Who’s the Next Target of the Islamic Regime?

By Arlene Bridges Samuels

The world’s only Jewish state is fighting for survival against an Islamic Regime that is also targeting the United States of America. Our citizenry and government would do well to remain vigilant—not only among Bible believers on behalf of Israel and its existential war—but because Israel is the USA’s irreplaceable intelligence partner. In casting a wide net across the globe, the Regime has quietly established formidable operations in the Western Hemisphere—notably, in Latin America.

Seven years ago, I wrote about a Cuban threat to the U.S. as one of the Islamic Regime’s goals: to establish a “Little Iran” 90 miles from Florida. In my high school in 1962, we practiced ducking under our desks during the Cuban Missile Crisis when the Soviet Union threatened our country. Although Cuba and Iran have cooperated with us on various levels since 1960, when the Shia Islamic Regime took over Iran in 1979 it energized its cooperative agreements in opposition to the United States, which it called the “Great Satan.”

Prior to his death last month in a helicopter crash, Iran’s president, Ebrahim Raisi, made a point a year ago—June 2023—to visit not only Cuba but also Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. Each of those nations is run by an authoritarian leader. A 2023 report from the Interamerican Institute for Democracy reveals that “the dictatorial consortium in the Americas is led by Cuba and includes Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Bolivia.” Raisi chose well—and the results of his tour paint a worrisome picture. (Incidentally, China and Russia are also active in our hemisphere, with Iran 7,000 miles away in a 15-hour flight.)

Bolivia, no longer in a diplomatic relationship with Israel, has requested Iranian drones and welcomed more than 700 military members from Iran’s Quds Force. Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro wants to increase flights between Iran and Venezuela and has signed 25 agreements, including oil, petrochemicals, and other trade efforts they anticipate increasing from $3 billion to $20 billion in the years ahead.

The Nicaraguan/Iran ties have not been as high volume. However, Foreign Minister Denis Moncada attended Iran’s International Conference on Palestine in December 2023, attended by political and religious heavyweights, as well as media figures and scholars from over 50 countries. President Raisi spoke, accusing the U.S. of being the “first and biggest violator of democracy in the world,” which of course is the Islamic Regime’s own goal. The colossal lies of the world’s largest terror-sponsoring country are uttered by a regime that has not one ounce of compassion for Gazans. Instead, it is fully supportive of its Middle Eastern proxies—the terror trio of Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Houthis.

Raisi appeared on Telesur, a Venezuelan TV channel, which outlined his perspective. “In the past, Latin America was considered to be the backyard of the Americans, but over time, each of the Latin American countries regained their independence.” Proud of the 1979 regime’s rule, Raisi claims that “harmony” has increased between people in Iran and Latin America “who have the same spirit and follow the same ideals.” His statement is like a red flag of warning for the United States.

In this historic era where personal and world events seem overwhelming, as believers we must proactively stand on the rock of our faith, the birthplace of Christianity. Psalm 46:1-3 assures us that “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”

This brings me to our southern border chaos. The U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security released transcribed interviews with border patrol testimony from December 2023. One of the most concerning facts revealed by Committee Chair Mark E. Green, MD (R-TN), is the following: “The number of individuals apprehended illegally crossing the Southwest border and found to be on the terrorist watchlist has increased 2,500 percent from Fiscal Years 2017-2020 to Fiscal Year 2023. And those are only who we’ve caught.” Under Alejandro Mayorkas, secretary of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection sources report that over 1.7 million illegals are known gotaways—a number that could possibly be 20 percent higher.

FBI Director Christopher Wray’s comments about Homeland Security Committee’s annual worldwide threats provide added evidence about our enemies’ s infiltration through our Southwest border. When asked if the FBI can guarantee that known or suspected terrorists, including any from Hamas or other tour groups, are not amongst the reported gotaways, Wray responded, “The group of people that you’re talking about are a source of great concern for us. That’s why we are aggressively using all 56 of our joint terrorism task forces.” He also indicated that the threats coming from the other side of the border are affecting every state.

Like the people of Iran—once a vibrant nation and friend of Israel before the Islamic Regime took over—Venezuela’s people under two dictatorships have endured terrible economic conditions that forced its innocent citizens to flee to neighboring countries and to the U.S. However, it is impossible to determine who among Venezuelans are covert Iranian Regime operatives. In September 2023, Venezuelans comprised the largest number of illegals—54,833 crossing the U.S. southern border, outpacing Mexicans. The totals since 2014, under Venezuela’s dictatorships, represent the largest displacement ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere.

More alarming, the Federation for American Immigration Reform reports that “Iran’s ally, Hezbollah, designated as a terrorist group by the U.S., has a network operating in 11 different states.”

On her recent trip to Israel Nikki Haley, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, reminded us: “Iran has said the easiest way to get into America is through the southern border.”

Amid paragraph after paragraph filled with darkness, we must meet the realities of evil with prayers and actions to shed God’s Light by helping each other standing on the Bible’s certainties. Our CBN Israel team invites you to join us this week remembering Psalm 119:105 NIV—“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”

Prayer Points:

  • Pray for U.S. citizens who live along the southern border and encounter many traumas.
  • Pray for the U.S. Border Patrol and its ability to freely enforce our border laws.
  • Pray for the U.S. government to utilize every available resource to root out known or suspected terrorists who have gained legal or illegal entry into the country.
  • Pray for Israel’s leaders facing global pressures to abandon total victory over Hamas.

Arlene Bridges Samuels pioneered Christian outreach for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). After she served nine years on AIPAC’s staff, International Christian Embassy Jerusalem USA engaged her as Outreach Director part-time for their project, American Christian Leaders for Israel. Arlene is an author at The Blogs-Times of Israel and has traveled to Israel since 1990. She co-edited The Auschwitz Album Revisited and is on the board of Violins of Hope South Carolina. By invitation, Arlene attends Israel’s Government Press Office Christian Media Summits. She also hosts her devotionals, The Eclectic Evangelical, on her website at

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