Iran’s Strategy to Sabotage World Trade

After taking Yemen’s capital two years ago, the Islamic Repub- lic is now shifting its focus from land to sea.


A massive fireball erupts from the stern of the warship, sending out an instantaneous shock wave that rocks the camera. A second later the fiery explosion turns black as smoke billows skyward. The Arabic voiceover re- turns, this time with much more fervor: “God is great! Death to America! Death to Israel! Curse the Jews! Victory for Islam!”

This was the scene in the southern Red Sea in late January when Iranian-backed Houthi militiamen successfully rammed an unmanned, explosive- laden boat into the side of a Saudi frigate, killing two sailors and an- nouncing to the world that the militia’s arsenal now includes naval drones.

A few months earlier on October 1, the weapon was different, but the chants were the same. However, instead of a naval drone causing the car- nage, it was a C-802 antiship missile, made by the Chinese, reverse en- gineered by the Iranians, and fired by the Houthis. This time, it was a Uni- ted Arab Emirates-operated hsv-2 Swift advanced transport vessel that was destroyed.

A week after that, the most powerful navy in the world was the target. On October 9, the Houthis picked a fight with the uss Mason—far out of its weight class, but they had no fear. The militia launched two land-based cruise missiles at the Mason, an American destroyer stationed just north of the sea’s critical southern choke point, the Bab el-Mandeb Strait. The Mason was forced into defensive measures including the firing of three of its own missiles to intercept the Houthis’ missiles. The attack was foiled, but the Houthis were undeterred, and within the same week launched two more missile attacks against the Mason.

In March, the United States Office of Naval Intelligence warned that the Houthi militia had upped the ante by deploying naval mines in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait. The U.S. Navy said it would remove the mines, but it didn’t happen fast enough. On March 10, a Yemen Coast Guard vessel hit a mine and exploded, killing two sailors and injuring eight others.

Naval mines, drone attack boats, cruise missiles: These are the latest wea- pons used in Iran’s quest to control the southern Red Sea passageway.


These latest actions by the Houthi militia prove that Iran is making pro- gress in controlling this waterway. Along with the uptick in its actions a- gainst naval targets through its Houthi proxy, Iran is directly exerting po- wer over the southern Red Sea.

In late February, the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy conducted a large- scale exercise in the northern Indian Ocean. Operation Velayat 95 inclu- ded operations in an area of nearly 800,000 square miles, from the Strait of Hormuz leading into the Persian Gulf, around the Arabian Peninsula to the Bab el-Mandeb Strait leading into the Red Sea. This is an annual war drill for the Iranian Navy. However, the drill this year was different from the one last year in one notable way: This was the first time the exercises extended to the Bab el-Mandeb.

Geopolitical Futures wrote that the inclusion of the Bab el-Mandeb Strait “offers a window into Iranian strategy,” explaining that “Iran’s recent na- val exercises indicate that Iran could be preparing to take advantage of a distracted United States should conflict in the South China Sea or else- where take place.” […]

“Iran is adding the Bab el-Mandeb to the theaters in which the country feels it must be capable of operating. There are no precise details on what Iran has deployed, but in this case, the specifics of the deployment are less important than observing that Iran now considers the Bab el-Mandeb part of its immediate strategic environment”.

Iranian ambition in the Bab el-Mandeb is natural considering one of its leaders claimed dominance over the waterways following the 2011 Houthi uprising. “We in the axis of resistance are the new sultans of the Medi- terranean and the Gulf,” said Mohammed Sadeq al-Hosseini, adviser to former Iranian President Mohammed Khatami. “We in Tehran, Damas- cus, Hezbollah’s southern suburb of Beirut, Baghdad and Sanaa will shape the region. We are the new sultans of the Red Sea as well.”


Iran’s Strategy in Yemen

Gerald Flurry wrote in 2015 that the “Houthi takeover in Yemen proves that Iran is implementing a bold strategy to control the vital sea lane from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea” (op cit). This was at a time when most commentators were focusing on the Houthi rebellion as an attempt to take over land and destabilize Iran’s rival, Saudi Arabia, which is Yemen’s northern neighbor. But Mr. Flurry foresaw that Iran’s interest in the Houthi uprising was aimed at a vital strategic goal: domination of the southern Red Sea passage.


Iran is completely aware of the strategic significance of this gate. On Jan. 17, 2015, the Iranian state-sponsored Tasnim News Agency published an article that boldly proclaimed: “Today, all the arteries of oil transport — from Bab el-Mandeb Strait to Suez Canal and the Strait of Hormuz — are under Iranian control, by means of Syria, Yemen and Bahrain, and within range of Iranian missiles” (Middle East Media Research Institute transla- tion).

Two months later, on March 2, the irgc weekly, Sobh-e Sadeq, wrote, “… Yemen has a highly sensitive geopolitical status, stemming in part from its location in the Gulf of Aden and the Bab el-Man- deb. [Yemen’s] location links East with West. These days, Europe imports 3.5 million barrels of oil through these straits, and if the crisis in Yemen worsens and Bab el-Man- deb is closed, it would create a dangerous situation.”

Iran is fully aware that controlling this gate will give it virtual control of the trade through these seas.


The strategic importance of controlling this strait is equal to controlling the crucial Suez Canal, since every ship that sails between Asia and Eu- rope through the Red Sea must go through both of these passages. If sai- ling from the Persian Gulf this route is 43 percent shorter than sailing around the continent of Africa, which makes it the most affordable route and saves shipping companies millions of dollars.

For this reason, roughly 20,000 ships pass through the Suez Canal and Bab el-Mandeb each year—an average of 55 per day. About 15 percent of all global maritime trade and nearly 10 percent of global seaborne oil pas- ses through the gates of the Red Sea.

More specifically, almost all of the trade between Europe and Asia is sea- borne and travels through the Bab el-Mandeb sea gate. That amounts to almost $700 billion worth of trade per year that Iran could conceivably delay, sabotage, or stop dead in the water.


“And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with cha- riots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over” (Daniel 11:40).

According to this verse, at the time of the end this “king of the south” is going to push at the king of the north. Since 1994, Gerald Flurry has forecast that Iran would grow to become the dominant power in the Mid- dle East, heading up a powerful alliance of radical Islamic nations known as the king of the south. The king of the north in this prophecy is a united Europe led by Germany. While the world is mostly blind to it, some in Europe are waking up to Iran’s plan to capture the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. The Europeans see that this strategy and Iran’s overall strategy of aggressiveness and terror is a definite push. And Europe will eventually push back.


Continue to watch for Iran to strengthen its presence inside Yemen, as well as in the waters around the Bab el-Mandeb Strait. Here lies the very beginning of the prophesied push that leads into a global conflict.

Terror gegen Christen in Ägypten

KAIRO. Mindestens 41 Christen sind bei zwei Terroranschlägen gegen Kirchen in Ägypten am heutigen Palmsonntag getötet worden. Dutzende wurden verletzt. In der koptischen Kirche Mar Gigis in der Stadt Tanta, rund 80 Kilometer nördlich von Kairo, war am Vormittag während der Messe ein Sprengsatz explodiert, der offenbar in der Nähe des Altars plat- ziert war. Dabei starben bisher mindestens 30 Menschen. 60 weitere wur- den verletzt.

Am Mittag explodierte eine Bombe vor der Markuskirche im nordägyp- tischen Alexandria, tötete elf Christen und verletzte mindestens 66. Mitt- lerweile hat sich die Terrororganisation „Islamischer Staat“ (IS) zu den Anschlägen bekannt.


Ägyptens Präsident Abdel Fatah al-Sisi berief eine Dringlichkeitssitzung des Sicherheitskabinetts ein. Der höchste sunnitische Geistliche des Lan- des, Imam Ahmed El-Tayeb von der Al-Azhar-Moschee, sprach den Op- fern sein Mitgefühl aus und verurteilte den „terroristischen Angriff“, der die Einheit des ägyptischen Volkes zerstöre. In Ägypten leben rund neun Millionen koptische Christen. Das sind etwa mehr als zehn Prozent der Gesamtbevölkerung.

Ethiopia Extends State of Emergency

The Ethiopian government announced March 30 that its state of emer- gency would be extended for another four months, amid concerns of re- newed violence.

Ethiopia originally declared the state of emergency on October 9 after an- tigovernment protesters attacked foreign-owned factories and killed an A- merican student. The government blamed foreign-backed militias for the unrest, singling out rivals Egypt and Eritrea as the chief enablers. Some antigovernment activists, however, said Ethiopian protesters acted inde- pendently to “paralyze the economic muscle of the regime.” They accused the government and its security forces of human rights abuses and heavy-handedness, which include alleged indiscriminate killing of protesters.

Just a week before the state of emergency was enacted, government forces had fired rubber bullets and tear gas at protesters at a cultural festival, triggering a stampede that killed 52 people according to government fi- gures. The opposition estimates that the chaos killed around 600 people.

The state of emergency further empowered the government forces. It au- thorized the military to restrict travel, enforce curfews, search premises, and detain people without warrants.

“The regime has imprisoned, tortured and abused 20,000-plus young people and killed hundreds more in order to restore a semblance of or- der,” said Alemante Gebre-Selassie, emeritus professor of the College of William and Mary in Virginia.

