Iran: the number one state sponsor of… Russia?

Irun and Europe has been at loggerheads for a very long time. Between its controversial nuclear program, its involvement in the Syrian civil war and its global terrorist activities, Iran is used to putting itself in Europe’s shoes. But Iran is a faraway pariah state on the shores of the Persian Gulf. Europe can confront Iran through proxy militias in the Middle East or through the sponsorship of Iranian terrorism, but Iran cannot pose a direct military threat to Europe.


Note the following recent headlines:

When Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his “special military operation” against Ukraine in February, many felt Ukraine didn’t stand a chance. More than six months have passed since then. Not only Ukraine was not conquered, Kyiv repeatedly humiliated the Russian army on the battlefield. True, this is mainly due to Ukraine’s access to American and European weapons. But in his efforts to turn the tide, Putin has himself sought out foreign weapons. And Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is more than happy to send them.

The main weapon that worries everyone is the Shahed-136 drone. Often nicknamed “kamikaze drones”, after Japanese suicide planes during the World War ii, these drones are intended to explode on impact. The Ukrainian government claims to have shot down the majority of these drones used by Russia. Yet they are also extremely cost effective, costing only around $20,000 to make one. (In comparison, a Kalibr cruise missile, which Russia has also used in Ukraine, costs $6.5 million to manufacture.) Their affordability means the Shahed-136 can be deployed in large numbers, overwhelming air defenses .

“It’s a weapon that ignites the air” says Alexandr Krivobog, demining expert from the police of the Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv. “Even if the drone itself causes little damage to the building, there is a high probability that a flammable explosion will cause massive devastation.”

Russia targets civilian infrastructure. Earlier this month it sent a barrage of Shahed-136 drones (called Geran 2 by the Russians) which destroyed around 30% of Ukraine’s power plants. Ukraine has experienced its first nationwide blackouts since the start of the war.

The Shahed-136 is not the only weapon Tehran supplies to Moscow. The Mohajer-6 drone is a more conventional drone that can deploy guided bombs and short-range missiles and perform surveillance work. The Washington Post reported on October 16 that Iran might consider selling surface-to-surface missiles to Russia. Iran would also provide the Russian army with bulletproof vests and helmets.

The Iranian-Russian collaboration does not stop there. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (irgc) is reportedly on the ground in Russian-occupied Crimea training Russians in the use of drones. According to the US State Department, Tehran has already trained Russian officials in Iran to operate the drones. The irgc maybe also present in Belarus, Putin’s puppet state, which he used as a launching pad against Ukraine. The Ukrainian army claims to have killed Iranians in its strikes against Russia.

Iran is often called the world’s number one state sponsor of terrorism. Iran’s goal is to export its Islamic revolution around the world. It sponsors terrorist proxies from Gaza to Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia and Ethiopia. Many Iranian proxies are powerful enough to control their own states. Iran also sponsors terrorist attacks globally, as evidenced by Salman Rushdie’s recent stabbing in the USA

Many analysts see Russia’s growing reliance on Iranian equipment as an acknowledgment of its own military’s shortcomings. Iran is not the only foreign supporter of Russia’s Ukrainian war. But Iran has real world war experience that most of Russia’s allies don’t. Tehran has a lot of experience in countering US military technology in the Middle East. Other Russian allies have not been so firm in their support. (For example, at the beginning of the war, China sent Ukraine over $2 million in humanitarian assistance.) Moscow knows this and is probably turning more and more to Iran in desperation.

This makes Iran more than the first state sponsor of Islamic terrorism. At least militarily, one might say this makes Iran the first state sponsor of Russia. Iran’s involvement in the war is so significant that Foreign Police stated that “Iran is now at war with Ukraine.”

It’s historic. Iran has not been involved in Europe in this way since the Persian Empire’s wars with the ancient Greeks in the 5th century. BC

Moreover, Russia is one of the world’s great powers. Iran is an isolated pariah state. Both are enemies of the West and Russia normally supports Iran in its activities. That the tables can turn so fast and Iran can become Russia sponsor shows how powerful Tehran has become.

