes attributed to Israel that killed Iranian fighters there, prompting threats of reprisal by Tehran. Netanyahu says he’ll counter “Iran’s aggression … even if this means a struggle.”

Israeli security officials say forces are already on high alert in northern Israel.

Netanyahu’s critics inside Israel warn that he is pursuing a risky course by trying to torpedo the nuclear deal, without assurances that the U.S. has prepared for the fallout.

Iran could respond by activating regional allies — Lebanon’s Hezbollah and the Gaza-based Hamas — but faces limits. Both groups have to keep in mind local constituencies that endured painful Israeli airstrikes in previous cross-border confrontations.

Hezbollah, armed with tens of thousands of rockets trained at Israel, hopes to integrate further into Lebanese politics after scoring gains Sunday in the country’s first election in nine years. Hezbollah’s calculations could change if it succeeds in setting up military positions in southwestern Syria, allowing it to launch rockets without concern for Lebanese civilians being harmed in counterattacks.

Sunni Muslim Hamas, which has had ambivalent ties with Shiite-led Iran since seizing Gaza in 2007, wants to avoid another war with Israel and is betting on mass border protests to break a decade-old blockade of Gaza by Israel and Egypt.

A U.S. EMBASSY IN JERUSALEM

On May 14, Israel’s 70th anniversary, the U.S. ceremoniously opens its new embassy in Jerusalem, in line with Trump’s recognition in December of the city as Israel’s capital. Israel has excitedly welcomed the move.

For Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, it spells the end to hopes that the U.S. would one day get Israel to cede the West Bank and Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem — lands it captured in 1967 — to a Palestinian state.

Trump’s predecessors have said conflicting claims to Jerusalem must be resolved through negotiations. His claims that the Jerusalem policy shift doesn’t preclude talks on how to share the city is met with scorn by Abbas, who suspended ties with Washington and considers it unfit to keep serving as the sole Mideast broker.

Abbas warned recently that he would take “tough steps” against the U.S. and Israel, but didn’t spell them out. Options endorsed last week by the Palestine Liberation Organization include suspending recognition of Israel and walking away from interim peace deals of the 1990s.

Signaling that he’s in no rush to respond, Abbas left Sunday for a trip to Venezuela, Chile and Cuba. Even if he’s back by May 14, he won’t have time to get far-reaching decisions approved, if only as a formality, by senior PLO figures.

Jordan’s King Abdullah II seems to have resigned himself to the U.S. shift on Jerusalem, whose Israeli-annexed eastern sector, sought as a Palestinian capital, houses major shrines of Islam, Christianity and Judaism. U.S. officials have told the monarch he would continue to serve as custodian of Islamic and Christian holy sites in the city.

UPDATE: Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat announced his intention to formally name the square near the US embassy site the “United States Square in honor of President Donald Trump,” the Jerusalem Press Office released on Tuesday.

Beyond such assurances, the kingdom, where most residents are of Palestinian origin, relies on U.S. aid and discreet security ties with Israel. Despite Abdullah’s tough rhetoric on Jerusalem, he recently ended a months-long diplomatic crisis with Israel, signaling he is ready to move on.

Sunni Arab states might issue new statements critical of the U.S. Embassy move to appease domestic audiences. However, the Saudi-led camp has cheered Trump’s aggressive stance toward Iran, and will likely avoid hurting the new alliance.

BORDER MARCH

On the day of the U.S. Embassy move, Hamas plans to bring the largest crowd yet to the Gaza-Israel border, as part of an open-ended blockade-busting protest campaign. Since the weekly demonstrations began in late March, protesters have mostly thrown stones and burned tires on the Gaza side, stopping short of large-scale border breaches.

Two senior Hamas officials said such breaches will become inevitable when crowds gather on May 14, the day of the embassy move, and likely also on May 15, when Palestinians mark their “nakba,” or mass uprooting during the 1948 Mideast war over Israel’s creation.

More than two-thirds of Gaza’s 2 million people are descendants of refugees. Blockade-linked hardships, from 16-hour-a-day power cuts to sweeping travel bans, have pushed more people to go to the border, despite the risks.

