“An Iranian government spokesman has said that outgoing President Mahmud Ahmadinejad will return with the Hidden Imam, who according to Shi’ite belief went into hiding in the 10th century and will reappear to bring justice to Earth,” reports Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
“God willing, with the manifestation of Imam Mehdi, Ahmadinejad will also return and work for the establishment of pure Islam,” spokesman Gholam Hossein Elham was quoted as saying by Iranian news agencies.
“Ahmadinejad and his close aides have been criticized in Iran over their repeated references to Mahdi and signs of his imminent coming,” reports RFE/RL. “Ahmadinejad came under fire in March for saying that former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez will be resurrected alongside Jesus and the Hidden Imam.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird in Jerusalem on June 18, 2013. (Photo credit: Amos Ben Gershom/GPO/FLASH90)
(Jerusalem, Israel) — After having just been in Ottawa meeting with Canadian Members of Parliament to discuss Israel and Middle East issues, I’ve now been in Israel for ten days of meetings and preparations for our upcoming Joshua Fund tour and Epicenter Conference. I was encouraged to read this morning that the Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird was recently in town to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu and other Israeli and Palestinian officials. His comments on the Iran threat were worth noting because he indicated a concrete time frame by which Iran needs to show it has ended its nuclear program or other action — decisive action — needs to be taken. Coming from the most pro-Israel government on the planet, this was encouraging. My hope is that the Foreign Minister was also laying the groundwork for a state visit by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, but there was no public report of this.
“Canada’s foreign minister has warned Iran that it has only two to three months to prove to the West that it seeks a negotiated resolution to the crisis over its rogue nuclear program,” reports the Times of Israel “The diplomatic process is ‘nearing the end,’ John Baird said in an interview with The Times of Israel, though he declined to say what consequences that could bring.”
“He added that the election to the Iranian presidency of Hasan Rouhani, seen by many as a relative moderate, does not justify any further Western patience, since Rouhani, as Iran’s former nuclear negotiator, ‘doesn’t need to have any time to read up on the files,'” reported the Times. “Baird was speaking exclusively to The Times of Israel last week during a visit to Jerusalem, where he represented Canada’s government at Shimon Peres’s Facing Tomorrow presidential conference, and met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He also went to Jordan during the trip, and held talks in Ramallah with the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and other senior PA officials.”
Other key points from the article:
If incoming president Rouhani “wants me to say something kind or generous, he’s going to have to solicit that by his actions, not by any perceived notion of being a reformer,” Baird said, adding, “These people don’t deserve the benefit of the doubt.”
Asked whether diplomacy had run its course, Baird said, “There’s always a reason to wait another two or three months… If they want to prove the naysayers wrong, they can make meaningful progress with the P5+1. I’m pessimistic on that but I hope to be proven wrong.”
The diplomatic process, he went on, “is nearing the end, and should have been nearing the end in my judgment. If Iran wants to seek out concrete, meaningful solutions to this, they have the opportunity to demonstrate to the world in the coming weeks that they’ll do that… And you have someone [in Rouhani, a former Iranian nuclear negotiator] who doesn’t need to have any time to read up on the files. This person does not need anytime to be briefed up.”
And if at the end of two or three months there isn’t some kind of concrete progress? Then, said Baird, “I think fair and reasonable people will have shown that they have taken every reasonable measure, every diplomatic measure, to try to successfully bring this to a conclusion.”
And then comes the time for intervention? “I’ll just leave it at that,” the minister said.
A major Iranian newspaper is reporting Rouhani thanked the Twelfth Imam for his victory.
Despite the Western media’s insistence that Iran’s President-Elect, Hassan Rouhani, is a “moderate” and a “reformist,” the evidence is clear: Rouhani is actually a high-ranking Radical Shia cleric who fundamentally agrees with the terrorist and repressive policies of the Ayatollah Khamenei and has been faithful in supporting such policies. Rouhani’s son reportedly even committed suicide because of the shame he felt that Rouhani was so supportive of Khamenei’s evil ways.
