Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Ahmadinejad Hails Imminent Re-appearance of Imam Mahdi and Jesus Christ

By Al Arabiya With Agencies 
 
Mahmoud AhmadinejadLoathed in the West and weakened at home, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wrapped up his annual address to the U.N. General Assembly on a theological note Wednesday, hailing the imminent arrival of an “Ultimate Savior.”
 
“God Almighty has promised us a man of kindness,” the Iranian leader told world leaders and senior officials gathered in New York, at what was expected to be his last speech to the assembly as president of Iran.
 
Ahmadinejad said the savior is “a man who loves people and loves absolute justice, a man who is a perfect human being and is named Imam al-Mahdi, a man who will come in the company of Jesus Christ and the righteous.”
 
As a Shiite Muslim, Ahmadinejad reveres Islam’s twelfth imam, Muhammad al-Mahdi, who disappeared from the earth in the 10th century and is said to be due to return, accompanied by Jesus, to save mankind.
 
The date of his return is not known, but Ahmadinejad indicated that he felt the arrival would come quickly, telling delegates: “Now we can sense the sweet scent and the soulful breeze of the spring, a spring that has just begun.”
 
Some critics of Iran’s Islamic regime have expressed concern that messianic Shiite beliefs might drive leaders like Ahmadinejad to seek an apocalyptic confrontation with those he sees as foes of God’s will on Earth.
 
But at the United Nations he insisted the Mahdi’s return would bless all, not just “a specific race, ethnicity, nation or a region, a spring that will soon reach all the territories in Asia, Europe, Africa and the U.S.”
 
“The arrival of the Ultimate Savior, Jesus Christ and the Righteous will bring about an eternally bright future for mankind, not by force or waging wars but through thought-awakening and developing kindness in everyone. 
 
“Their arrival will breathe a new life in the cold and frozen body of the world. He will bless humanity with a spring that puts an end to our winter of ignorance, poverty and war with the tidings of a season of blooming.
 
“Let us join hands and clear the way for his eventual arrival with empathy and cooperation, in harmony and unity. Let us march on this path to salvation for the thirsty souls of humanity to taste immortal joy and grace.
 
“Long live this spring. Long live this spring. Again and again long live this spring,” he declared, to a smattering of applause from some dignitaries.
 
The 56-year-old Ahmadinejad - who is struggling through his last year in office after nearly losing his job - has long relished any opportunity to promote his controversial views and to bat back criticism of them.
 
“Now he’s been sidelined at home he will really want to ham it up abroad,” said Ali Ansari of Scotland’s St Andrew’s University, referring to Ahmadinejad’s address to the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday.
 
Unfazed by walkouts and demonstrations on previous visits to New York, Ahmadinejad has alleged the U.S. government was behind the 9/11 attacks, lambasted Western leaders for being played by “deceitful Zionists”, and denied homosexuality exists in Iran.
 
In contrast to the rhetoric, he has happily engaged with U.S. media, appearing on television and in newspaper interviews.
 
“There’s a lot of ego that drives the blacksmith’s son from Iran to take on the might of American television,” said Iranian-American author Hooman Majd, who has met him several times.
 
Since his election victory in 2005, the diminutive president has gone from obscurity to the most visible actor on the Iranian stage. He even survived a disputed re-election in 2009 that rocked the country to its core.
 
Mocked by progressive Iranians and blamed for severe mismanagement, Ahmadinejad has still created a cult following among some people through his charm, simple lifestyle and populist beliefs.
 
His fans glorify him as a humble servant who shuns the trappings of power. Ahmadinejad, so the story goes, took office refusing a salary and going to work with a packed lunch.
 
But such modesty does not extend to his fiery character which lies at the heart of his quest for global recognition.
 
This article was first published by AlArabiya

Official: The Arab revolt makes Tehran nervous

By Amir Taheri

For three decades Khomeinist rulers in Tehran have dreamed of change in the Middle East. Now that change is really happening in much of the region, Tehran is watching with growing nervousness.

