I woke up this morning to notification after notification that the U.S. and other world leaders had reached a nuclear agreement with Iran. We all knew it was coming; it would have been a modern-day miracle if the deal had not gone through.
I quickly got ready so that I could watch President Obama address the nation from the White House. As I watched this morning from my hotel room, I felt this surreal feeling knowing that just a mile away from where I was sitting, the President of the United States of America was addressing the nation on an issue that will have lasting impacts for not only our nation and for Israel — our greatest ally – but for generations to come.
The issue of a nuclear Iran is something that I, along with thousands of Christians and Jews across the globe, have been focused on for several years. When Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed Congress several months ago, he had one issue on his mind: Iran. So the fact that this deal would be reached while thousands of us have gathered here in Washington, DC to lobby our state representatives to not support a deal with Iran adds a weightiness on our time here. We are not here to simply see the monuments or sight see in DC. We are here to be modern-day Esthers; to go before our nation’s leaders and make a plea on behalf of the people of Israel. It is no coincidence that the enemy Esther spoke against was the Persian Haman. What modern country did Persia become? Iran. We are still fighting the same battle.
As of this morning, Tuesday, July 14, 2015, we still don’t have all the details and facts. Speaking on the deal this morning, President Obama said all the stipulations were “not in writing yet.” And yet, according to Obama, this deal will be able to verify Iran will not develop a nuclear weapon. Iran will dismantle 2/3 of its centrifuges and its stockpile will be under constant international watch. For 15 years, Iran’s stockpile of materials will be reduced by 98% and for 15 years no new heavy water reactors will be built. According to President Obama, this deal is not built on trust but on verification.
But I can’t help but see some discrepancies and issues with how President Obama described the deal. First off, we were only given one side of the story. As I watched the President address the nation, I couldn’t help but feel that the President was telling the American people a partial truth –what he thought the American people wanted to hear. I kept wondering, “So Iran just decided to give us all these great things without getting anything in return?” I wanted to know what Iran got out of this because I guarantee you that Iran would not have done anything out the goodness of their heart.
After laying out the “facts” of the deal, President Obama then attempted to convince the American people to trust him and buy into this bad deal. After that, he went into an almost threatening diatribe addressing Congress and the Senate letting them know that if they chose not to side with him, he would veto any resolution that threatened this deal.
Then I got to the convention center and was able to hear senators and representatives who stand with Israel speak about the deal.
I learned that the U.S. is going to help remove the old centrifuges and replace with them with newer technology. Over the next 5 years, the arms embargo that has kept Iran from obtaining and supplying others with weapons will be lifted. The “anytime, anywhere inspections” will be conducted only if Iran gives permission within a 14 day period of review. Iran will be allowed to deny any inspections they don’t want to allow. Iran can keep their military sites off-limits for “a time” and no nuclear facilities will be dismantled.
There are other concerns about making a nuclear deal with Iran. For instance, Iran is the largest state-sponsor of terror around the world. The U.S. and other world powers have made no demands that these terrorist activities be stopped before any sanctions are lifted. Last Friday was Al-Quds Day in Iran. It is the international day of struggle against Israel and for the liberation of Jerusalem. It is the day they celebrate their future destruction of Israel. In the streets could be heard shouts of “Death to Israel! Death to America!” With ideologies such as this how can we know if the $6 billion that will now be given from the U.S. will be going towards funding these terrorist activities – some of which are aimed at America and Israel. Why would we even be at a negotiating table with those who shout “death to America?” Why would we be at the negotiating table with a country that is still holding American hostages? But even more so, why do we not believe they are serious when they call for ours and Israel’s destruction?
Iran has also hidden their past nuclear activities from the world powers. We now know that Iran had hidden nuclear facilities and reactors in mountain sides, on military installations, and in other covert locations. Until Iran honestly discloses these past activities, there will be no baseline to measure all future nuclear activity. Essentially, if they haven’t been honest about their past, we no way to measure if they’re being honest about their future.
But when addressing the nation this morning, President Obama said “we are not enemies with the people of Iran.” In saying this, he is trying to make the case that lifting the sanctions would benefit the people of Iran. By allowing more international money to channel into Iran, we would be helping to build their economy and help parents provide a better future for their children. One of the things I love about America is that we want to better the lives of people all around the world. We want to bring prosperity and opportunity to everyone we possibly can. We want to somehow bring the concept of the American Dream around the world. But there is a problem with this logic.
When you consider their involvement in terrorism around the world, their hidden past in nuclear activities, as well as their atrocious human rights violation record, lifting the economic sanctions that effectively crippled their economy is a HUGE risk. These sanctions have kept even more money from funneling into Iran and possibly preventing countless terrorist attacks and have greatly slowed down Iran’s progress towards obtaining a nuclear weapon. Without first understanding their past nuclear activities and without getting a measurable guarantee that all state-funded terrorist activity will be stopped, there is no way to guarantee the money that will now be flowing into Iran will actually be going to the Iranian people or if the corrupt government will hijack this money and use it towards terrorism or rogue nuclear activities.
But despite all the bad news, there was a glimmer of hope in DC this morning.
I saw firsthand the resolution from our nation’s representatives to preserve the security of both the United States and Israel. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) renewed my faith in the American politician. They were personable, engaging, and most importantly passionate in their support for Israel. They reminded us that the magic number to override any veto from the president is 67 and showed us that across both sides of the aisle, there would be unwavering support for Israel. The Senate has 60 days to review this deal with Iran and make a decision if it will pass. Please be praying for our nation’s leaders as they contemplate this huge decision. Also, please consider contacting your representatives and letting them know you want them to vote NO on this resolution.
It can be of no coincidence that the very day we were scheduled to meet with our state’s members of congress and the senate was the exact same day the nuclear deal with Iran was reached. As we walked into each office, the importance of the words we spoke rested on our shoulders. This would be no ordinary meeting. We were meeting with the kings and queens of our time making a plea on behalf of our people and the people of Israel. YHVH is sovereign. YHVH is in control. All things – good and seemingly bad – happen in His perfect timing.
So despite this very bad deal with Iran, be encouraged today that you are not alone in your support for Israel and love for America. There are politicians on Capitol Hill that have our nation’s best interests at heart who also passionately love Israel.
Be encouraged that everything that transpires is part of YHVH’s plan. That He, and He alone, is in control; that He will be victorious. Be encouraged that every word you speak in support of Israel and against the evil in our world is not in vain. It has purpose. YOU have purpose. Who knows if that purpose is “for such a time as this.”