The central question I have been curious about since the rigged election is whether Rouhani shares the Supreme Leader’s eschatology. Namely, is Rouhani a “Twelver”? Does he believe as Khamenei does that the End of Days has come, and that the Twelfth Imam (or Mahdi) is going to appear at any moment to destroy the infidels and establish a global Islamic caliphate, and that Iran’s regime can and must hasten the arrival of their so-called messiah by annihilating America (which they consider the “Great Satan”) and Israel (which they consider the “Little Satan”)?
In 2008, for example, Rouhani was sharply critical of Ahmadinejad’s public statements regarding eschatology and the Mahdi. That led some analysts the conclusion that Rouhani did not share Ahmadinejad’s beliefs. But that wasn’t necessarily the case.
Consider an alternative scenario: Rouhani is a trained Shia cleric. As such, he most certainly believes in the Twelfth Imam. What’s more, he was approved to run for President by Khamenei and the regime, when 686 other candidates (including Rafsanjani) were prohibited from running. Thus, Rouhani surely shares the same essential theology and eschatology of the Supreme Leader. If this is true, then Rouhani’s problem with Ahmadinejad was likely not that Ahmadinejad believed in the Mahdi but that Ahmadinejad was not a trained cleric, and he was making all kinds of wild claims about the imminence of the Mahdi’s appearance, and he seemed to be bringing discredit to a subject the Supreme Leader and Rouhani consider dear.
True, I have not yet found much that Rouhani has written or said about his beliefs regarding the Mahdi or Shia “Twelver” eschatology. So I cannot yet say definitively what he believes or how eschatology shapes his world view.
That said, there is a major news report in Iran in recent days indicating that Rouhani (also spelled “Rohani” and “Rowhani”) is attributing his victory to the favor of the Mahdi.
“Iran’s newly elected president, Hassan Rohani, attributed his victory in the June 15 voting to the 12th Imam, Mahdi, a statement with ominous overtones in the Islamic regime’s quest for nuclear weapons,” reports former Iranian CIA operative Reza Khalili, based on public reporting in Tehran. “The Shiites believe that at the end of times, the 12th Imam, a 9th-century prophet, will reappear with Jesus Christ at his side, kill all the infidels and raise the flag of Islam in all four corners of the world. Many analysts believe Iran is seeking nuclear capability to bring on that Armageddon.”
“This political [election] was due to the kindness of the last Islamic messiah [Mahdi],” Rouhani said Friday.
“Kayhan newspaper, the main media outlet of the regime and the mouthpiece of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, ran a centerpiece headline Saturday reporting Rohani’s statement: ‘This victory and the epic saga is without a doubt due to the special kindness of the Imam Zaman (Mahdi) and the measures taken by the supreme leader, especially his guidance and words. … Without his management then it was not clear if the people of Iran would witness such a day filled with joy,’ Rohani said. ‘I am so happy that there is a feeling of joy in our society and that the election took place in the month of Shaban [the 8th Islamic month, representative of courage and blessings], which is the month of victory.'”
Is it possible that the Supreme Leader insisted Rouhani put out such a statement, because Khamenei is such a devoted Twelver, even if Rouhani is not? Yes, that is possible.
It is also possible that Rouhani is as deeply committed a Twelver as the Ayatollah, but more careful in his words that Ahmadinejad.
Time will tell, but this a story worth watching closely.
(Jerusalem, Israel) — In light of the horrific carnage in Syria and warnings the country could completely implode, TheBlaze has published an interview with me about the prophecies of Isaiah 17 and Jeremiah 49 and the general topic of Bible prophecy and events in the Middle East. Here are excerpts from the story by reporter Billy Hallowell:
As the situation in Syria intensifies and the United Nations reports that 93,000 civilians have been killed since 2011, the United States is taking increased action. With the deadly drama continuing to progress, it’s likely that some — especially considering Syria’s Biblical and geographical significance — will see End Times prophecy unfolding.