That the Khomeinist regime should have dreamt of change is no surprise. 

Thirty years ago, Iran under Velayat-e Faqih or rule by a mullah looked out of place in the Middle East. Indeed, with the exception of Tibet's government in exile under Dalai Lama, the Khomeinist set-up did not resemble any regime in the world. Like the Bolshevik regime of Russia in 1917, it had to either become like others or make all others like itself.

For a decade, under Khomeini himself, the regime tried to make the rest of region like itself by "exporting revolution". 

The results were meagre. Tehran managed to influence part of the Shi'ite community in Lebanon and create a branch of Hezbollah in that country. Tehran also succeeded in turning Syria into a client state without, however, persuading the Baathist regime to adopt Walayat al-Faqih. 

In the decade that followed, under President Hashemi Rafsanjani, the regime tried to become like others, especially in the economic field. The strategy produced a class of new rich with extensive business contacts with the outside world, including the Gulf region. 

In the final analysis, however, that strategy, too, failed.

Under President Muhammad Khatami, the regime tried a new version of that strategy, this time emphasising the political domain. 

Known as the "Davos Strategy", named after the Swiss village where Khatami spent time courting Western political and business leaders during the World Economic Forum, it focused on public relations. That included pseudo-intellectual speeches in Western universities and clubs, peppered with quotations from Hobbes, Locke and de Tocqueville. 

Nicknamed "A Smile Under A Turban", Khatami for a while charmed some naïve souls.

However, that strategy, too, failed because a leopard does not change by painting is spots.

By the time, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had become president, it must have been clear to rulers in Tehran that no nation would be foolish enough to copy Walayat al-Faqih.

That was why Ahmadinejad tried to move the ball in a different court by focusing on the Israel-Palestine issue. 

His calculation was based on the assumption that the issue was top of the list of priorities for Muslims, especially Arabs, throughout the world.

To that end, Ahmadinejad adopted an incendiary rhetoric to inject the classical Khomeinist discourse with a stronger dose of anti-Israel and anti-American themes.

Well, that strategy, too, has failed. 

The Arab Uprising was, and is, about people rejecting brutal and corrupt military-security regimes imposed by coups d'etat and maintained by repression. It is not about religion and even less about Israel-Palestine. Nor is there much sign of anti-American sentiments, quite the contrary. 

No one knows how the current tsunami may reshape the political landscape. 

But one thing is certain: no one is trying to adopt the Khomeinist model.

Tehran strategists are not quite sure what is happening in the Middle East. Nevertheless, it is clear that, all in all, they are pessimistic about the outcome of the current turn in the region's political kaleidoscope.

After 9/11, the mullahs feared that change in Afghanistan and Iraq might be extended to Iran. President George W Bush's so-called "Freedom Agenda" for the Greater Middle East clearly included Iran.

Now we know that change in the Middle East need not come either from "export of revolution" by Iran or military invasion by the United States.

This why Tehran is nervous. Ten days ago, Esfandiar Masha'i, the key strategist in Ahmadinejad's administration, warned against "starry-eyed assessments of the events" in Arab countries affected.

"We must not assume that the change will necessarily be in our interest," he said. 

Newspapers controlled by the "Supreme Guide" Ali Khamenei attacked Masha'i for "trying to create the impression that the Arab Uprising is not profoundly Islamic." 

However, the Islamic Majlis, Iran's fake parliament, has just published a lengthy analysis that echoes Masha'i's alleged "pessimism."

It says that Libya will end up under a new government backed by the United States. Nevertheless, the Majlis rejects the idea of backing Muammar Gaddafi to prevent the US from scoring a strategic gain. 

The analysis also admits that Egypt and Tunisia will end up under new pro-Western regimes backed by their respective armies. The most that Tehran could hope for is to restore diplomatic ties with Tunis and Cairo. But even that "does not look likely at present."

The Majlis analysis insists that the Islamic Republic should deploy "strategic support" for President Bashar al-Assad's regime in Syria to crush the popular revolt.

