How Iran’s Hacking of Telegram Affects the Persian Underground Church

Day after day I am impressed by the maturity, faith, and resolve of the leaders of the underground church in Iran. They live in constant danger of arrest and torture, and yet they continue to obey the Great Commission and share their faith.

You see, they have experienced the love of Jesus, and the salvation He has given them is not something they can keep to themselves. They must pass on this good news to others, no matter the cost, no matter that the danger of saying anything to anyone about Christianity has grown even more perilous in these times.

Every Word Is Watched

Earlier this summer I told you about the creation of a 7,000 member non-visible police force as well as a new organization tasked with annihilating any activities outside Iran that could threaten the existence of the Islamic government of Iran. Both of these organizations have tamped down communication among Christians in Iran.

With the police in plainclothes, it is even harder for Iranians to know who is spying on them. The person they share their faith with could very well be leading them on so they can put them in jail.

These days, the Iranian government has gotten even more sophisticated in their control of the people and their attempts to silence anti-Islamic or anti-government speech. According to a new study by Collin Anderson and Claudio Guarnieri that will be published later this year, a Persian group known as Rocket Kitten has compromised over a dozen accounts of the end-to-end encrypted instant messaging service known as Telegram, allowing them to read incriminating chat histories.

Telegram telegram-iran-1074x483has become number one way for Iranians worldwide to communicate safely with each other.
According to Telegram itself, Iran is the number one user of this app in the world.

So even more alarming to users of the service than the hacking of these first few accounts was the news that the group also collected the Iranian phone numbers and user IDs of over 15 million users. This information will allow the group to continue to target Telegram accounts and arrest people who thought their encrypted communication was secure.

The researchers have declined so far to connect outright the hacking group to the Iranian government; however, they did note that they saw instances where compromised and targeted accounts preceded arrests in Iran. “We see a continuous alignment across these actions,” Anderson said.

The Church Keeps Growing

What does this news mean for the underground Church in Iran? Really, the news is nothing new. As always, the Islamic government of Iran is desperate to stop the growth of Christianity within its borders. It will continue to employ every means possible to spy on, intimidate, and eradicate opposition to Islam.

But God is moving in Iran, showing a new generation that His name is Jesus, and there is no other name by which they can be saved (Acts 4:12). These young people, with your prayers, will continue to share the Gospel.

So please pray for the believers of the Persian Church, that they will have the courage and boldness to obey God and preach His name no matter what the government says or what apps they hack. Pray that they can be creative and that the Holy Spirit will help them stay one step ahead of the authorities.

Related Articles:

“Lifeline from Nuclear Deal Helps Iran Oppress Its Own People,” June 2, 2016.

Reuters. “Hackers Accessed Telegram Messaging Accounts in Iran, Say Researchers.” The Guardian, August 2, 2016, sec. Technology.

Loving Muslims: The Best Way to Stop Islam

Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. —Ephesians 6:12, NIV

When people hear me talking or read my posts that say ISIS and terrorists are following the true Islam, some accuse me of hating Muslims. I do not hate Muslims. I love them. All people are treasures in God’s eyes. Muslims are treasures, and Jesus gave His life to buy them back—redeem them.

Muslims are not our enemy.medium_do-christians-and-muslims-worship-the-same-deity Satan alone is our enemy, and Muslims are his captives whom we are called to set free. To set the Muslim captives free, we must strike a blow against Satan, and we do that by loving Muslims.

We Love Muslims by First Praying for Them

A huge part of loving Muslims is praying for them. The spirit of Islam blinds them to the truth of Christ. Islam is a spirit and not just a theology or a philosophy. You cannot reason a Muslim to Christ because Islam does not allow Muslims to think about and question what they believe.

In the past month, Muslims across the world celebrated Ramadan, a month-long time of fasting and recommitment to Islam. It’s a spiritual battle month because during this time Muslims are recommitting themselves to the spirit of Islam, and Satan is re-enslaving those that belong to him.

Ten ministries coordinated by author Tom Doyle and CBN News recently joined in a worldwide effort “to encourage Christians to pray specifically for a move of God’s spirit to draw Muslims to Jesus Christ during Ramadan.” Voice of the Martyrs, one of the ministries that participated in this Facebook Live event, has written about the event and my participation here.