The state of emergency further incensed protesters in Ethiopia, and its ex- tension exacerbated tensions. Some consider it an extension of the go- vernment’s “license to kill.” Observers say that if more protests break out, they will be worse. Yet other observers say that the extension of the state of emergency is exactly what Ethiopia needed to quell unrest in the coun- try. “If they don’t extend the state of emergency,” noted university lecturer Seyoum Teshome, “the protests may continue, because the people have no other means to express their grievances besides the open air.”


Who exactly are those people striving to disrupt Ethiopia’s peace and se- curity?

The Ethiopian government has publicly named Egyptians and Eritreans as regional saboteurs. There is yet another regional saboteur that is noto- rious for exporting terrorism and grabbing strategic areas of the region: the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Iran has allied itself with the Somali Mujahideen “youth” movement known as al-Shabaab, which has persistently terrorized East Africa and the Horn of Africa. Iran has also allied itself with Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who are separated from Ethiopia only by the Red Sea and a narrow strip of Eritrea.

A prophecy in Daniel 11:40-43 mentions Ethiopians by name. It also men- tions Iran by the name “king of the south” […]

The prophecy reads, “And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirl- wind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over. … But he [the king of the north] shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps” (Daniel 11:40, 43).


German Report: Iran Still After Nuclear Technology

Callum Wood | July 15

In its annual report on July 7, Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, the German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), noted that Iran has increased efforts to obtain nuclear technology since the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (jcpoa).
Throughout 2015, the report said, Tehran’s illegal efforts to purchase nu- clear technology “continued on a quantitatively high level by international standards.”
The report is starkly contrasted by comments made by the United Na- tions and the P5+1 nations, which previously indicated that Iran had been fulfilling its obligations under the nuclear deal.
Another more detailed regional BfV report released on July 11 alleged that counterintelligence agents had recorded 141 attempts to acquire techno- logy for “proliferation” purposes in 2015. The number was double that of 2014. Iran accounted for nearly 100 of those attempts.
The report exposed Iran’s procurement procedure. In most instances Iran would forge false documentation, stating that the technology was needed for peaceful industrial use. Usually this would be in the oil, gas and steel industry. But such “dual-use” technology would then be diverted to Iran’s nuclear program.
The German report also indicated that Iran used “front companies” to try and gain access to technology. Iran wanted to have technology shipped to bogus companies in the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and China. From there the goods would be shipped to Iran. While the BfV report showed how many times Iran had been caught in the act, it could not give indi- cation of how many times Iran got away with it.
The reports explained that many of Iran’s attempts were not for the nu- clear program but for its ballistic missile program. But these two pro-  grams are interwoven. The report also said, “[I]t is safe to expect that Iran will continue its intensive procurement activities in Germany using clandestine methods to achieve its objectives.”A spokesman for the Ger- man Foreign Ministry said there are “forces within Iran” that want to torpedo the Iran nuclear deal.
Regardless of the United States’ deal with Iran, it is still illegal under U.S. and United Nations law for Iran to acquire and develop ballistic missile technologies. The German report shows Iran’s contempt for such rulings. Yet there is little response from the Obama administration.
The BfV report is nothing new. It shows the Iranian regime to be no less radical, its goals no less extreme, than before the jcpoa came into effect. The Trumpet has warned extensively about Iran’s trust deficit.

The Islamic State and Iran: On the Same Team

To many people today, the Islamic State has become the face of radical Is- lamist terrorism, thanks largely to its flair for drama. From its bases in Iraq and Syria, the Islamic State is sowing trouble and chaos throughout the Middle East and North Africa, and, increasingly, throughout Europe and the wider Western world.


Courting Iran

In Western capitals across the world, the Islamic Republic of Iran is in- creasingly seen and embraced as a logical ally in the war against the Isla- mic State. If you consider isis the primary enemy, then courting Iran seems rational: Shia Iran despises Sunni isis and wants to see the ter- rorist organization eradicated just as much as we do, so let’s join forces and fight. Recruiting Iran’s assistance makes sense practically and tacti- cally too, considering Tehran’s proximity to the fight.


Again, allying with Iran seems logical if you consider isis the supreme threat. But this ignores the fact that for nearly four decades Iran has been the world’s number one state sponsor of Islamic terrorism.

Tehran, of course, is quite happy to play along. Iran’s leaders make rou- tine statements condemning the Islamic State and expressing alarm at the group’s vigorous growth. They make gestures that augment the wide- spread belief in the West that Shiite Iran and Sunni isis are mortal ene- mies, incapable of ever cooperating. The West listens naively and rewards Iran for showing itself supportive and cooperative. Iran smiles and enjoys the political, financial and strategic benefits won with a few simple lies.


The Iran-Islamic State Relationship

Like most national, tribal, ethical and religious relationships in the Middle East, the relationship between the Islamic State and Iran is not nearly as simple as many Westerners believe. Evidence proves that Iran and the Is- lamic State are not archenemies. In fact, Iran is at least partly responsible for the Islamic State’s creation!

