"TEHRAN (AFP) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called on Islamic countries to mobilise against Israel and 'remove' the 'Zionist regime'.
"'The basic problem in the Islamic world is the existence of the Zionist regime, and the Islamic world and the region must mobilise to remove this problem,' the president said in a speech to regional officials....
"He also issued an ominous warning to Western powers....
"'The waves of fury of Muslim nations will not be confined within the boundaries of the region, and the people who close their ears to the cries of the Palestinians and blindly support this regime will be responsible for the consequences,' he warned...."
Empty threats? Maybe. But consider this:
"The U.S. intelligence community has not been surprised by Iran's refusal to respond to a Western incentive package to suspend its uranium enrichment. Intelligence sources said Iran, following North Korea's model, intends to delay any response or negotiations for as long as possible.
"The European Union and the United States demanded that Iran reply to the Western incentive package of nuclear technology, fuel and aircraft by June 29. But Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said Teheran would submit an answer by Aug. 22.
"The U.S. intelligence community has been trying to figure out why Ahmadinejad chose that date. Sources said the community was stumped until some Islam experts translated the Gregorian date to that of the Muslim calendar.
"Then came the surprise that has the intelligence community worried.
"Aug. 22 corresponds to Rajab 27 on the Muslim calendar. The date is called Lailat Al Israa, when Mohammed ascended to heaven from the Al Aqsa mosque to receive the five daily prayers. Later, Al Aqsa came to represent Jerusalem.
"The Muslim commemoration is meant to be a night of struggle, accompanied by thunder and lightening, resembling the story of Moses ascending Mount Sinai to receive the Old Testament.
"Ahmadinejad could be hinting to the West that he is preparing a major attack on Israel. Or, the Iranian president could be warning that unless the West caves in, he would escalate tension in the region. The lightening in Mohammed's story could represent Iranian missiles.
"What is clear is that Ahmadinejad does not see himself as an Iranian leader, but a Muslim prophet, using imagery to portray himself as a messiah for both Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims."
I don't know where Epaminondas got his information, but if he is correct, there is big trouble on the way. There's Something About Islam posted the following information on July 12, 2006:
"Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has rejected Western demands that he respond to a new proposal regarding the cessation of Iran’s nuclear efforts by the middle of this month.You can read the entire article here.
"To the consternation of officials in Europe and Washington, Ahmadinejad promised only to respond by the end of the Iranian month of Mordad (August 22).
"Why that date? Why so long to look over a simple package of incentives and give either a negative or a positive reply? Finding the answers to these troubling questions may require America and Europe to come to terms with a reality Western liberalism has done its best to ignore - that Islam remains engaged in a clash of civilizations with the Judeo-Christian world.
"You see, Ahmadinejad is a strong believer in the Shi’ite tradition of a 12th imam, the so-called 'hidden' Imam Mahdi who Allah has miraculously kept alive since his disappearance in 874 AD. As the story goes, Imam Mahdi will return at a time of great global chaos, oppression and bloodshed and usher in an era of (Islamic) justice.
"Ahmadinejad sees himself as Allah’s instrument to pave the way for Imam Mahdi, and constantly uses public appearances to urge his countrymen to prepare to back him in this task.
"Rumor is, Imam Mahdi could be returning this August (or shortly thereafter), just around the time some military experts believe Iran will be ready to construct its first nuclear weapon...
As a rule, I'm not keen on predictions based on specific dates, but as Mark Twain once noted:
"Apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today."
(Posted by Always On Watch)