Baghdad talks: no breakthrough, but no breakdown. And more talks next month.

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Last week in Baghdad when the five permanent members plus Germany met an Iranian delegation there was no major breakthrough over Iran’s nuclear programme. But there was no breakdown in the talks. Indeed, both sides have agreed to meet on June 18th – 19th in Moscow.

There is much to pray for as there is the possibility of an agreement being ratified whereby Iran would keep its nuclear programme - but under intense international surveillance. While the talks are still going on, senior military people on both sides have said they are ready for a confrontation. This raises the danger of a diplomatic stumble precipitating a hasty military strike and so igniting a war nobody really wanted – least of all the Iranians themselves.

Certainly the church would suffer if war broke out. Already Christians are enduring intense intimidation, mainly because the mind-set of the Iranian authorities wrongly suspects them of being a fifth column. This would only worsen if war came. And with the news black-out that comes with war, the enemies of Christianity would have an even freer hand to pursue their hostility against believers.

Pray for:

• June 18th – 19th talks in Moscow
• Catherine Ashton and Saeed Jalilee, lead negotiaotors
• God’s mercy on the people of Iran and the church.