Many people believe the greatest threat to world peace concerns Iran’s nuclear programme, so there was understandably great interest at this week’s general assembly in New York when the country’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, took the platform.
But instead of seeking to reassure delegates that Iran’s nuclear intentions were purely benign, Mr Ahmadinejad took advantage of his official visit to a country deemed – in the lexicon of the Iranian Revolution – “the Great Satan” to embark on a discourse about the wonders of the 12th Imam.
For those unacquainted with the more obscure tenets of Islamic theology, the 12th Imam is held by devout Shi’ite Muslims to be a direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammed who went into “occlusion” in the ninth century at the age of five and hasn’t been seen since.
The Hidden Imam, as he is also known by his followers, will only return after a period of cosmic chaos, war and bloodshed – what Christians call the Apocalypse – and then lead the world into an era of universal peace. …
For many of the hundreds of delegates who attended Mr Ahmadinejad’s speech to the UN this week, his discourse on the merits of the 12th Imam finally brought home the reality of the danger his regime poses to world peace.
You know, he said a lot of the same stuff last year, too. How far can one get in one’s nuclear program in the space of a year, I wonder.