Iran Vs. America … Round Two
By Jack Kelley
Woe to those who plan iniquity, to those who plot evil on their beds! At morning's light they carry it out because it is in their power to do it. They covet fields and seize them, and houses, and take them. They defraud a man of his home, a fellowman of his inheritance.
Therefore, the LORD says: "I am planning disaster against this people, from which you cannot save yourselves. You will no longer walk proudly, for it will be a time of calamity. (Micah 2:1-3)
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."
So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?" (Hebrews 13:5-6)
With all the talk about Iran's suspected nuclear capability and what the world should be doing to stop its development, a darker and even more sinister Iranian plot against the US is receiving little public attention. It concerns how the world currently purchases oil, and how Iran, the world's number two producer, is working to change that.
Today there are two oil exchanges in the world, in New York and London, and both require payment in American dollars. This means that any oil purchasing country has to keep large reserves of US currency on hand to fund their ongoing needs. Most Americans assume that the value of their money is pretty constant, but like just about everything else in the world the dollar's value in international markets is determined by the demand for it.
As countries purchase and pay for oil, their dollar reserves are depleted and they have to buy more of them to make sure they'll always have enough for future purchases. As the price of oil keeps going up an artificial demand for the US dollar has been created that according to some analysts has inflated its value on world markets by as much as 25 to 40%. But since both of the world's oil exchanges are owned by American interests, there's not much anyone can do about it. The US benefits greatly by this as it keeps the prices of foreign goods Americans buy lower than they would otherwise be, and also makes the purchase of foreign oil much less expensive.
How In The World Did That Happen?
How does a country get that kind of clout in the world market place? Good question, and here's the briefest of summaries in answer. I developed this summary in part from an excellent article entitled The Proposed Iranian Oil Burse by Krassimir Petrov. Petrov is an Austrian Macro Economist/Investment Strategist with a Ph. D. in economics from Ohio State University. He teaches Macroeconomics, International Finance, and Econometrics at the American University in Bulgaria. You can read the entire article, and I hope you do, at http://www.masternewmedia.org/.
Historically, American dollars were backed by gold, and by the early 20th century the US economy had become the world's strongest. But recovering from the Stock Market crash and Great Depression required such a level of spending that Franklin Roosevelt had to detach the dollar from its gold backing in 1932. The US simply didn't have enough gold to cover all the money he needed to print.
Thirteen years later the US, having required gold as payment for weapons and war materiel it sold to other countries during WW2, owned most of the world's gold. This allowed the US to restore the gold standard (but only for dealing with other nations) in 1945, making the now strong again dollar the reserve currency of the world.
In the mid 1960's Lyndon Johnson's simultaneous goals of fighting the Viet Nam war and eliminating poverty at home required detaching the dollar from gold again to permit the printing of enough currency to meet the expense of these two costly goals. (Both were failures.) When nations demanded gold for their dollars as they had been promised since 1945, the US refused and formally defaulted on its commitment on August 15, 1971. It was tantamount to declaring bankruptcy, but the US was powerful enough otherwise to get away with paying the nations of the world for the goods and services they had provided in dollars backed only by the "full faith and credit" of the USA.
The following year, to restore confidence in the dollar, the US signed an iron clad agreement with Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter, where in return for US support and protection, the Saudis agreed to only accept US dollars for their oil and convinced the rest of OPEC to do the same. Now, even though other countries can't get gold for their dollars, they can get oil. (Some speculate that the real reason for the US war in Iraq is that Saddam Hussein tried to break this agreement and sell his oil for Euros and Yen. According to this view, the US deposed him as an example to keep other OPEC countries from following suit and causing the dollar to plummet.)
And Now For Round Two
Iran now proposes to challenge the US by opening its own oil exchange called the Iranian Oil Burse, or IOB, and permitting customers to pay in Euros, the currency of Iran's largest trading partner. They plan to begin offering their oil on the IOB beginning in March 2006. If successful, it means that countries will soon have the choice of paying OPEC for their oil with inflated US dollars or effectively receiving a 25% discount by purchasing it from Iran in Euros. Just about every country in the world will benefit greatly by this, especially the EU, whose currency would immediately become much stronger and more stable in world financial markets.