This puts Europe on edge. The European Union has adopted sanctions against Iran for his actions. More sanctions are apparently on the way. Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala, whose government holds the rotating EU presidency, has accused Iran of complicity in the “murder” of “innocent Ukrainian citizens”.

The UK, France and Germany have pushed things a bit further: They call on the United Nations to investigate Iran for breaching the controversial 2015 nuclear deal. Under the deal, Iran would be free from international sanctions in exchange for a partial curb on its nuclear program . The United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia and China were all parties to the agreement. The Europeans accuse Iran of failing to fulfill its commitments to curb its ballistic missile proliferation, in accordance with the agreement. If London, Paris and Berlin have their way, Iran will be subject to previously removed sanctions.

The United States withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (jcpoa) in 2018. Since then, Iran has openly stepped up its nuclear program. Europe urged America to join the jcpoa. The fact that Europe itself is now attacking Iran for breaking the deal shows how little it trusts Tehran.

Moreover, Europe is already one of Ukraine’s biggest donors and arms donors. Iran is becoming Russia’s main sponsor for at least weapons. This means the biggest war in Europe since World War II is literally a proxy war between the EU and Iran.

The Trumpet has been following Iran-Europe relations for decades. It is because of a prophecy in the biblical book of Daniel. “And in the time of the end the king of the south will push him; and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and overflow and pass away. He will also enter the glorious land, and many countries will be overthrown…. He will also stretch out his hand over the lands, and the land of Egypt will not escape. But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; and the Libyans and Ethiopians will follow him” (Daniel 11:40-43).

This prophecy is dated to the “time of the end,” the time in which we now live. The two main players in the prophecy are the “king of the south” and the “king of the north”. Centuries-old history shows that this king of the north was partly filled by the Roman Empire. Today it refers to a resurrected Roman Empire forming in Europe. (Please read Middle Eastern History and Prophecy for more information.)

Knowing who the king of the north is helps identify who the king of the south is. It is a powerful empire located in southern Europe. The geographical context of the prophecy shows that it is somewhere in the Middle East. He has an “arrogant”, provocative foreign policy. It has influence over (but does not directly control) nations in the Middle East and North Africa such as Egypt, Libya and Ethiopia.

The Trumpet identifies the king of the south as the Islamic Republic of Iran.

For years the Trumpet observed that Iran was “pushing” Europe. Radical Islamist terrorist attacks are an eternal migraine for Europe. Europe and Iran sponsor rival sides in the Syrian civil war. Iran helped the Taliban push the West—including Europe— outside Afghanistan. Europe and Iran are by no means close.

Yet the war in Ukraine takes this hostility to a new level. It is the biggest war that Europe has known since the First World War ii. And the raging Russian bear is creepy Europeans—especially Eastern Europeans. They remember the violence of Russia during the world war ii. They remember how Moscow split the continent in two with an iron curtain.

Iran is becoming one of Russia’s main backers, maybe even the major funder—in his war. Iran becomes responsible for the current trajectory of the war in Ukraine. Iran becomes a kind of lifeline for Russia. If there was any hope in European capitals that Iran and Europe could reconcile, it ends with Ukraine.

Daniel prophesies that Iran will “push” Europe. He will push and push until Europe strikes back. What happens after that?

“[T]the king of the north will come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he will enter the countries, and will overflow and pass over. He will also enter the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown…” (verses 40-41).

Europe’s counterattack will be so violent it will sweep away iran off map. Why is Europe reacting this way? Because he sees Iran as a serious threat.

Iran Sponsors Europe’s Biggest War Since WWII ii shows how much of a threat that is. Europe will soon decide to confront Iran head-on. The Bible prophesies that this coming conflict will impact not just Europe and the Middle East, but the entire world.

To learn more, please read our Trends article »Why the Trumpet Iran and Europe are heading for a clash of civilizations.”

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