So far, 40 protesters have been killed and more than 1,700 wounded by Israeli troops.

A mass breach is bound to lead to more casualties. Israel has dug in, despite international criticism of its use of lethal force against unarmed protesters. Israel says it needs to maintain the blockade to contain Hamas and that it will defend its border at all costs.

The border marches are expected to continue at lower intensity during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which begins around May 16, said the two Hamas officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to discuss internal deliberations with reporters.

Hamas is investing as much in the new tactic as it did in its military wing, responsible in the past for suicide attacks and rocket fire on Israel, the officials said. The group believes the protests have become the only remaining tool for breaking the blockade.

Abbas is not expected to try to compete with Hamas during “nakba” rallies. In the West Bank, his security forces have kept demonstrators away from Israeli army positions.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9168

JACOB’S COMING TROUBLE: Israel And Iran On Path To War As Mideast Tinderbox Awaits Spark To Ignite

Iran and Israel have been exchanging threats for decades. What’s different now is that Syria’s civil war, which sucked in both countries, provides a potential battlespace — one that’s much closer to Jerusalem than to Tehran. It’s a tinderbox, says Ofer Shelach, a member of the foreign affairs and defense committee in Israel’s parliament. “I’m worried about the possibility that a match ignited in the Golan will light up a war going all the way to the sea.’’

by Geoffrey Grider May 4, 2018

There have been coups and revolutions, external invasions and proxy conflicts, but the Middle East hasn’t seen a head-to-head war between major regional powers since the 1980s. There’s a growing risk that one is about to break out in Syria, pitting Israel against Iran.

“But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by.” Luke 21:9 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: As I write this, the world stands on the precipice of mind boggling change without even being wholly aware of it. War between Israel and Iran, happening on or around the 70th anniversary of Israel’s regathering as a nation, would not simply be a political or regional conflict. It would be a conflict of biblical proportions. Stop and think for a moment how things stand right now. Russia controls Syria, and has a signed pact with the nations of Turkey and Lebanon for its protection. This is in addition to the pact Russia signed with Iran back in 2015 to back each other up in the event of war. God has made sure that pro-Jerusalem Benjamin Netanyahu has remained the leader of Israel, and that the United States has the pro-Jerusalem Donald Trump as its leader. And then there’s Syria. Syria figures crazy heavily in Bible prophecy, with Damascus being singled out in the time of Jacob’s trouble for utter destruction. The powder keg of prophecy is filled to the brim, and the only thing left is for the LORD to light the match. As we have been saying since 2016, May 14th, 2018 is a date you need to keep an eye on, as the LORD may just be getting ready to pay a visit. 

“For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.” Jeremiah 29:10 (KJV)

The Islamic Republic’s forces are entrenching there, after joining the fight to prop up President Bashar al-Assad. The Jewish state, perceiving a direct threat on its border, is subjecting them to an escalating barrage of airstrikes. Nobody expects those strikes to go unanswered.

The path to escalation is clear, and the rhetoric is apocalyptic. “We will demolish every site where we see an Iranian attempt to position itself,’’ Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman told the London-based Saudi newspaper Elaph, adding that the Iranian regime is “living its final days.’’

In Tehran, Hossein Salami, deputy commander of the Revolutionary Guards, said that “100,000 missiles are ready to fly’’ in Israel’s direction, and warned they could bring about its “annihilation and collapse.’’

Iran and Israel have been exchanging threats for decades. What’s different now is that Syria’s civil war, which sucked in both countries, provides a potential battlespace — one that’s much closer to Jerusalem than to Tehran.

Israeli officials say there are 80,000 fighters in Syria who take orders from Iran. As they help Assad recapture territory, militiamen from Hezbollah have deployed within a few kilometers of the Golan Heights on Israel’s border. Iran has vowed to avenge its citizens killed by the Israeli airstrikes, and it has plenty of options for doing so.