A silly suggestion to non-believers and others who disagree with conservative views on the Bible and an undeniable reality to others, the debate over signs and symbols associated with Jesus’ return presents ever-fascinating discussions. But while author Joel C. Rosenberg embraces prophetic notions, others, like “Bible Answer Man” Hank Hanegraaff reject these ideals.
TheBlaze spoke with both Rosenberg and Hanegraaff in an effort to better understand how Syria might fit into Christian theology and prophecy. The former, an author and communications expert who has been called a modern-day Nostradamus, has produced intriguing, yet eerie, writings, as they often highlight and seemingly predict major world-wide events months before they actually occur. The latter, however….
Despite the widespread enthusiasm in world capitals and the media that there is new hope in Iran because a “reformer” has been “elected,” evidence is continuing to emerge that Hassan Rouhani is exactly what I have portrayed him: a dangerous Radical Shia Muslim who is deeply committed to the Ayatollah Khamenei, and Iran’s nuclear program, and to building atomic bombs in secret.
A “Pragmatic” Mullah? (Wall Street Journal) –“[Rouhani] chaired Iran’s National Security Council between 1989 and 2005, meaning he was at the top table when Iran masterminded the 1994 bombing of the Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires, killing 85 people, and of the Khobar Towers in 1996, killing 19 U.S. airmen. He would also have been intimately familiar with the secret construction of Iran’s illicit nuclear facilities in Arak, Natanz and Isfahan, which weren’t publicly exposed until 2002.” Rouhani also “called on the regime’s basij militia to suppress the student protests of July 1999 ‘mercilessly and monumentally.’ More than a dozen students were killed in those protests, more than 1,000 were arrested, hundreds were tortured, and 70 simply ‘disappeared.'”
“Years before he became Iran’s president-elect, Hassan Rohani spoke approvingly about concealing his nation’s nuclear program and said that when Pakistan got atomic bombs and Brazil began enriching uranium, ‘the world started to work with them,'” reports Reuters. “The comments offer an intriguing window into the past thinking of Rohani, widely seen as a moderate or pragmatic conservative, whose surprise victory in weekend elections to succeed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was perceived by the United States and other Western powers as positive — at least at first glance.”
“Rohani has said he intends to pursue constructive interaction with the world and ‘more active’ negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, after his predecessor’s belligerence was met with painful international sanctions and military threats from Israel and the United States,” notes Reuters. “Ultimate decisions on Iran’s nuclear program will remain in the hands of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Western diplomats familiar with Rohani’s work as chief nuclear negotiator from 2003 to 2005 told Reuters the 64-year-old cleric was no pushover and had always been firmly committed to Iran’s nuclear program. He was secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council from 1989 to 2005. It was in the autumn of 2004 that Rohani gave a sweeping speech to Iran’s Supreme Cultural Revolution Council called ‘Beyond the Challenges Facing Iran and the IAEA Concerning the Nuclear Dossier.’ In that speech, that is available on the blog Armscontrolwonk.com, Rohani said Iran did not want nuclear weapons.”
“As for building the atomic bomb, we never wanted to move in that direction and we have not yet completely developed our fuel cycle capability,” wrote Rouhani. “This also happens to be our main problem.”
“But he argued in favor of a kind of nuclear fait accompli to force the West to accept Iran’s enrichment capabilities,” noted Reuters. “He also referred to Pakistan’s successful acquisition of nuclear weapons in a positive light.”
“If one day we are able to complete the (nuclear) fuel cycle and the world sees that it has no choice, that we do possess the technology, then the situation will be different,” Rouhani said.
“The world did not want Pakistan to have an atomic bomb or Brazil to have the fuel cycle,” he said. “But Pakistan built its bomb and Brazil has its fuel cycle, and the world started to work with them. Our problem is that we have not achieved either one, but we are standing at the threshold.”
“Rouhani also discussed the decision by Iran to conceal its nuclear activities in the late 1980s and 1990s, when it relied on an illicit nuclear procurement network connected to the father of Pakistan’s atomic weapons program, Abdul Qadeer Khan, to purchase enrichment centrifuge technology. ‘This (concealment) was the intention,’ Rohani said. ‘This never was supposed to be in the open. But in any case, the spies exposed it. We did not want to declare all this.'”
Rouhani in first press conference as president (Photo: AFP)
“Behind the smiles and the mirth brought about by Hassan Rouhani’s triumph in the first round of the Iranian presidential election there lurks a personal tragedy: his elder son took his own life in 1992 in protest of his father’s close connection with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah,” reports Ynet News.
“I hate your government, your lies, your corruption, your religion, your double acts and your hypocrisy,” wrote the future president’s son in his suicide note, published in London by exiled Iranian political commentator Ali Reza Nouri, Ynet reports.
“I am ashamed to live in such environment where I’m forced to lie to my friends each day, telling them that my father isn’t part of all of this. Telling them my father loves this nation, whereas I believe this to be not true. It makes me sick seeing you, my father, kiss the hand of Khamenei,” read the letter published in the London-based al-Sharq al-Awsat
“Official Iranian press attributed the young man’s suicide to unrequited love,” reports Ynet.
I just read the news story of Vince Flynn’s death and can’t describe how sad I feel. Vince died after a long battle with prostate cancer. He was only 47 and leaves behind a wife and three children in Minnesota.
A master thriller writer, he wrote something like 15 novels based on his franchise character, CIA operative Mitch Rapp. He also was a story consultant and producer for awhile on the “24” TV show with Kiefer Sutherland.
Vince graciously endorsed my first novel, The Last Jihad, back in 2002. We had the chance to meet a few years later at a book launch party for one of his novels at the home of James Carville and Mary Matalin in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia.
Please join me in praying for his family and friends, that the Lord would show them His comfort and a “peace that passeth all understanding.”
Israelis greet President Shimon Peres a at a celebration event in honor of his 90th birthday, in Jerusalem on Tuesday, June 18 (photo credit: Kobi Gideon/Flash90)
(Jerusalem, Israel) — “It was a love fest at Shimon Peres’ 90th birthday party Tuesday night, as world leaders, beloved performers and regular folk spoke, sang, and sent their messages of love and affection for the president, former prime minister, and Nobel Peace Prize winner,” reported the Times of Israel.
“Peres sat flanked by former US president Bill Clinton and Jewish stage diva Barbra Streisand on his right, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, on his left. Behind them was an auditorium full of who’s who in Israel and abroad, from actors Robert De Niro and Sharon Stone, Prince Albert of Monaco and Chicago mayor and former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel to IDF chief Benny Gantz, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, former prime minister Ehud Barak, Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon and former Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz.”
“Former UK prime minister Tony Blair opened the festive evening at Jerusalem’s International Convention Center, commenting that he admires Peres as a leader and loves him as a friend. ‘We have a queen, you have Shimon,’ said Blair, referring to Peres’ ‘abiding love for the State of Israel,’ as well as him being a ‘man of passion and compassion.'”
“He’s also the best purveyor of a sound bite in politics, and I say that in front of Bill Clinton,” quipped Blair.
President-elect Hassan Rouhani (right) meets with his boss and mentor, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
UPDATED:It is now official: Hassan Rouhani has officially won Iran’s presidential elections. But make no mistake — he is not the moderate the media and Western politicians are portraying him as. He is a Radical Shia cleric who is loyal to the Ayatollah Khamenei. But he has been chosen because he will try to provide a new face of the regime, one that will appear to be more pragmatic and willing to cooperate with the West, in contrast to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
I’ve asked some Iranian Christian leaders their views of Rouhani, and how we can best pray for the people of Iran.
