Iran’s leaders have plenty on their plates for 2013. They need our prayers. The civil war in Syria continues to rage, and Iran continues to back their ally Assad and accuse the West and Saudi Arabia of igniting the whole conflict. This week they are backing Assad’s new ‘peace plan’ but with 60,000 dead, many more wounded, and fierce claims that the Syrian government has engaged in human rights abuses, it seems unlikely there can be any peace with Assad still in power. Probably good for Iran to have a plan B. They also need a plan B with the economy. In 2012 one of their own officials has admitted that oil exports and revenues have dropped by about 40% due to the Western sanctions, severely impacting the government’s spending power. Meanwhile the exchange rate and inflation is crippling the budgets of ordinary families. Probably the best plan B would be for Iran and the US to start talking, not just about the nuclear issue but, as Iran has always wanted, over the whole situation in the Middle East. With the appointment of Senator Chuck Hegel as the US’ new defense minister, Iran knows they will not be dealing with a trigger happy idealist, but a Vietnam veteran who is brutally realistic, and therefore hesitant to talk war.
In the midst of this volatile foreign and domestic situation, Iran needs to elect a new president in June 2013. This will certainly have officials thinking very carefully. They will absolutely not want a repeat of what happened in 2009 when the disputed election saw the largest demonstrations in Iran since 1979. Nor though will those who presently hold all the levers of power want anyone sympathetic to the Reformists, or even the out-going Ahmadinejad. It is not too early for Christians to be praying for a fair outcome to this election which brings peace, not conflict.
• Influential leaders of Iran
• Peace talks with US
• Fair and peaceful elections in June