WorldNetDaily, 01/06/06: [Excerpts]—Mahmoud Ahmadinejad [President of Iran] has been making headlines lately by questioning whether the Holocaust actually happened, by suggesting Israel should be moved to Europe and by demanding the Jewish state be wiped off the face of the earth, [but] his apocalyptic religious zealotry has received less attention.
In...Tehran, Ahmadinejad discussed candidly a strange, paranormal experience he had while addressing the UN in New York last September. He recounts how he found himself bathed in light throughout the speech...."I was placed inside this aura," he says, "and for those 27 or 28 minutes, all the leaders of the world did not blink....They were looking as if a hand was holding them there, and had just opened their eyes...."
He sees his main mission...to "pave the path for the glorious reappearance of Imam Mahdi...." According to the Shiites, the 12th imam disappeared as a child in the year 941. When he returns, they believe, he will reign on earth for seven years, before bringing about a final judgment and end of the world.
Ahmadinejad is urging Iranians to prepare for the coming of the Mahdi by turning the country into a mighty and advanced Islamic society and by avoiding the corruption and excesses of the West. All Iran is buzzing about the Mahdi...and the role Iran [is] playing in his anticipated return....According to reports, [Ahmadinejad] lives so modestly that declared assets include only a 30-year-old car, an even older house and an empty bank account.
Ahmadinejad and others in Iran are deadly serious about the imminent return of the 12th imam, who will prompt a global battle between good and evil...Shiite writings describe events surrounding the return of the Mahdi (known as "the Savior of Times") in apocalyptic terms....According to Shiite tradition, Imam Mahdi will appear on Judgment Day to herald a truly just government.....
Missed by some was [Ahmadinejad's] call to the "mighty Lord" to hasten the emergence of...the one who "will fill this world with justice and peace."
Who stands in the Mahdi's way?
[According to] Hamidreza Taraghi, head of the conservative Islamic Coalition Society. "...the U.S. is trying to place itself as the new Mahdi." This may mean no peace with Iran, he adds, "unless America changes its hegemonic...thinking, doesn't use nuclear weapons [or] impose its will on other nations."