In his article “Iran Is More Deeply Tied to isis Than You Think,” Benjamin Decker provides a detailed explanation of Iran’s involvement in the cre- ation of various Sunni terrorist organizations, including al Qaeda. He writes, “As the West continues to partner with Iran to ‘degrade and ulti- mately destroy’ the Islamic State, it is worth remembering that one of Iran’s highest-ranking terrorists was instrumental in founding al Qaeda, and that the split between Shia and Sunni jihadis is murky at best” (To- wer, December 2015).


Iran and the Islamic State are not the mortal enemies we think they are!

It is dangerous to assume that Iran thinks the same way about the Islamic State as the West does. The truth is, the Islamic State’s rise has proven enor- mously beneficial to Iran, the world’s top state sponsor of terrorism.


Same Team

Don’t buy the narrative that Iran is terrified by the rise of the Islamic State. Don’t be deceived by the lie that these two are mortal enemies, and that Iran is willing to join the West in defeating the terrorist group. When it comes to isis, Iran seeks to manage its activities, not eliminate its pre- sence.

This means ensuring isis isn’t allowed territorial gains too close to Iran’s border. It means making sure the Islamic State doesn’t establish total con- trol over Iraq or any key assets. It means keeping the Islamic State in check so it doesn’t affect Iran’s aspirations.

Iran has no interest in eliminating the Islamic State from the Middle East, and certainly not from Europe or the West! Iran has two basic ambitions. First, it wants to be the dominant power in the Middle East. Second, it wants to undermine and destroy Israel, America and the West. Right now the presence of the Islamic State is helping Iran achieve those ambitions!


Iran’s war of terror in Africa

Even to the casual observer, Iranian meddling in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Yemen, Bahrain and other Middle Eastern nations is abundantly evident.

Iran is fighting both directly and indirectly against rebel forces in Iraq and Syria. It has tremendous clout in Lebanon via its Hezbollah proxy, and its determination to “wipe Israel off the map” is widely known. Recently, an Iranian general declared that his nation “must make efforts to bring Bah- rain back into Iranian territory and transform it into a part of [its south- western province of Bushehr].” And in the past four months, three Iranian shipments of weapons have been intercepted in the Middle East. The most recent of those arms shipments was intended for Houthi rebels in Yemen.

What’s less apparent, however, is Iranian meddling in Africa.

In the article “Iran’s Other Shadow War Is in Africa,” the War Is Boring blog wrote May 1: “Sub-Saharan African states, in particular, have long been the setting of Iranian intrigue. In a contradictory arrangement, the public face of Iran’s relationship with Africa is that of economic streng- thening for mutual benefits, while simultaneously engaging in covert action undermining the stability of the very economies Tehran seeks to work with.”

Under former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran vigorously pursued a “South-South” strategy of stronger economic ties with Latin American and African nations. But as War Is Boring explained, trade and diplomacy became Iranian tools for terror and geopolitical clout.

Iran’s bilateral ties with the small West African nation of Gambia have been strong since President Yahya Jammeh grabbed power in a coup d’état in 1994. Gambia has staunchly supported Iran’s right to a nuclear program. In 2006, Ahmadinejad was the guest of honor at an African Union summit in Gambia. Those strong ties were strained when an Iranian plot to ship arms to anti-Senegalese rebels in Gambia was exposed in November 2010. The weapons were intercepted in Nigeria—they included Iranian rocket launchers, grenades and artillery rockets.


Sudan’s advantage for Iran is its proximity to Israel, via Egypt. Sudan has hosted training camps for the Palestinian Hamas terrorist group, and has provided a conduit for Iranian arms shipments to the Gaza Strip and Lebanon. Sudan is also strategically advantageous to Iran because it gives it influence over the western side of the Red Sea.

Iran has also had “continuous interference in Somalia’s internal affairs,” according to the Somali Foreign Ministry in January. Somalia accuses Iran of sponsoring Islamic militants in the Horn of Africa nation. It has similarly meddled in the Red Sea nation of Djibouti for strategic purposes.

It’s worth noting that Iran’s ties to many of these nations have been strained in recent months. But the cause of that strain is primarily finan- cial, not ideological. Iran’s chief rival, Saudi Arabia, has cashed in with petrodollars and bought these nations’ allegiances away from Iran.


The chairman of the German Federal Armed Forces Association, Lt. Col. André Wüstner, said in December that terror in Africa “makes it clear once again” that a “ring of fire” extends “from Afghanistan via Yemen, Syria and Iraq to Africa.” This could well be the reason Europe, as the Bible prophesies, will unleash a “whirlwind” attack in the Middle East and Africa.