Not many countries face an obvious existential threat. As a people, the Jews have faced existential threats from 70 AD until 2012 AD as generation after generation of governments and ethnic groups have sought to destroy them. By sheer virtue of Israel being the Jewish homeland, the State of Israel has faced threats to its existence from the very day that it was recognized as a nation-state in 1948.
Surrounded by enemies, subject to daily rocket attacks, suspicious of anything out of the ordinary, Israel citizens face the existential threat of being attacked as a way of life. Stalwart and steadfast, alert and on guard, the leaders of the Israeli government and military must be prepared at all times to defend the country against enemy attacks of any kind. The chief threat to Israel’s existence, to no one’s surprise, is the potential of Iran possessing a nuclear bomb. Israel has been described as “a one bomb country”, i.e., one nuclear bomb could destroy the entire country, given its diminutive size. This is a threat of epic proportions, yet so few seem to care.
In an interesting turn of events, Iran, the biggest threat to Israel’s existence, is beginning to experience its own existential threat. Its economy is on the verge of total collapse. The Iranian currency is dropping like a rock against the US dollar. The Iranian rial has traded for years at 12,260 to the dollar. As of October 2, 2012, it is at 35,500. Protests are beginning to grow prolific as the people put the blame for economic conditions squarely on the shoulders of President Ahmadinejad. Things are deteriorating so quickly in Iran that the rial may, indeed, stop at Ahmadinejad’s desk.
Although most experts seem to agree that the economic sanctions that have been placed on Iran are not have the desired impact – they are still trying to develop a nuclear weapon. Some are now saying that, when combined with the ineptitude of the current regime’s economic policies, “The sanctions could turn into an existential threat for the regime.” While President Ahmadinejad is already blaming the US and the Western nations, Iranian expert, Meir Javendanfar, believes that the Iranian people will ultimately blame their president. Javendanfar reminds us that the populace has not forgotten that Ahmadinejad’s election in 2009 was the result of fraudulent voting and it has continued to damage the administrations’ credibility.
The people would be right. For several weeks now, the government has been filtering and blocking websites that report foreign exchange rates. They are trying in vain to hide that important part of the country’s financial condition from the people. Underscoring Javendanfar’s observations, Ali Alfoneh an expert on Iranian affairs ay the American Enterprise Institute has said, “The Iranian public is first and foremost blaming the regime for economic hardships. After all, the sanctions on the regime (are) the result of the regime’s reckless foreign policy.”
Ahmadinejad blames the US. The Iranians blame Ahmadinejad. But this writer believes that it is the hand of God working – in response to the continual prayers of thousands for the peace of Jerusalem. Though many of us are able to quote II Chronicles 7:14, we sometimes fail to emphasize the part where the Lord says, “I will hear their prayer”. When we pray for the peace of Jerusalem, let us do so in complete faith that the LORD will hear us. And He will answer. We don’t know how he will bring about the peace of Jerusalem when we pray, but we can believe that He will. He said he would.
For more insight into Iran’s economic crisis read “Inside Iran: A Rial Fine Mess” in the Jerusalem Post.