The Trumpet identifies the king of the south as radical Islam, led by Iran. Editor in chief Gerald Flurry first made this connection in 1994, just six years after Iran emerged from its devastating eight-year war with Iraq—a time when few paid any attention to this rogue Islamist nation.This idea is total nonsense. Iran is east of what is now the State of Israel. Biblical writers viewed geography as centered upon the Holy Land. If an area is labeled "south" that means south of the Holy Land. Iran is not south of the Holy Land. It is east of it.
(Also it needs to be stated that many people have always paid close attention to Iran the whole time since its revolution in 1979. It may not have grabbed newspaper headlines in 1994 as easily as now but many people were always watching it, not least officials in the US government.)
But Gerald Flurry has simply changed this doctrine, proclaiming this to be "new revelation" that supposedly prove that God is with Gerald Flurry and no one else.
His first "new revelation" was Malachi's Message. Many of the ideas within Malachi's Message were plagiarized from The Letter to Laodicea by Jules Dervaes, written December 1986-January 1988. It was sent to 237 WCG ministers including Gerald Flurry and John Amos. In fact on September 26, 1990 Jules Dervaes sent a letter to Gerald Flurry in which he denounces Malachi's Message as "a direct and clear plagiarism" of his work.
However it must be said that this doctrine of the King of the South has changed a lot over time. First HWA labeled Ethiopia to be the King of the South in the days before World War II. He did this anticipating that Mussolini (and later he said Hitler) would be the feared European Beast Power who would conquer and enslave America and Britain. Even after the spectacular failure of this false prophecy and the fall of Mussolini and Hitler HWA continued to teach that the King of the South prophecy was fulfilled in Ethiopia.
But over time some within WCG, such as Garner Ted Armstrong and Keith Stump, speculated that a future King of the South would arise. But they usually assumed that it would be Arabs who would fulfill this role. They did not get specific and say Iran is the King of the South but it was left vague. Although HWA himself did not write of this (as far as I know), he never tried to stop such talk.
Some, on the other hand, like Dave Pack (he who falsely said the COGs would unite under him in 2013), have decided there will be no future fulfillment of the King of the South and simply say it was Ethiopia.
More on this topic may be seen in the post concerning Gerald Flurry's booklet, The King of the South.
(In this booklet Gerald Flurry predicts Christ's return as "probably within 10 or 15 years or less." He wrote that in the 2003 version and those words are still present in the current version.)