In that context, the analysis adds, the role of Hezbollah in Lebanon is "of special importance". The "spread of revolt to Syrian cities" a threat to "the interests of the Islamic Republic".

The analysis recommends hat Hezbollah units be used to affect the outcome of the current tensions, especially in Bahrain and Yemen through "asymmetric warfare."

The Majlis report calls for using Hezbollah to "strengthen our zone of influence in Lebanon".

The analysis also recommends the use of "clandestine operations" against Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

Another move recommended by the analysis is to "extend and deepen relations" with Qatar as a means of dividing the Gulf states. With the fall of the Syrian regime now a possibility, the analysis recommends "strengthening relations with Nuri Al-Maliki's government" in Iraq.

All in all, however, the analysis, predicts that Iran's relations with the Gulf states, except Qatar, may be severed at some point in the future.

The Majlis report also predicts a popular revolt in neighbouring Azerbaijan and recommends that "contingency plans be drawn to face any eventuality." 

An prising in the former Soviet republic may quickly spread to Iran's Azerbaijani provinces that account for almost 15 per cent of the total population.

The Islamic Republic looks like a man who, all his life, has dreamt of a big do in which he would be the heart of the party but, when the party comes in the end, he has the door shut in his face.

Nuclear Nonproliferation Speech of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the United Nations

Speech of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the United Nations' conference for reviewing the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty on Monday, May 3, 2010.

 

Honest Ahmadinejad

The only serious person at the U.N.

May 4, 2010

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad should get out more. We mean that without irony. The Iranian President spoke yesterday in New York at the start of the U.N. conference reviewing the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, and nothing could have done more to expose the folly of relying on arms control to maintain global security.

The Iranian couldn't have been clearer that his country intends to ignore any and all U.N. pressure to stop building its bomb. He averred that the world has "not a single credible proof" that Iran intends to build a bomb, notwithstanding the world's discovery of its secret uranium-enrichment facility at Natanz in 2002 and its secret underground facility near Qom last year. He even said the U.S. should be suspended from the U.N. atomic agency's board because "it used nuclear weapons against Japan" and depleted uranium weapons in Iraq.

Delegates from the U.S., U.K. and France walked out during the speech, to their credit. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs chimed in that the remarks were "wild accusations, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took to the podium later in the day to accuse Iran of "flouting the rules" and declaring it is "time for a strong international response."

This is all true enough, but it ignores Mr. Ahmadinejad's real message, which is that Iran won't be deterred by a stricter world antiproliferation treaty, or by one more U.N. Security Council resolution, or by the moral example, as President Obama likes to put it, of a new U.S.-Russian arms treaty. Iran wants the bomb in order to become a more potent Mideast power that can do as it pleases without having to worry about opposition from the world's largest nations.

Give Mr. Ahmadinejad credit for lack of artifice. He says what he and the ruling class in Tehran believe and thus betrays what they intend, however "wild."

The truly humiliating spectacle is the sight of the world's leading powers devoting a month to updating a treaty designed to stop nonproliferation even as Mr. Ahmadinejad makes a mockery of that effort before their very eyes.

If Iran does get a nuclear weapon, or even the capacity to make one at a moment's notice, it would be the most damaging act of proliferation since Stalin got the hydrogen bomb. The event would set off a regional nuclear arms race, as Turkey, Egypt, the Saudis and perhaps even the Gulf states seek their own nuclear deterrent. The rest of the world would see that Iran was able to face down the world's leading powers—and prevail. The damage to world order would be traumatic. And that is before the increased risks of global nuclear terrorism from Iranian proliferation.

If Mr. Obama and other world leaders were serious about Iran, they wouldn't merely walk out on Iran's president. They would rally the world to stop him, explaining the grave stakes to the public, and making clear to Iran that there is a deadline to diplomacy and that military force will be used if diplomacy fails. The only serious person at the U.N. on Monday was Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

 

Subscribe to RSS - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad