NO Nukes for Iran

Iran now holds a central position in global affairs. If we consider what
motivates the Iranian president, this should frighten us all.

If you were to write out a list of the hottest, most explosive news
headlines on the world scene today, nearly every one of them would include
Iran. Global terrorism, Iraq, Afghanistan, nuclear weapons, Israel,
anti-Americanism, oil-Iran is intimately involved in every one of these
front-page issues.

What is disturbing about Tehran's new prominence on the world scene is that
this nation embraces and promotes some of the most dangerous ideologies in
the world.

Although he's only been president for a few months, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has
already thrown down the gauntlet before some of the world's most powerful
nations and governing bodies, including America, Europe, Israel and the
United Nations. It seems this man is doing everything he can to stir up as
much controversy as possible.

What motivates President Ahmadinejad? The question has been widely discussed
lately. In recent months, it has become clear that he believes a very real,
spiritual power is inspiring him. Recent reports reveal that men within
Ahmadinejad's own government believe there is an unseen "force" behind this
man. In fact, the Iranian president himself has acknowledged the presence of
a hidden hand motivating and governing his actions.

Whether one believes there is a "spirit" guiding President Ahmadinejad or
not, it is hard not to see that religious beliefs are directly influencing
his actions.

The Twelfth Imam

Consider Ahmadinejad's commitment to the mahdaviat. The belief of a
returning Mahdi, or 12th imam, is a central doctrine among the most populous
group of Shiites (known as Ithna Ashari, or "Twelvers"), to which President
Ahmadinejad belongs. The president is a staunch believer in the mahdaviat,
which is "belief in and efforts to prepare for the Mahdi." Put simply, he
believes the Mahdi will return within two years and that it is his job to
prepare the way for his return. Columnist Charles Krauthammer likened
Ahmadinejad's belief in the return of the Mahdi, or 12th imam, to the belief
within Judaism and Christianity of the messianic return.

In an article for the Christian Science Monitor, Scott Peterson showed just
how much this religious belief is motivating the Iranian president.
Ahmadinejad is so fervently convinced that he is the one sent to prepare the
way for the Mahdi that, even months in advance, when polls showed he had
only 1 percent support, he declared with "no doubt" that he would win the
Iranian election.

Later in the article, Peterson wrote, "From redressing the gulf between rich
and poor in Iran, to challenging the United States and Israel and enhancing
Iran's power with nuclear programs, every issue is designed to lay the
foundation for the Mahdi's return. . [T]his presidential obsession with the
mahdaviat yields a certitude that leaves little room for compromise"
(emphasis ours throughout).

"Little room for compromise"-what better way to critique the present state
of Iranian foreign policy? President Ahmadinejad does not base his decisions
on standard international political procedure or what is best for his nation
politically-he decides based on religion. And these radical beliefs tell him
that he must challenge America and the West and strengthen Islamic power on
the world scene-no matter what the rest of the world does.

Amir Mohebian, political editor of the Islamic Resalat newspaper, discussed
the influence of Ahmadinejad's religion on his leadership. "This kind of
mentality makes you very strong. . If you think these are the last days of
the world, and Jesus will come [again], this idea will change all your
relations." Putting himself in Ahmadinejad's shoes, he stated, "If I think
the Mahdi will come in two, three or four years, why should I be soft? Now
is the time to stand strong, to be hard." This is a truly remarkable fact:
Today, Iranian foreign policy is dictated by the Shiite belief in the return
of the Mahdi.

There is no doubt that President Ahmadinejad's religious beliefs are also
influencing his internal leadership of Iran. In 2004, for example, when he
was mayor of Tehran, Mr. Ahmadinejad instructed the city council to build a
"grand avenue to prepare for the Mahdi" (New York Sun, January 10). Once he
became president, he allocated $17 million for a blue-tiled mosque in
Jamkaran (south of the capital) that is closely associated with mahdaviat.

Ahmadinejad also isn't afraid to discuss his belief in the return of the
Mahdi among non-Muslims. When he addressed the UN in New York last
September, he concluded his address to world leaders with a prayer for the
Mahdi's appearance: "O mighty Lord, I pray to you hasten the emergence of
your last repository, the promised one, that perfect and pure human being,
the one that will fill this world with justice and peace."

Who can deny that religious fervor isn't guiding the Iranian president? But
what about this notion of a "mystical" power directly influencing his mind?

Spirit Influence

Notice the president's own feelings about his address to the UN. "One of our
group told me that when I started to say 'In the name of God the almighty
and merciful,' he saw a light around me, and I was placed inside this aura.
I felt it myself. I felt the atmosphere suddenly change, and for those 27 or
28 minutes, the leaders of the world did not blink. . [T]hey were rapt. It
seemed as if a hand was holding them there and had opened their eyes to
receive the message from the Islamic Republic."

Even the president himself has no qualms in telling people that he feels an
unseen force influencing his mind. Such a scenario doesn't bode well for
America or the West. Inspired by die-hard religious beliefs and his
perception of an unseen force that works with his mind, the Iranian leader
believes it is his duty to rid the world of American influence, destroy the
nation of Israel and prepare the way for the return of the 12th imam.

Krauthammer summed up Iranian politics under President Ahmadinejad
particularly well: "So a Holocaust-denying, virulently anti-Semitic,
aspiring genocidist, on the verge of acquiring nuclear weapons of the
apocalypse, believes that the end is not only near but nearer than the next
American presidential election. . This kind of man would have, to put it
gently, less inhibition about starting Armageddon than a normal person"
(Washington Post, Dec. 16, 2005).

In the end, it doesn't matter whether or not you believe the mind of the
Iranian president is being influenced by a sinister spiritual force. What
matters is that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran believes it and
is aggressively operating under that belief.