It’s a tinderbox, says Ofer Shelach, a member of the foreign affairs and defense committee in Israel’s parliament. “I’m worried about the possibility that a match ignited in the Golan will light up a war going all the way to the sea.’’ Even more troubling is the absence of firefighters.

Israelis lament that Washington has become a bit-part player, unable to impose a Syrian settlement that would guarantee its ally’s security. Absent that, “we can only represent our interests through force,’’ Shelach says.

The man who started the global shaking

We have written story after story showing you exactly why Donald Trump is God’s man to lead the most powerful nation on earth at the start of the end times. In just 10 days, he will authorize the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem.

Asked about Israel-Iran tensions at a press briefing on Thursday, Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said the U.S. is concerned by Iranian actions that “destabilize the region,” including through its proxy Hezbollah. “Wherever Iran is, chaos follows,” she said.

Far from tamping down tensions, President Donald Trump -– egged on by Israel –- has been ramping them up. By threatening to withdraw next week from the international agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program, he’s added another volatile element to the regional mix.

The only power with channels open to both sides, and the clout to play mediator, is Russia.

President Vladimir Putin’s intervention in 2015 to shore up Assad has left Russia as the strongest actor in Syria. Putin is seeking to impose a peace that would lock in his political gains, so he has every interest in averting any spread of the war.

But that doesn’t mean he’s able or willing to rein in Iran. While Russia has cordial ties with Israel, they’re likely outweighed by the confluence of interests with the Islamic Republic, whose ground forces were crucial to the success of Putin’s Syrian gambit. Repeatedly threatened with attack or regime-change by its enemies, Iran sees the sympathetic governments in Damascus and Beirut as providing strategic depth.

Now, the Iranians in Syria have graduated from helping Assad to “building their strategic presence against Israel,’’ said Paul Salem, senior vice president at the Middle East Institute in Washington. “It appears that neither the Russians nor the Assad regime are in control or can limit these things,’’ he said. “The situation is highly unstable and highly unmanaged.’’

One test of Russia’s ability to manage it may come in southern Syria, where Islamic State and other jihadists and rebels still hold territory near Israel’s border — enclaves that are among the likely next targets for Assad’s advancing army.

For such a time as this

This amazing video shows exactly why Benjamin Netanyahu is absolutely God’s man to lead Israel in the end times.

“Before they do that, the Russians need to have an arrangement with the Israelis,’’ said Yuri Barmin, a Middle East expert at the Russian International Affairs Council, which advises the Kremlin. Russia is “willing to negotiate on the issue of Iran and Iran’s presence’’ in those regions, he said.

That may not be enough to meet Israeli concerns, which extend far beyond the border.

Earlier in the Syrian conflict, Israel’s airstrikes typically aimed to destroy weapons convoys bound for Hezbollah in Lebanon. There’s been a significant change. Two strikes in the past month -– widely attributed to Israel, though the Jewish state doesn’t comment on such matters –- targeted permanent infrastructure used by Iran’s forces. Both took place deep inside Syrian territory.

“It’s shortsighted to look at it in terms of how many kilometers from the border Iran is sitting,’’ said Amos Gilad, who recently stepped down as director of political-military affairs at Israel’s Defense Ministry. “Iran cannot be allowed to base themselves militarily in Syria. And Israel is fully determined to prevent that.’’

To be sure, the goal could be achieved without a full-blown war. Salem, at the Middle East Institute, says the likeliest outcome is that Israel and Iran will avoid a conflict that neither really wants — though he says the risk that they’ll end up fighting is higher than at any time since the Israel-Hezbollah war in 2006.

And although hostilities have effectively begun with the airstrikes, many analysts say that they can be contained to Syria -– where Israel and Iran can square off without their allies necessarily being drawn into the fight.

“Never!’’ said Liberman, when asked if clashes with Iran could lead to clashes with Russia. “There will be no confrontation with them.’’

In Beirut, Sami Nader of the Levant Institute for Strategic Studies said that Russia may not oppose an Israeli attack on Iranian positions in Syria, provided it doesn’t threaten to topple the Assad regime that is “the Russians’ main card at the negotiating table.” Barmin, the Kremlin adviser, said there’s plenty of daylight between the “diverging interests” of Russia and Iran.

So far, Russia’s response to Israeli airstrikes has been muted. But after the U.S. bombed Syrian targets last month, to punish Assad for an alleged chemical attack, Russian officials said they may deliver state-of-the-art S-300 missile defense systems to Syria. That would pose new risks for the Israeli air force -– and increase the chance of a flashpoint.

Israel’s parliament this week passed a law empowering the prime minister and defense to declare war without wider Cabinet approval in “extreme circumstances.”

Half a century ago, Israel launched a surprise attack against its Arab enemies. A few years later, in 1973, the tables were turned. In both cases, one of the combatants consciously opted for war.

But that’s not how Israel’s more recent conflicts have started, says Shelach. “It always happened because the situation escalated, deteriorated, without any of the sides making a decision.’’ And that’s the risk he sees now, with no obvious off-ramp.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9164

Benjamin Netanyahu Makes 3 Very Bold Moves As He Prepares Israel To Take On Iran Militarily In Quest To Stop Their Nuclear Ambitions

In Tel Aviv the next evening, Mr. Netanyahu gave a bravura PowerPoint performance on live television from inside the Defense Ministry, flaunting the booty pilfered from a secret Tehran warehouse by an intrepid Mossad team — evidence, he said, of Iranian deceit about its long-running efforts to develop a nuclear bomb. The revelation came less than two weeks before President Trump is to announce a decision on whether to withdraw from the international agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program.

by Geoffrey Grider May 3, 2018

In three bold moves this week — with F-15s, a PowerPoint presentation and the passage of a contentious new law — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has strengthened his hand in trying to foil Iran’s strategic ambitions, while potentially pulling the two nations closer to direct conflict.

“But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by.” Luke 21:9 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: As Iran continues to build their military presence in Syria, Israel knows that the time is short before the two nations are going to have to engage each other on the battlefield. Israeli PM Netanyahu is taking the unpopular but necessary steps to protect his country and his people, but of course the liberal media will only ever see this as ‘Israeli aggression” when in fact it is much-needed self defense. May 14th is now 11 days away…

In Syria late Sunday, F-15s, widely assumed to be Israel’s, struck facilities where Iran and its proxies had entrenched themselves. The attack on a storage site near Hama destroyed 200 missiles and killed at least 16 people, 11 of them Iranians.

In Tel Aviv the next evening, Mr. Netanyahu gave a bravura PowerPoint performance on live television from inside the Defense Ministry, flaunting the booty pilfered from a secret Tehran warehouse by an intrepid Mossad team — evidence, he said, of Iranian deceit about its long-running efforts to develop a nuclear bomb.

The revelation came less than two weeks before President Trump is to announce a decision on whether to withdraw from the international agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program. Israeli officials portrayed it as an attempt to provide Mr. Trump — Mr. Netanyahu’s close ally — with backing for the decision, which they believe the president has already made.

Even as Mr. Netanyahu was speaking, his coalition in Parliament was pushing through a bill that would shift the power to go to war or carry out a military operation from the full cabinet to the smaller security cabinet — and, under “extreme circumstances,” allow the prime minister and defense minister alone to order such action.

In short order, Mr. Netanyahu had managed to exploit important political, military and intelligence advantages to advance his agenda on both the nuclear and conventional fronts, intensify the pressure on Iran, and free his hand under Israeli law to take the country to war without cabinet approval.

Taken together, his moves have prompted longtime observers of the prime minister, whom they have long credited with a healthy aversion to all-out warfare, to ask if he may have turned to a grim new way of thinking.

“All these years he was trigger-unhappy,” said Nahum Barnea, a respected columnist at Yediot Ahronoth. “And I believe that we should appreciate him for being so cautious about using military power. Now, it seems that he is pushing everybody toward a more hostile environment.”

Mr. Barnea said the hostile political environment Mr. Netanyahu faces could also be a factor: He is awaiting a likely indictment in a sprawling corruption scandal; he is believed to want to hold elections before any criminal charges materialize; and he has been presenting himself to his political base as the only Israeli leader capable of keeping the country safe.

