Shia

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

Hezbollah on Syria: Manipulating Both Shiites and Sunnis

 
Did Hezbollah's three years of war experience in Syria improve its combat capabilities but also drain it?
 
Hezbollah’s constant brag about alleged improved combat abilities due to the terror entity’s interference in and occupation of Syria are meant for primarily propaganda purposes. Hezbollah’s war capabilities were already excellent prior to the Syrian civil war. Indeed, the 2006 War between Israel and Hezbollah clearly demonstrated the latter’s superb combat prowess.
 
Moreover, one must not separate Hezbollah from Iran -- historically a major world power -- for they are organically-linked. Iranian commanders are already highly experienced with large deployments and siege warfare. These same commanders can and do lead Hezbollah combat formations in Lebanon and Syria. The presence of high-ranking Iranian Pasdaran (Guard; a metonym for ​Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution, or IRGC) officers along with Hezbollah cadres was highlighted on January 18, 2015, when Israel attacked a joint Pasdaran-Hezbollah leadership convoy in Mazraat Amal, near Quneitra, Syria. The attack resulted in the killing of several high profile Hezbollah members as well as IRGC Brigadier General  Mohammad Ali Allahdadi.
 
The intent of Hezbollah propagandists is to keep their entity’s Shiite embracing environment in Lebanon emotionally charged and attempt to convince former and any remaining Sunni-Arab supporters that combat in Syria provides the war skills necessary to inevitably defeat Israel and, in the words of Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, conquer “Galilee and beyond Galilee.”
 
Shiite communities are historically inherently conditioned to tolerate very heavy losses to both lives and properties, for the suffering and sacrifices of Ahlulbayt (the Household of Prophet Muhammad), particularly the Third Infallible Imam, al-Husayn ibn Ali, in Karbala, Iraq, are remembered by many Shiites on daily basis.

"Indian bomber likely linked to Shi’ite terrorists"

Top intelligence analysts, briefing senior officials on their assessment of the incident thus far, expressed the view that the attack was definitely carried out by a “foreign bomber” who could be “an Iranian affiliated to a Shi’ite terrorist group.” Thursday’s briefing was attended by India’s National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon, Home Secretary R.K. Singh, and officials from the Research and Analysis Wing, India’s external intelligence agency, and the Intelligence Bureau, its domestic intelligence agency.

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