Everyone except the US that is, where foreign oil costs would skyrocket as the dollar declined in value, as would the cost of all other foreign goods. Within a few years, the US economy would decline to near third world status, and its national debt, which has again risen to record levels, would be impossible to repay. In short, the most powerful nation on earth would again be bankrupt as countries around the world dump large portions of their dollar reserves to buy Euros, driving its value even lower.
Some experts have calculated that this would be more devastating to the US than if Iran exploded a nuclear warhead in one of our major cities or wiped out our electronics with an EMP detonation. Even though America's military power would still be intact, at least for the time being, Iran would have done nothing that could justify retaliation. Iran could rightly say that they've only employed a lesson from free market capitalism, providing the world a much needed commodity at a better price.
The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast. (Rev. 17:12)
This would also hasten the shift of global power from the US to Europe as Bible Prophecy suggests. The Euro, which floundered following France's defeat of the proposed EU constitution, would become the world's financial reserve currency like the dollar is now and the British pound sterling once was. EU countries like Italy that went off the Euro in favor of their former currency, would come flocking back, and the EU economy, already larger than that of the US, would get a huge shot in the arm.
You Gonna Let 'Em Get Away With That?
Obviously, the US can't just stand by and let that happen, so how does Iran expect to pull this off? After all, look at what happened to Saddam. It turns out that there are two things working in Iran's favor that Saddam didn't have going for him. First of all the US, thanks in no small part to Iran and its partner Syria, is deeply entangled in a very expensive ($100,000 US per minute!) war in Iraq with no quick end in sight.
Almost no one in the world believes that the US could afford to engineer a "regime change" in Iran at the same time, with all that would entail, although that's eventually what it will take to permanently stop Iran. But with Israel's help the US could use Iran's nuclear ambitions as a pretext to mount a massive pre-emptive strike, temporarily putting a stop to both the nuclear program and the IOB.
And that brings us to the second thing. Iran doesn't have to succeed to win this battle. In fact, in some ways, the bigger the mess they create, the better. Iran has leaders who believe that by plunging the world into utter chaos they can hasten the return of the Islamic Messiah, or Mahdi, the hidden 12th Imam, and they believe the time is right.
In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a stern faced king, a master of intrigue will arise. He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does. He will destroy the mighty men and the holy people. He will cause deceit to prosper and will consider himself superior. When they feel secure, (by means of peace, KJV) he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of Princes. Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power. (Daniel 8:23-25)
To that end it appears from current news reports that Iran has two potentially war inducing events planned for March of 2006. The first is their initial underground test of a nuclear weapon. (That ought to put to rest the debate about just how close Iran is to going nuclear!) And the second is the opening of the IOB.
Either one should be enough to prompt a US (or Israeli, or both) attack, and that's just what Iran's President wants. By getting a foreign, preferably western nation to mount a pre-emptive attack on his country, the President of Iran believes he can force the world into a war devastating enough to bring the Mahdi back to Earth to judge Islam's enemies and inaugurate the promised universal peace under Islamic rule. Our last article gave you all the details on this.
Of course, you and I know that this plan will only work if the King of the Universe is ready to fire the starting pistol to begin Earth's race to the End Times. But it sure will make the month of March one of the most exciting yet. Better stay alert. If you listen carefully, you can almost hear the Footsteps of the Messiah. 02-11-06
About the Author:
Jack Kelley is a Christian writer with several books to his credit, including "Children's Stories of the Bible, The Adult Version" and "The Stories of the Patriarchs" a fictionalized account of the Book of Genesis. His latest effort, "The Seven Churches Chronicle" is a commentary on Revelation 2-3 that appears in E-Book form on this website and is based on his recent research trip to Turkey and Greece.
Before retiring into full time ministry, Jack was a management consultant assisting small and medium sized companies successfully address the challenges of growth in today's economy. In addition to traditional consulting assignments, he has given over 10,000 paid presentations on leadership, management, sales, customer service, and other areas of personal productivity throughout North America.
Jack "grew up" in a main line denomination but 20 years ago experienced a radical conversion to Evangelical Christianity. Since that time he has devoted most of his time and energy to studying and teaching the bible, conducting studies throughout the western US and serving as teacher, counselor, and lay pastor. He has led several pilgrimages to Israel and Jordan, and is the author of all the website's articles. Jack and his family currently reside on the Baja Peninsula in Mexico where they serve as volunteer missionaries. I encourage you to visit his site http://www.gracethrufaith.com/