ACE timing! Thank you for this post which helps to answer one of my reader’s objections to claims about Iran in my previous post reblogging Joel Rosenberg on Saudi Arabia!
For most of this millennium–going back to writing my doctoral dissertation on Mahdism and Islamic eschatology at Ohio State in 2000-01–I’ve argued against the conventional (conservative and Evangelical Christian) “wisdom” that the leadership of Iran wants to start a regional, or global, war in order to usher in the appearance of the Twelfth Imam al-Mahdi. This claim that the ayatollahs want to “hotwire the apocalypse”–probably with nuclear weapons–comes from either a vast ignorance, or a profound (and probably intentional) misrepresentation, of Twelver Shi`i theology. Maybe both.
I won’t reiterate the entire argument here. See my 2011 paper for the Institute for Near East & Gulf Military Analysis; my book Ten Years Captivation with the Mahdi’s Camps (particularly pages 103ff.); and my recent article “Do Iran’s Leaders Want to Hotwire the Apocalypse?”
But am I wrong? Two months ago a member of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Assembly…
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