Influential Institutions

Friday, March 01st, 2013
Christians are praying against war in the Middle East over Iran’s nuclear programme. And most reports about the recent talks in Almaty, Kazakhstan, between Iran and the permanent members of the UN plus Germany, seem to indicate that possibly, as in the story of Elijah praying for rain, there is a cloud no bigger than a man’s hand on the horizon. No, there has not been a major breakthrough, but there has been...
Wednesday, February 13th, 2013
This month marks the 34th anniversary of Iran’s Islamic revolution. Speaking on Sunday at a celebration, President Ahmadinejad declared that the 1979 revolution inaugurated an “awakening of the human spirit,” rich with “divine values,” that is speeding the return of the Twelfth Iman, or ‘Mahdi’. The Mahdi is the awaited Messiah of Shiite Muslim theology, who will usher in the End Times. Ahmadinejad made his speech...
Thursday, January 24th, 2013
The issue of Iran’s nuclear programme is more urgent than ever. Israel’s re-elected Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to stop Iran getting nuclear weapons and newly inaugurated Barack Obama certainly does not want to be the American President who let Tehran get the bomb. But meanwhile Russia has warned Israel and the USA not to threaten Iran militarily and this week China has again reaffirmed its support for Ayatollah...
Tuesday, January 08th, 2013
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...
Thursday, December 06th, 2012
As there is constant debate among foreign policy officials in the West about talking directly to Iran, so too the same discussion dominates the corridors of power in the Islamic Republic: should Iran talk to America? Ayatollah Khomeini said, ‘No’, and took her diplomats hostage; after his death President Rafsanjani said, ‘Let’s talk a little’, and President Khatami said, ‘Let’s have a dialogue of civilizations.’...
Tuesday, October 30th, 2012
The judiciary in Iran, led by Ayatollah Larijani, answers only to the Supreme Leader: and the Supreme Leader answers to nobody. This might explain the confident tone of Ayatollah Larijani’s recent pronouncements. A few days ago President Ahmadinejad wanted to visit a former press advisor, Mr Ali Javanfekr, who is serving a six month sentence in Evin Prison for writing an article considered offensive to Iran’s...
Thursday, October 11th, 2012
Last week there were at least two items on the desk of Iran foreign policy’s minister Ali Akbar Salehi that could disintegrate into war – the feud with the West about the nuclear programme and the conflict raging in Syria. This became even more dangerous a few days ago when Turkey attacked inside Syria to deter border incursions. And now this week the United Arab Emirates has referred to some rocky islands in the...
Wednesday, September 26th, 2012
As well as being Iran’s president for eight years (1989-1997), history also recognizes Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani as an architect of the Iranian Revolution, the diplomat who persuaded Ayatollah Khomeini to end the eight year war with Iraq, and the king-maker who convinced his colleagues in 1989 that Ali Khamenei should be the next Supreme Leader. Now his daughter, Faezeh, is in prison for ‘spreading anti-state...
Thursday, September 06th, 2012
Tehran closed down for a few days last week as 27 presidents, two kings and emirs, seven prime ministers, nine vice presidents, two parliament spokesmen, five special envoys and many other senior politicians from 120 nations arrived for the summit of the Non Aligned Movement. The organization was founded in 1961 for countries which supported neither the West nor the Soviet Union in the cold war. That war has ended,...
Wednesday, August 15th, 2012
While artillery and planes were bombarding rebel held areas in Syria’s second city, Aleppo, a very senior advisor to Iran’s Supreme Leader, Saeed Jalili, held meetings with President Assad, reassuring him of Iran’s on-going support. Mr Jalili also wants to discuss how to secure the release of 48 Iranian nationals, some of them retired members of the Revolutionary Guards, who were abducted by rebels on Saturday...
Friday, July 27th, 2012
The governments of Iran and Syria are close. So when news of the murderous mayhem in Syria first emerged, it was no surprise that the Iranian government supported the position of Damascus and said the terror was the work of ‘foreign agents’. Motive for their view is easy to understand. The West and her Arab allies want to weaken Iran’s influence in the Middle East as much as possible. A change of government in...
Tuesday, July 10th, 2012
Give an army general a microphone and it will always be the same message: we’ll beat off any invasion. A minimal amount of clicking on Google soon shows that Iran is, in fact, no way ready in terms of technology. The US budget just for weapons research is nearly 80 billion dollars a year; Iran’s total military budget is 10 -12 billion. The West will easily out machine Iran. But in terms of man power it’s another...
Saturday, June 23rd, 2012
There was no breakthrough during the Moscow talks last week. Iran and the team representing the UN permanent members plus Germany agreed only on a low-level meeting for experts in Istanbul in early July. There doesn’t seem to be much room for compromise. The West demands that: Iran stop enriching uranium to 20%; send any uranium already enriched abroad; and close down its enrichment plant at Fordo. Iran’s response...
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...
Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012
Tomorrow (May 23rd 2012) diplomats gather in Baghdad to try and resolve the ongoing tension over Iran’s nuclear programme. They need our intense intercession. For this is an absolutely crucial meeting for the lives of millions of people in the Middle East and beyond. The team from the UN Security Council, plus Germany, led by Catherine Ashton needs heavenly wisdom to know how to negotiate in a way that ensures...
Friday, May 04th, 2012
The call to prayer in the last entry for talks in Istanbul between Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany was not in vain. Tehran called the meetings ‘very successful’; Washington said they were a ‘first step’. And already a date and place has been fixed for more meetings: May 23rd in Baghdad. The case for diplomacy has also been strengthened by senior Israeli defence...
Thursday, April 12th, 2012
On April 14th the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (USA, UK, France, Russia, China) plus Germany are due to meet representatives from Iran, led by Sayed Jalili, to resolve the West’s dispute with Iran over her nuclear programme. These talks could prove to be crucial for peace in the Middle East and deserve intense intercession from Christians around the world. For Iran and the West’s...
Thursday, March 08th, 2012
The Supreme Leader is content that more than three quarters of the new MPs support him, and are critical of President Ahmadinejad. So commentators are talking about a lame duck president. And more. They are talking about the abolition of the presidency. For in October 2011 the Supreme Leader put forward this idea in a speech to academics. He said the presidential system was good, but added, ‘In the future – probably...
Friday, February 17th, 2012
Iran versus Israel and the West dominates the headlines. Israel has blamed Iran for the attempted terrorist attacks in Delhi, Bangkok and Tiblisi earlier this week, and claimed there will be more. This has led to headlines in America of possible attacks on US soil. Iran denies any involvement, reminds the world that five of her nuclear scientists have been assassinated, and warns any would be aggressor that they...
Friday, January 13th, 2012
As the language of diplomacy between Iran and the West gets harsher, and yet another Iranian nuclear scientist is assassinated, so both Iran’s regular forces (325,000) and the Revolutionary Guards (125,000) are engaging in more military exercises. Over the Christmas season Iran’s navy exercised in the Gulf, and almost as soon as they finished, there was an announcement that the Revolutionary Guards Corps would start...

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