During the 1990s, Iran was eclipsed by Iraq. The rise of Saddam Hussein is described in Daniel 11:5

The King of the South will become, strong, but one of his commanders will become even stronger than he and will rule his own kingdom with great power.

Saddam is the commander whose power will be greater than that of Iran (Persia).

The rise of Saddam Hussein is also described in Daniel 8. The ram beside the canal has two horns, that represent two rulers over two nations. Daniel says that the horn that comes up second is longer, which means that it is more powerful. However, the two horns still exist when the empire is attacked (Dan 8:7), so the ram represents two kingdoms side by side. They are both dominated by the same spiritual power, the Prince of Persia (Dan 10:11,13).

The first horn is Iran, which is led by the Shiite spiritual leader, Ayatollah Khomenei and his successors. Iran had shown all the characteristics of the ram; no nation had been able to stand against it (except Iraq). Daniel confirmed this when he said that the ram is the Kings of Media and Persia (Dan 8:21). Persia is the site of modern day Iran.

The second horn is linked to the King of Media. In Daniel's time, Babylon was conquered by Darius the Mede (Dan 5:31). The city of Babylon was modern day Iraq. Saddam Hussein was born in a village close to the ruins of Babylon. He had some of the old city rebuilt. He was controlled by the same spirit as controlled Babylon in the time of Daniel.

The second horn on the Ram is Iraq led by Saddam Hussein, and his successors. He rose up later than the Ayatollah Khomenei, but he became more influential. No nation was able to stand against him until he he was struck down (by the long horned goat). George Bush Snr, the president of the most powerful nation in the world, was unable to get rid of Saddam Hussein, even though he inflicted a defeat on his army in Kuwait. The United States established a no-fly zone over much of Iraq and imposed severe trade sanctions, but they were not able to depose Saddam Hussein. Saddam survived and became stronger.

When warning his people to prepare for Desert Storm, Saddam said, "Let everybody understand that this battle is going to become the mother and father of all battles." This was a prophetic. His machinations would eventually begin the series of battles between the King North and the King of the South and the Man of Intrigue described in Daniel 11,12.

Iran and Iraq were united in 1990, when the leading Iranian Ayatollah declared the Iraqi struggle against the United States to be a 'Holy War'. They also settled their border dispute.

The two nations were united further when America withdrew from Iraq and left Shiite political parties with strong links to Iran in control of Iraq.

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