Growing Tension with Iran

Back in the political Paleolithic era before the advent of George W. Bush on the national scene (a veritable Garden of Eden by some standards), the only news about Iran was that the spirit of reform was burgeoning despite the sclerotic mentality of the mullahs. Hope was on the horizon.

Then came the Antagonizer-in-Chief and his monotone foreign policy in which bullying was the only card in the deck. Iranians did not warmly embrace their new membership in the Axis of Evil, nor were they enamored by the threatening stream of rhetoric that followed. The military takeover of Iraq on their western border also did not serve to sweeten the pot. Perhaps not coincidentally, the conservative, anti-Western forces gained surprising strength in the summer election of 2005, and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took over the reins of the country in August.

Since his coming to power, Ahmadinejad has told us that he does not believe the Holocaust ever took place and that he wants Israel erased from the map, its Jewish population moved to someplace in Europe. He has recently

banned all Western music from Iranís media. With these and other of his radical pronouncements, Ahmadinejad has many international observers gnawing at their nails. His avid interest in developing nuclear energy for his nation is well known. The concern is that a darker motive underlies this interest. There is palpable fear in many quarters that Iran, led by the radical and unpredictable Ahmadinejad, will try to enrich uranium on its own soil and develop nuclear weapons.

Russia has offered to allow Iranís uranium enrichment process to proceed on Russian territory so that only material for atomic power reactors will be developed, which is what Iran claims it wants. In addition, France, Britain, and Germany are working diplomatically with Iran to find a mutually agreeable solution to Iranís desire to enrich uranium, although

recent unilateral American sanctions against Iran are agitating everyone.

It is not difficult to understand why a nation surrounded by Pakistan, Israel, Russia, and India, all nuclear powers, as well as the US military presence in Iraq, would want nukes of its own. Bushís recent

offer to aid Indiaís nuclear program only exacerbates the seeming unfairness and affront of the situation. Additionally, having nuclear weapons would seem to be an insurance policy against precipitous aggression from a rogue foreign power, not impossible to imagine in todayís world. Nonetheless, Iranís new president has proven himself radical enough to get much of the worldís hackles up, and most nuclear nations are desperately hoping to keep some kind of leash on the spread of these dangerous weapons.

As the

rhetoric between the US and Iran grows increasingly hostile and some stories are already circulating that the US has plans for bombing Iranís nuclear sites, it is worth looking at the planetary indicators for the next few years for suggestions as to what may lie ahead. Indeed, the planets only underscore that there should be great cause for concern. They point to a building tension in 2006 and an ever-increasing potential for conflict in 2007.

In the chart of the Islamic Republic of Iran, we find a natal Mercury/Mars conjunction square to Neptune. This configuration suggests a nation that is easily irritated and angered (Mercury/Mars) by ideological or even illusory (Neptune) issues. Wars can be fought over hyperbole. At present, transiting Pluto is just beginning a year-long square to natal Mars (25Pisces37) thereby stimulating the nationís anger, aggression, and readiness to fight if need be. This transit runs from late December 2005 through November 2006. This mood of heightened aggression is compounded by the progressed Iranian Mars opposite progressed Pluto, running from October 2005 through April 2007.

Although President Ahmadinejad seems steeped in his own ideological fervor for much of 2006 (transiting Pluto square natal Venus), he will clearly feel restrained and frustrated, perhaps by international pressures, from late February through early May, 2006, when Saturn stations square his Sun (4Scorpio54). It is doubtful he will be able to act intemperately during that period. More generally, acts of aggression during 2006 are certainly possible with Pluto squaring Iranís Mars, but the configurations of 2007 seem far more inflammatory.

By January 2007, Iranís progressed Mars will oppose natal Pluto (18Libra02) through the spring of 2008. This aspect will be triggered by a quincunx from transiting Uranus at 18 Pisces, from late April through early August 2007 and again in February 2008. This Mars/Pluto/Uranus combination is an incendiary mix, and it runs parallel to aspects in George Bushís chart which also suggest the potential for aggression. In Bushís chart, we find progressed Mars moving to conjunct natal Jupiter (18Libra08) from May 2007 through November 2008, also triggered by the same quincunx from transiting Uranus at 18 Pisces in the spring and summer of 2007 and February 2008. The potential for heightened aggression if not open conflict seems very great for this period.

Further indications of a dangerous year in 2007 show up in Ahmadinejadís chart where transiting Uranus will be conjunct natal Mars (15 Pisces) from late February through December 2007. This combination suggests erratic, unpredictable, and aggressive action as well as unexpected and explosive events. Uranus will also oppose Venus in Ahmadinejadís Oath chart (8/6/05, Tehran), further indication of upsetting and unexpected events.

Finally, the eclipse chart of March 19, 2007, drawn for Tehran, suggests great trouble for Iran during that year and into 2008. With the eclipse (28Pisces07) falling exactly on the Ascendant (27Pisces34) and Pluto in exact square (28Sagittarius55) and exactly on the MC (28Sagittarius35), this chart has the potential for real disaster. Without all the Mars activity in Ahmadinejad and Iranís charts, one might see this as indicative of an earthquake or other natural disaster. But given the current political climate and the other configurations mentioned above, this eclipse chart would seem to indicate some significant destruction and havoc that hits Iran in 2007, possibly connected to the destruction of Iranís nuclear sites. Historically, when an eclipse falls exactly on the Ascendant, it exerts its most potent negative influence, especially if it is adversely aspected by a powerful planet, which it is here by a square from Pluto. Plutoís conjunction to the MC only adds to the potential for deeply transformative and disturbing events. Moreover, the subsequent back and forth transits of Pluto throughout the year Ė across the eclipse MC, square the eclipse Ascendant, and square the eclipse point Ė suggest that the negative influence of this eclipse could extend over many months.

Exactly how these planetary aspects play out will remain to be seen. But on the current trajectory, with two leaders Ė Bush and Ahmadinejad Ė both resistant to compromise and ill-suited to diplomacy, we may be on a path toward increasing hostility and aggression. There have been many crossroads along the way where a more nuanced, strategic approach might have paid off. But George Bush only knows one strategy and that is to bully others to enforce his will. Unfortunately, the results are not always what we might hope for in a civilized world.