I had the honor of being the second speaker for this CBN broadcast. Hundreds of thousands viewed it and prayed along with me despite some technical difficulties with the video. You can find the broadcast here. (Please scroll through the first few seconds to get to where I begin speaking.)

I want to thank the Lord publically for these prayers and His response. I know He hears and is moving even now to remove the blindness and fear from hearts and to draw Muslims to Himself.

Even though it is no longer Ramadan, we must continue praying for Muslims. Jesus is attractive. The message of the Gospel is sweet. But why don’t Muslims believe when they hear it? Because there is a spiritual battle for their souls that is trying to keep them in slavery through fear and intimidation. We can win this battle first through prayer and then through loving them.

We Must Love Muslims by Also Praying for Ourselves

We must pray for Muslims, and then, as our next step of loving Muslims, we need to pray for ourselves.

Terrorism and Islamic jihad are scary. I do not want to belittle the brutality and evil of what we have seen and heard, especially in recent months. But as Christians, we must remember that God is love and that love casts out all fear (1 Jn 4:8, 18). So if we are fearful and hateful of Muslims—even if we are indifferent!—that is not of God. The spirit of Islam is the spirit of fear and hate. May I even say that if you are fearful and hateful towards Muslims, you are submitting to the very spirit of Islam? So we must pray for our own hearts to be filled with God’s love—to be free from fear and hatred.

When we share the truth with love, the captives will be freed. Please join with me to confront the spirit of Islam with the best weapons we have: prayer and love.

Related articles:

VOM. “Praying for Muslims: Hormoz Shariat.” Persecution Blog. Accessed August 1, 2016.

CBN News. “Ramadan Prayer Outreach to Muslims Reaches over 7 Million People.” CBN.com (beta). Accessed August 2, 2016.

Terrorism Fatigue: How many times will we wake up and fall back to sleep?

Another terrorist attack. Quickly, we see that the world is growing less shocked each time terrorists commit violence and mass murder. Terrorism in the headlines has become routine.f80de65e0ccb3622806322e72931a7297428e5b4f130379ae658ea1b4d82ad39

One Twitter comment sums it up well: “Je suis Paris (I am Paris), Je suis Belgium, Je suis Orlando, Je suis Ankara, Je suis Nice. Je suis sick and tired of this.”

And the list above only mentions a few of the past year’s attacks. It doesn’t even mention half the atrocities from the past two weeks.

The Terrorism Cycle

Fill in the blank below with the place of any of the recent attacks. The rest of the cycle looks the same:

  1. The terrorist act happens in __________. We are all shocked. Many are dead and wounded. Our televisions carry live coverage on nearly every channel.
  2. We mourn and express our condolences to the families who lost a loved one.
  3. We start asking who did it and why. Then it is revealed that the attacker(s) was an Islamic jihadi.
  4. Politically correct groups warn everyone that we must not connect these acts to Islam itself. They suggest we can call the perpetrators criminals, extremists, terrorists, and whatever other name we want to call them, but we are not in any way to connect them to the religion of Islam, even if they themselves announce that their motivation has been obedience to the teaching of Islam to jihad (fight) against infidels and kill them. Even if they shouted “Allahu akbar” when they were committing murders.
  5. President Obama condemns the act and makes his usual weak statement trying not to offend anybody, especially Muslims. He makes sure to avoid mentioning Islam in his comments. After the attack on July 14 in Nice, France, he said, “On behalf of the American people, I condemn in the strongest terms what appears to be a horrific terrorist attack in Nice, France, which killed and wounded dozens of innocent citizens. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and other loved ones of those killed, and we wish a full recovery for the many wounded.”
  6. Secretary of State John Kerry makes a statement that the U.S. government is working to determine if any American citizens were injured in the event.
  7. We gradually forget and fall back to sleep until another terrorist event wakes us up again to restart the cycle that goes nowhere.

Breaking the Cycle

When are we going to break this cycle? When are we going to identify and address the root problem? We cannot solve the problem of terrorism if we refuse to identify its root. How can a doctor cure a disease if he does not dare identify the cause of the disease because the patient may be offended? When are we going to wake up from our slumber and look at the real issues in order to bring real solutions?

In the U.S., most of the media coverage is about WHAT the terrorist (jihadi) did with many details and pictures and footage. But they stop there and do not dare cover WHY he did this. They dare not talk about the motive of the terrorist even when he clearly states it in his writings and speech, even when he shouts “Allahu akbar” while he is killing.

