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 figures strongly criticising the case for war against Iran. Military chief Lieutenant General Benny Gantz said he did not believe Iran was intent on developing nuclear weapons, while Yuval Diskin, a former security chief, has declared that any attack on Iran would be ineffective.
Though Istanbul has breathed new life into the peace talks, the shadows of war are still easily seen. Iran’s oil ministry suffered a severe virus attack on its computer systems, which the government blamed on foreign agencies; while sanctions continue to bite, there have now been calls for the International Monetary Fund to cut its ties with Tehran’s banks. Also the US has sent an unknown number of F 22 fighter planes to the United Arab Emirates. The UAE government recently made a territorial claim over the tiny island of Abu Musa in the Persian Gulf. The claim has infuriated all Iranians, as the island has historically belonged to Iran.
The stakes remain very high. It is important that Christians continue to intercede for peace in the region and for a definite breakthrough during the talks in Baghdad in May.
• Success of talks in Baghdad
• Security concerns of both Iran, the Gulf States and Israel to be resolved
• Iranians to find true peace and safety in Christ