Here’s what one leader — Dr. Hormoz Shariat, “the Billy Graham of Iran” — sent back to me:
1) Dr. Rouhani is absolutely in the pro-regime camp. He is loyal to the Ayatollah Khamenei and is committed to obeying his wishes and orders. Through the election of Rouhani, the Islamic government of Iran is trying to extend its life another four years, and maybe eight years.
2) What makes Rouhani different is that he is just one step closer to the reformists than other candidates. The week before the election, Rouhani mentioned that he will work to normalize Iran’s international relations. He explicitly said that he will do that without compromising Iran’s nuclear plans. He also mentioned that he will work on lifting sanctions without giving in to the control of the West. He was the only candidate that made such statements. So suddenly people had/have a small ray of hope.
3) We must remember that Khamenei is the supreme power and will make all the important decisions. This includes relationship with the west and nuclear program. So Rouhani promised something that he has absolutely no authority to do. His decision making will be limited to some internal affairs and economy and even that with limited authority.
4) Khamenei and the clergy have set up a power structure so that there are layers of protection for them. They use the government as their puppet (a front) to implement their national and international wishes. But if something goes wrong, they have the government to blame for it. When that happens, he (Khamenei) steps in as the good guy to give orders to fix the problem. For example, they totally blame Ahmadinejad for the economy, the sanctions, and the fall of the currency (as if they had no part in it and it was all Ahmadinejad’s fault).
5) Khamenei and the clergy in power also have the Revolutionary Guards as another layer of protection. All the violence, arrests, killings, and oppression is done by the Revolutionary Guards. Again, for the most part, they are implementing the wishes of Khamenei and the clergy. However, if something happens (e.g. the killings and rapes that happened in Kahrizak prison), then Khamenei steps in as an innocent hero and corrects the situation (he condemned what happened in Kahrizak and ordered it to be closed).
6) Most people in Iran are aware of the strategy in 4 and 5. So they are not fooled. They directly blame Khamenei and clergy for all that is happening in Iran. They are looking for a candidate to stand up to the clergy. Their highest hope was Rafsanjani (No. 2 man in power in Iran). But he was not allowed to run. If he had run, people would have voted for him despite the proven fact that he was a corrupt man. Their only reason to vote for him would have been to have a little hope that he will stand up to the clergy.
7) I expect that Rouhani’s will immediately try to bring some hope to the people of Iran. But practically, he will not be able to do much. However, there is a possible scenario that may exist behind the scenes: it is possible the Khamenei will use Rouhani to buy more time for his nuclear programs. This is how it works: Rouhani will start negotiating with the West. He will seem to be a “good guy” and will look like that he is making some progress. After months of negotiation, when both sides seem to be coming to an agreement, Khamenei will step in and veto the decision. There is also a slight chance that Khamenei indeed wants to establish relationship with the West and will use Rouhani to do that (but this is very unlikely).
This what I pray:
1) That Rouhani, in order to show that things are different now, to give a good impression, and to buy the support and confidence of people, will set free the Christians and other prisoners of conscience who are in jail.
2) That persecution of Christians will stop.
3) That the government in order to reconnect with people will give more freedom of gathering, less internet and phone control, less jamming, and fewer websites to block.
4) My main prayer as always is against the spirit of Islam which is the spirit of fear and terror. I pray that through all these, millions of Iranian Muslims who are captives in the hand of our enemy, Satan, through the religion of Islam, will be set free.
Hassan Rowhani — endorsed by the only Iranian politician who has ever publicly called for Israel to be destroyed with nuclear weapons.
You’ve really got to hand it to Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The man is one of the most evil tyrants on the face of the earth. He is pursuing nuclear weapons to wipe Israel and the U.S. off the map. He wants to usher in the caliphate of the Twelfth Imam and bring about the apocalyptic End of Days. Yet he is desperately trying to prevent Israel — or any other country — from launching preemptive military strikes and neutralizing Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Thus, Khamenei is trying to use the rigged current presidential elections to recast Iran as suddenly moving in a more “moderate” direction, and thus persuading the West to ease up on economic sanctions and pressure Israel to back off.
