Thursday, March 8, 2007

Iran in the News

Iran in the News

"All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish."
(Isaiah 41:3)

1. Report: Former Iranian Defense Minister Defecting to U.S.- AP

The mystery of a missing former Iranian deputy defense minister deepened Wednesday with the report by an Arab newspaper that he is being interviewed somewhere in northern Europe before defecting to the U.S.

Retired Revolutionary Guards general Ali Reza Asghari disappeared in Turkey nearly a month ago and reportedly hopes to seek asylum in the United States, according to a report in the London-based al- Sharq al-Awsat.

The newspaper quoted senior Iranian sources as saying Asghari is headed for the United States "along with the secrets he carried."

2. Iran's Foreign Minister Commits to Iraq Conference - AP

Iran will attend the international conference on Iraq that will be held in Baghdad on Saturday, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Wednesday. A deputy foreign minister will lead the Iranian delegation to the conference of Iraq's neighbors and the Big Five of the U.N. Security Council. The meeting will be the first public encounter between U.S. and Iranian envoys since late 2004.

The Iraqi government invited countries to the conference last week. The United States quickly said it would attend, making a diplomatic shift after months of refusing to talk to Iran about calming the conflict in Iraq.

3. Don't Ignore Iranian Threat, Former Israeli Diplomat Warns - (

Iran is developing ballistic missile capabilities and a new space program in an effort to project its power "well beyond the Middle-East," a former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations said Tuesday. [ How to Survive a Nuclear Blast MORE ]

4. Iranian Imam Receives Christ Via Satellite TV, Escapes Country - ASSIST News Service

One of the top Islamic leaders in Iran accepted Christ and left the country after facing death threats and imprisonment, according to an Iranian pastor living in the U.S. “This man has been watching Christian TV programs for the past two years,” said Pastor Elnathan Baghestani, founder of Iran for Christ Ministries. ( Pastor Baghestani and his wife provide Christian programming to the Mohabat Network satellite, which broadcasts 24/7 into Iran and other Middle Eastern countries.

The imam called one of the phone counselors connected to Iran for Christ Ministries and prayed to receive Christ in early February. “This man knows all the verses of the Qur’an by heart,” he added. “After he began watching, doubt began in his heart about the Islamic faith.” The man spent nine months in prison after he questioned the violence of radical Islam. Following his release from prison, he faced numerous death threats and escaped the country.

Several other religious leaders may follow suit. “He knows four other high-ranking imams that are in the same condition and want to leave Iran,” Baghestani said.

The imam who fled left everything behind. “God is shaking the foundation of Islam in Iran,” Baghestani said. “We have been praying for some of the main government officials to come to Christ and God is answering us,” he reports. “I pray God will open more doors for us to send the gospel to the Middle East.”

May we be so bold as to fast, pray and ask that the Lord to set the captives free? • As Isaiah prayed, so may we pray: "Is this not the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke?" (Isaiah 58: 6 NKJV)