I love Muslims. I am called to love Muslims and lovingly share the good news of Jesus with them. I have dedicated my life to loving Muslims. Nevertheless, the moment I mention that we need to look at the Islamic theology that motivates the terrorist, I am accused by emails and blog comments that I am a Muslim hater and that I am spreading hate!

Address the Problem, Love the People

Ronald Reagan was instrumental in bringing communism down because he addressed the problem of communism directly and boldly. He did not care about political correctness. It was the 1980s and the PC crowd had not yet risen to power.

This is what Reagan said about communism: “How do you tell a communist? Well, it’s someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It’s someone who understands Marx and Lenin.”

If the PC crowd had a voice then, they would have said, “President Reagan, by making this statement, you are offending many good communist citizens. You may alienate them and hurt their feelings. You are spreading hate.” My guess is that President Reagan would have answered, “I hate communism, but I love the people who live under communism.”

We Must Have Courage to Speak the Truth in Love

If Reagan were alive today, I imagine he would say something like this about Islam: “Who is a Muslim? Well, it’s someone who reads Quran. And who is an Ex-Muslim? It’s someone who understands Quran.”

If we do not face the reality of Islam and the belief and theology behind these terrorist acts, we will never be able to address the problem of terrorism accurately and give realistic and effective solutions. We will be stuck (as we are now) in the cycle I described above. Unfortunately, we gradually become desensitized to the news—something the psychologists call “terrorism fatigue.” It will shock us less and less and gradually become merely a reality of living on this earth. As time passes, we may become even less motivated to identify the problem accurately and solve it effectively.

We must wake up to the reality that these terrorists are, in fact, Islamic jihadis following the teaching of Quran and the lifestyle and example of Prophet Mohammad. We must love Muslims but hate the theology of violence and murder. We must have the courage to discuss Quranic verses in our media. (A reporter in American can be fired by just quoting—and not even interpreting—Quranic verses in his speech and writing!) We must find courage to expose and discuss the teachings of Quran publicly. We must get free from this self-deception that Islam is “just another religion” and face the fact that it is a political and militaristic movement. Muslims who commit themselves to obey the teachings of Quran and follow the example of Prophet Muhammad end up becoming terrorists.

We must have courage to speak the truth with love (Eph. 4:15). It is the only meaningful way forward.

Linked Articles:

Thompson, Dargan. “Is Islam a Religion of Peace?” RELEVANT Magazine, June 16, 2016.

How Should We Live with the Threat of Terror?

My heart is heavy as once again a person professing allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) has carried out an attack on Western soil in Orlando and now in Istanbul, Turkey.sabiha-gokcen-Havalimanı Toward the end of last year, I said I hoped that I was wrong, but that we would begin seeing an increase in terror events in Western cities (along with ongoing terror in nonwestern cities). I am greatly grieved by the horrendous mass shooting in an Orlando, Florida, nightclub and the mass killing in Istanbul’s international airport. That follows the Paris terror event and the San Bernardino terror event and the Belgian airport bombing, but I am not surprised. I wish I were.

God is moving in important ways in  the Muslim world, but so is the enemy. How we respond to this event in coming days matters to God’s kingdom. For that reason, let me once again address the problem that we face.

Our Natural Instinct Is to Blame Outwardly and Move Inwardly

These gunmen are dead, and it is natural that people want answers that he can no longer give. We want to know who we can blame for his actions and what can we do to prevent the next random attack. We failed to prevent the loss of life in Orlando and Istanbul , and we desperately want to prevent terror in the future.

As a nation, the U.S. is lashing out in the dark right now at anything and everything that might contribute to the next attack. The news media and political figures have focused on several details of the attack: Orlando’s terrorist attack was the worst mass shooting in America, with 49 dead and 53 injured. The attack singled out gay men. The attacker used guns that he was licensed to own. The gunman was Muslim.

The nation and investigators will spend the week and month trying to determine what group has the greatest fault for allowing this senseless tragedy to happen. Some will follow the president in refusing to blame the attack on radical Islam and will fault the violence instead to a lingering anti-gay sentiment in the U.S. Some will blame our law enforcement for failing to sniff out this man’s intentions when they checked his background for his security job or when they investigated him for a Syrian connection in 2013. Some will be encouraged by current efforts in Congress to reign in gun ownership. And some will follow those who think that by banning every Muslim from the U.S., we will protect ourselves. None of these approaches will prevent the next attack.