And the Western media is totally buying it.
Consider the headlines this morning, all of which are declaring Hassan Rouhani (also spelled “Rowhani”) as the frontrunner and a “moderate” who could be the best answer to bringing peace to the world:
Give me a break. Rouhani is no moderate. He is a disciple of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the late fanatical tyrant of Tehran. He was a senior national security advisor to Khomeini during the brutal war with Iraq that left a million people dead. He served as a top national security advisor to the regime in the 1990s, as well. He was Iran’s nuclear negotiator from 2003 to 2005 and is both a loyal defender of Iran’s nuclear program and a shrewd and experienced diplomat.
But here’s the one fact you need to know that will help you understand Rouhani — he was endorsed by the only prominent Iranian politician who has ever publicly called for Israel to be destroyed with nuclear weapons.
“Iran’s former moderate president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani on Tuesday endorsed ally Hassan Rowhani in the June 14 election, saying the candidate is ‘more suitable’ than others for presidency,” reported Agence France Presse. “‘I will vote for Dr. Rowhani, who entered the race after consulting me,’ Rafsanjani said. ‘I consider him to be more suitable (than other candidates) to steer the executive branch,’ he said referring to the slate of five other hopefuls, most of whom are conservatives.”
In the 2005 elections, the Western media called Rafsanjani a “moderate” and a “pragmatist” who would help Iran recast its relationship with the West and bring about peace. Now Rafsanjani — who was banned by the Khamenei regime from running in this “election” — has endorsed Rowhani, the so-called “moderate.” Yet as I wrote during the 2005 elections, Rafsanjani is one of the leading extremists in Iran. “Rafsanjani, who previously served as Iran’s president from 1989 to 1997, was neither a ‘moderate’ nor a ‘reformer.’ He certainly was no ‘pragmatist’ with whom the West could do business. To the contrary, he is one of the father’s of Iran’s nuclear program and an outspoken advocate of Iran and her radical Islamic allies building offensive nuclear weapons.”
Exhibit A — “If a day comes when the world of Islam is duly equipped with the arms Israel has in possession, the strategy of colonialism would face a stalemate because application of an atomic bomb would not leave any thing in Israel but the same thing would just produce damages in the Muslim world,” Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani told the crowd at the traditional Friday prayers in Tehran, the Iran Press Service reported in December of 2001. “Analysts said not only Mr. Hashemi-Rafsanjani’s speech was the strongest against Israel, but also this is the first time that a prominent leader of the Islamic Republic openly suggests the use of nuclear weapon against the Jewish State.”
Rafsanjani’s endorsement of Rouhani was not merely political. It was personal. The two men are very close. They see the world in very similar terms. Rowhani served as Rafsanjani’s national security advisor when Rafsanjani was Iran’s President from 1989 to 1997. They are cut from very similar bolts of cloth. If Rouhani were a true moderate reformer, he would have rejected the endorsement of such a Radical extremist like Rafsanjani.
Now, let’s be clear: Just because Rouhani is suddenly emerging as the “frontrunner” doesn’t mean he will win. There could be a run-off election, and someone else could suddenly “surge” to the front. One possibility is the current Mayor of Tehran, Mohammed Bagher Ghalibaf.
Let’s wait and see exactly what happens.
But for now we can say two things are true:
First, whichever candidate “wins” will win because he was hand-chosen by the Ayatollah Khamenei to be the face of the regime. He will not have been chosen by the people.
Second, if Rouhani “wins,” we will know that the Western media and many world governments will say that a “moderate” and “reformer” and “pragmatist” has won, but that will be a lie. Rouhani is a first-rate extremist. He wants to build The Bomb and destroy Israel and usher in the End of Days, just like Khamenei. But unlike Ahmadinejad, Rouhani is a wily coyote. He’s a smooth, sophisticated and experienced operator. He’s already got the media fooled about who he is. That’s just the beginning.
Please keep praying for the people of Iran to be set free from the slavery of such cruel and evil men.