“I don’t rule out any reason,” Mr. Barnea said. “And I’m sure there is more than one reason.”

All three actions this week further Mr. Netanyahu’s longtime goals.

As early as 2010, he sought to prepare for an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, but was stopped repeatedly by his own cabinet. He railed against the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement from its inception under President Barack Obama, contending it would allow Tehran to threaten Israel with atomic weapons within a decade’s time. And he has vowed for months to prevent Iran from establishing a conventional offensive threat to Israel from inside Syria.

The new war powers law, approved Monday on a vote of 62 to 41, was not written with the current skirmishes with Iran or the current prime minister and defense minister in mind, according to one of the measure’s architects.

Still, critics note that the corruption cases against Mr. Netanyahu, and the lack of security experience in his defense minister, Avigdor Lieberman, could raise questions about their motivations should they decide to take Israel to war.

And while the power applies only in “extreme circumstances,” the law does not define what those are.

Some experts said the new law may not have a dramatic effect. The prime minister and defense minister are unlikely to go to war without strong political backing and the support of the military and security agencies, some experts said, which have proven in the past to be cautious.

“A government cannot go to war, no matter what the law says, without a national consensus,” said Shlomo Avineri, professor emeritus of political science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. “Obviously a prime minister under investigation is limited by the kind of choices he can take, and they will be scrutinized even more than usual.”

Crucially, the show of force in Syria and the show-and-tell of spycraft both come as Iran is constrained from plunging into a shooting war with Israel, either by itself or by proxy. Its own public is increasingly restive. Its close ally in Lebanon, Hezbollah, which might otherwise be counted on to retaliate against Israel, is reined in, at least for the moment, by elections on May 6, in which it is fielding candidates.

Most of all, with President Trump set to announce his decision on the nuclear agreement by May 12, Iran is unlikely to give Mr. Trump any fresh excuses to quit it.

“That’s just an opportunity for Israel to do what needs to be done, and at relatively low cost,” said Daniel Shapiro, the former United States ambassador to Israel under Mr. Obama.

Analysts said Mr. Netanyahu’s fight to arrest Iran’s conventional-arms buildup in Syria was linked not merely by coincidence of timing to his efforts to deny Tehran a nuclear option. Just as North Korea amassed a huge arsenal of artillery to threaten Seoul while it worked to develop nuclear arms, Mr. Shapiro said, Iran is seeking to threaten Israeli territory, with drones and precision-guided missiles from within Syria, “while it uses time and negotiations and delays to advance their nuclear ambitions.”

Amos Yadlin, a former chief of Israel’s military intelligence who now heads the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, said Iran’s nuclear and conventional threats were “aimed at the same goal: to destroy Israel.”

Mr. Yadlin said the nuclear deal had succeeded in stopping Iran from pursuing nuclear weapons for a number of years.

“So they built a conventional force against Israel in Syria — with ballistic missiles, with precise guidance,” he said. “And this is the most dangerous threat towards Israel today in 2018.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9160

Trump Fully Intends to Leave Iran Nuclear Agreement: Report

By Jonathan Benedek May 3, 2018 , 12:30 pm

“For you have said, ‘We have made a covenant with Death, Concluded a pact with Sheol. When the sweeping flood passes through, It shall not reach us; For we have made falsehood our refuge, Taken shelter in treachery.’” Isaiah 28:15 (The Israel Bible™)

US President Donald Trump has already decided to withdraw from the international nuclear agreement with Iran, according to a report by Reuters.

According to one White House official referred to in the report, top aides in the White House are no longer attempting to convince Trump to stay in the deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA),

At the same time, Trump’s strategy in leaving the agreement has yet to be fully established.

One White House official mentioned in the report spoke of a scenario that “is not a full pullout” but offered no specifics. The official stressed that Trump was “most of the way there toward pulling out of the deal” and “seems poised to do it, but until a decision is made by this president it is not final.”