When people are afraid, their natural instinct is to retreat to a “safe zone”—to a zone filled with people like themselves, like-minded, like-religioned, and like-skinned. After an event like this massacre, Christians and Muslims alike will move inward and allow suspicion and fear to grow stronger between them. But is this the best way for us to respond to acts of terror?

True Islam Requires Adherents to Hate Outwardly and Persecute Inwardly

Despite the many possible causes investigators and the media are blaming for the attack, the truth is that the gunman in Orlando revealed his motive. He called 911 to declare that the attack was an act of allegiance to ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also known as ISIS). We do not know if the shooter was present three months earlier when an imam in Orlando preached death as the correct response to homosexuals. But we do know that the imam did preach what Islam teaches: that gays should be executed. And we do know that the shooter targeted the Pulse club because it caters to gay men.

I have said many times that despite many Muslims who live peacefully in the U.S. and who proclaim that Islam is a religion of peace, the holy book of Islam and the works of its prophet show a religion of violence. The teachings of the Quran and Muhammed call for violence against “infidels.” Americans Muslims are not so much radicalized by ISIS as they hear the teachings of the imams and discover that true Islam looks like ISIS, and they want to follow true Islam. And true Islam requires that its adherents hate infidels. What we call “Radical Muslims” are indeed just “Committed Muslims.”

Does this mean we should agree with those who wish to call all Muslims terrorists and ban them from our country or severely restrict their freedom here?

Christ Asks Us to Love Outwardly and Forgive Inwardly

Whether by a Muslim or someone else, terror attacks occur because of hate. The more we marginalize other human beings, the more we will contribute to a culture that explodes with hatred. Christ calls us to something radically different. Yes, we are to love and pray for those in office, even when they do not follow our agenda. Yes, Jesus tells us to radically love those who offend us, to pray for those who do not yet know him, to forgive those who hurt us and to share with them how we were also forgiven.

So what does this mean? How should we prepare for and avoid terror? If we are to follow Jesus, the way to prepare for and avoid terror is to love our enemy and to share the Good News with those who most want to do us harm.

Many Muslims do want a peaceful religion. They just do not know the right way to find it. We must show them. Muslims who wish to make Islam a peaceful religion find that they have to ignore much of what Islam teaches. If a Muslim wants to know a God of peace, they must find the God who became our peace—and that is Jesus. There is no other way.

We Must Be Ready to Share Peace

Muslims transformed by the God and by the love of transformed Christians do not shoot masses of people. It is true that we must wisely recognize the harmful intent of the Islamic agenda while at the same time see the vast numbers of Muslims ready to come to Christ in the West and even in the Middle East and Iran if only we are willing to share Christ’s love with them. These terror events force Muslims everywhere to look harder at their religion and see it for what it is. Many Muslims worldwide are coming to Christ even now, especially in Iran.

How should we live with the threat of terror? We can become an army of love like the underground church of Iran. We should refuse to allow suspicion and blame to divide us and paralyze us. We should move even faster, stronger, and bolder to love the one who hates us and even hates his own people and make Christ known among them. I pray that you will ask God how you can begin doing this even now.

To the Glory of God and the transforming of Iran.

Lifeline from Nuclear Deal Helps Iran Oppress Its Own People

Last summer I said that the nuclear deal gave the Islamic government of Iran a lifeline. I predicted that the money would be used to (1) oppress the people of Iran more and (2) persecute the Iranian Christians outside Iran, including Iran Alive.

In the last few weeks there have been several news stories about the government of Iran starting two new organizations:

1) They have created a “non-visible” police. These are 7,000 undercover, plain-clothed agents who will mingle with people and have full authority to arrest anybody who does not follow Islamic law or who criticizes the regime. 7541.jpgThe government made this program public because they want to put fear in the hearts of the people. They know this program will make Iranians afraid of each other and afraid of sharing anything in public with anybody they do not know because that person could be an agent.

The undercover police are one way the government is increasing its oppression of the people, by making them afraid even to talk with each other. This will make public witnessing even more dangerous to Christians. Please pray that members of our many underground churches will continue to be bold to share their faith despite the danger.

2) They have created a new organization to stop and destroy their “opponents” outside Iran. The goal of this organization is to do whatever it takes to annihilate any activities outside Iran that could threaten the existence of the Islamic government of Iran. The fact is that there is currently no movement inside or outside of Iran strong enough to threaten the future of the current regime, except one: the growth of Christianity and its underground house churches.

The government has destroyed their political opposition rather successfully inside and outside Iran. The only opposition they feel is out of control is the Christians with their fast growing numbers and house churches. Iran’s leaders are well aware of the impact outside Christian organizations such as Iran Alive have on the masses inside Iran. So the number one goal of this new organization is to stop or slow down activities of Iranian Christian organizations outside Iran.

They are publicizing this program widely to put fear in hearts of Iranian Christians worldwide. They may even murder some of them as they have done in the past, to tell us all that they are serious. We desperately need prayer covering for Iran Alive and myself as the threats against us are increasing in number and seriousness.

A Threat with a Silver Lining

These moves by the Iranian government and the police of Tehran are a serious threat not only to Iranian women, whom much of the media has been most concerned about due to the dress code laws, but also to Christians inside and outside Iran who are willing to die on behalf of Jesus to share His love with others there.

But we can take comfort in the fact that the government felt compelled to initiate these organizations. It shows that they know they are losing—or have lost—the backing of the people. Most of the nation, especially the young people, does not want this government, or its policies, or the Islamic faith it adheres to. Many have taken to social media to protest the new policies.

We believe as the government increases its persecution of Christians, the number of Iranian Muslims coming to Christ will also increase—as well as their strength in faith and commitment. The Islamic government of Iran is on a losing spiral.

Let’s pray for the persecuted Church in Iran, and let’s do whatever we can to add fuel to the fire of revival that the Lord has started there.

 

How Does ISIS Recruit Operatives in the US?

As we continue to see homegrown terrorist attacks in nations across the globe, it is important to ask certain questions about our own vulnerability:

  • How are Americans radicalized despite the long distance between ISIS (the Islamic State) and us?
  • How does ISIS use social media to indoctrinate Americans so they will kill and die for them?
  • Why are ISIS leaders able to attract so many Muslims around the world who become dedicated enough to the cause even to die for it?
  • How ISIS influence some of the Islamic Centers (mosques) in the West so much that these mosques turn into recruiting centers?

 

Many journalists and researchers have given answers to these questions in past months, but the true answer is simple and shocking: The main strategy of ISIS is not to promote itself on social media and through local mosques. For the most part, the leaders of ISIS do not directly call Muslims around the world to come join them. So why they are so successful?

ISIS Strategy: A Call to Faith

Contrary to what many people believe, the main emphasis of ISIS online and around the world in Islamic Centers is not to promote itself; the main emphasis of ISIS is to call all Muslims to be serious in their Islamic faith.

You see, most Muslims are lukewarm Muslims who do not strictly follow the teachings of Quran. They have learned to pick and choose from the verses they like and obey the ones that they agree with. (Don’t some of us Christians do the same?) The politically correct name for these lukewarm Muslims is “moderate Muslims.”

One question people ask is, “Why don’t the moderate Muslims speak up against ISIS?” The answer is that they cannot speak up because they have no basis in Quran to support their position.

But any Muslim who decidesone-million-irani-school-children-memorizes-holy-quran to dedicate themselves to the teachings of Quran and follow the example of the Prophet Muhammad will easily become a candidate for ISIS recruitment.
Any Islamic Center (mosque) with a leader dedicated to teaching the whole Quran and who asks the people to obey Quran opens the doors to ISIS recruiting, even if the leader does not intend to do so.

Some will take up that challenge to study Quran and the life of Muhammad seriously. They decide in their hearts to do what Quran says and to do what the Prophet did in the first Islamic century to fight with and destroy infidels. It is then that they wake up and realize that ISIS is doing exactly those things: following Quran and Muhammad. It is then that they are attracted to ISIS and its mission. It is then that they are convinced that today’s situation is similar to the situation when the Prophet led the first Muslims, and that Muslims should respond as he did: with violence.

This is when these Muslims start to admire ISIS and believe the Islamic State’s cause is from God. This is when American Muslims decide to join ISIS to advance its cause.

So all ISIS needs to do to radicalize Muslims in America and around the world is to challenge Muslims to read Quran and do what it says. Radicalization follows naturally. They are just asking moderate Muslims to be dedicated Muslims. Becoming radical is automatic.

So what is our answer to this strategy?