Additionally, it is quite possible that Trump decides to extend US participation in the JCPOA due to “alliance maintenance” with European parties to the agreement such as France.

Ultimately, Trump must decide by May 12 whether to extend the sanctions relief or to leave agreement if the E3 allies (United Kingdom (UK), France and Germany) fail in implementing sufficient “fixes” to the JCPOA.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is imploring Trump to stay in the agreement.

Warning of an outbreak of war if the Iran nuclear agreement were to fall apart, Guterres told the BBC, “we should not scrap it unless we have a good alternative.”

Iranian Ambassador to the UK, Hamid Baeidinejad implied that the regime in Tehran may revert to enrichment levels before the JCPOA was signed if Trump decides to withdraw from the agreement.

“The consequence would be that Iran would in fact be ready to go back to the previous situation,”  Baeidinejad told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9158

Netanyahu says Iran ‘brazenly lying’ after signing nuclear deal, moved documents to a secret location

By Travis Fedschun | Fox News

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed new “dramatic” intelligence Monday which he claimed shows Iran is “brazenly lying” about its nuclear weapons program and shows the country is not complying with the vaunted nuclear deal it signed in 2015.

The information was obtained within the past 10 days, Israeli officials told Fox News. Netanyahu said the ‘half a ton’ of files were moved to a “highly secret” location in Tehran after the deal was signed, and contained materials spread over 55,000 pages and 55,000 files on 183 CD’s.

“These files conclusively prove that Iran is brazenly lying when it says it never had a nuclear weapons program,” he said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shows where Iran moved its nuclear weapons files to a location in Tehran after signing the nuclear deal.  (AP)

Netanyahu briefed President Trump about the intelligence on Saturday and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday. European counterparts were made aware Monday prior to the speech, officials said.

Trump has repeatedly expressed a desire to exit the Iran nuke deal, which was signed during the Obama administration. And though he has yet to end it, a crucial deadline for re-certifying the deal is on the horizon.

Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a news conference at the Ministry of Defence in Tel Aviv, Israel April 30, 2018.  (REUTERS/ Amir Cohen)

Netanyahu’s statement also came on the heels of a missile attack in northern Syria that killed nearly 26-pro-government fighters, mostly Iranians, according to a Syria war monitoring group. Israel had no comment on the strike, but there was widespread speculation that Israel was responsible. Tehran has sent thousands of Iran-backed fighters to help President Bashar Assad’s forces in Syria’s seven-year civil war.

Israel and Iran are arch-enemies, and Israel has said repeatedly it would not allow Iran to establish a permanent military presence in Syria. Iran has already accused Israel of carrying out another airstrike in Syria this month that killed seven Iranian military advisers and vowed revenge.

Pompeo on Sunday ratcheted up the Trump administration’s rhetoric against Iran and offered warm support to Israel, and Saudi Arabia, in the standoff with Tehran.

In this Sunday, April 29, 2018 file photo, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. left. is greeted by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of a press conference at the Ministry of Defense in Tel Aviv.  (Thomas Coex, AFP via AP)

“The United States is with Israel in this fight,” Pompeo said.

The 2015 nuke deal gave Iran relief from crippling sanctions in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.

Netanyahu has been a leading critic of the agreement, saying it fails to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons capability and welcoming Trump’s pledges to withdraw from the deal if it is not changed.

“The nuclear deal gives Iran a clear path to producing an atomic arsenal,” he said Monday.

On Monday, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the time when Iran’s enemies can “hit and run” is over.

“They know if they enter military conflict with Iran, they will be hit multiple times,” he said, according to his website. He did not specifically refer to the latest attack in Syria.

Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a news conference at the Ministry of Defence in Tel Aviv, Israel April 30, 2018.  (REUTERS/ Amir Cohen)

Michael Oren, a senior Israeli official, had no comment on the airstrike in Syria, but warned both Syria and Iran against trying to attack.

“If someone shoots at us, we shoot back and we will shoot back either at the Syrian army or the Iranians, at the origin of the aggression,” Oren said.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9154