Our Response: A Call to Faith

Many of us, my dear Christian brothers and sisters, could also be called “lukewarm.” It is time for us to call our fellow believers in Christ to move from “moderate” to “dedicated”—to study the Bible and the life of Jesus and do what He did: love our enemies, lay down our lives for others, comfort the brokenhearted. If we do these things well, we, too, will be called “radical.” If we do these things well, as Jesus did, we will bring peace to those who have none.

As an army of radical Muslims spreads hatred and brings death around the world, an army of radical Christians can spread love and bring life wherever they go. We will be winners because we are promised that we can overcome evil with good (Ro 12:21). And we know one thing: the light always overcomes the darkness (John 1:5) no matter how dark the darkness appears to be.

Related Articles:

Norris, Daniel K. “Obama Says ISIL Does Not Speak for Islam—Is He Right?” Charisma News.

Will Iran’s Election Bring Change?

Many friends have asked me about the recent election in Iran. We certainly cannot entirely trust what news sources report, especially when the news facts come from the Iranian Government. Below is a Q&A, which I hope is helpful to those who want to know more.

 

What happened?

On Friday, February 26, 2016, there was an election in Iran. The people chose their parliament representatives and also elected members of the Assembly of Experts, whose job is supposedly to keep the supreme leader in check and choose the next leader in case of the death of the current leader, Ali Khamenei. With the age of Khamenei (76) and his failing health, it is very likely that this elected Assembly of Experts will select the next supreme leader.

Who won?

The “moderates” and “reformists” had a great victory. But don’t celebrate and become hopeful for a major and meaningful change yet. These moderates and reformists are not truly moderates and reformists._88448319_88443659 Please remember that all aspiring candidates were vetted for election by the super-conservative clergy who are in power (the Guardian Council). So the terms moderate and reformist are relative terms. When super extremists are running the country, extremists will look like moderates and reformists by comparison.

Why did many people not vote?

A large number of people did not vote, believing that their vote would not make any difference. The Guardian Council approved only 161 of the nearly 800 aspiring candidates registered for the election, leaving an average of fewer than two candidates per seat. Therefore, a large number of the people’s favorite candidates were not put on the ballot, and many “moderate” candidates ran unopposed.

So why did some people vote?

No one knows how many really voted, but we can reliably assume the number is much smaller than Iran has reported. Historically, the Iranian government has reported a hyper-inflated number of those who participated to give the appearance of a democracy and a government supported by the people. Many of those people who voted Friday declared that they did so to choose between “bad and worse.” They voted knowing that their vote would not cause a major change, but their logic was this: “a minor change in the right direction is still better than no change.”

If Iran is a dictatorship, why was there an election?

There are only two centers of power in Iran: (1) The clergy determine the policies, especially the supreme leader, who has final say on all matters both domestic and international. He can veto all decisions made by the elected officials of the parliament and even the president; (2) The Revolutionary Guards have financial and military control of the country. These two centers of power know that for survival, they need each other. Therefore, they always mutually support each other.

What is the role of the elected government in Iran?

The elected government in Iran does not have any true power. Its role is to implement the policies determined by the clergy and the Revolutionary Guards Corps. Its goal is to give an appearance of democracy when in fact the people truly do not have any power. The main responsibility of the government is to keep people in check so that the power of the clergy and the interests of the Revolutionary Guards will not be threatened. Therefore, President Rouhani and all these freshly elected officials do not have any real power. They are there to serve the interest of those in power and NOT the people.  As was President Khatami’s role in the 1990s, Rouhani’s role is to give people false hope and keep them busy and under control for another eight years.

What is the impact of this election?

Do not expect any major change in internal affairs and international policy of Iran. As the supreme leader has said, USA and Israel will continue to be enemies of Iran—and that will never change. The proud and overconfident clergy of Iran used to think that they did not need anybody’s goodwill and that the sanctions would not hurt them. But they were wrong. One lesson they learned is that they need interaction with the rest of the world so they can survive economically. Therefore what we will see happen because of this election is more free trade between Iran and western countries. On the other hand, I predict (and I hope I am wrong) that Iran’s support of terrorism against the United States and its citizens will increase now that they have more financial resources to do so.

Related Articles:

Sabet, Farzan. “Why Iran’s Assembly of Experts Election Is the Real Race to Be Watching.” The Washington Post, February 24, 2016.