UNITED NATIONS – With the U.S. and Israeli delegations absent in boycott, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addressed the General Assembly on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur in a rambling, apocalyptic speech in which he declared his confidence that the table already is being set for a “new world order.”
What Ahmadinejad means by “new world order,” however, has nothing to do with the globalist economic and political integration envisioned by President George H. W. Bush.
Known internationally as “Twelvers,” radical Shiite Muslims like Ahmadinejad believe the new order will come with the return of their messiah, the Mahdi – the child imam who supposedly went into seclusion at the bottom of a well more than 1,000 years ago.
Indeed, after a long diatribe in which he blamed Western civilization for most of the world’s major problems, Ahmadinejad concluded his speech today with an extensive description of his belief that the Mahdi will soon usher the world into a new era of peace and prosperity.
“God has promised us a man of kindness,” he said, according to the official transcript, “a man who loves people and loves absolute justice, a man who is a perfect human being and is named Imam al-Mahdi, a man who will come in the company of Jesus Christ and the righteous.”
Ahmadinejad said that by “using the inherent potential of all the worthy men and women of all nations” the Mahdi will “lead humanity into achieving its glorious and eternal ideals.”
“The arrival of the ultimate savior will mark a new beginning, a rebirth and a resurrection,” the Iranian leader said. “It will be the beginning of peace, lasting security and genuine life. His arrival will be the end of oppression, immorality, poverty, discrimination and the beginning of justice, love and empathy.”
The utopian vision Ahmadinejad painted to the General Assembly delegates who remained in the hall to hear his speech is familiar to students of the Mahdi.
What Ahmadinejad neglected to explain is that Shiite Twelvers believe a global apocalypse will mark the Mahdi’s return, leading to the annihilation all non-believers, including Christians, Jews and Sunni Muslims.
Many who have examined Ahmadinejad’s beliefs fear that Iran sees its buildup of nuclear-weapon capabilities and the destruction of Israel as the key apocalyptic event that will hasten the Mahdi’s return.
Ahmadinejad seemed to indicate, in his closing lines, that the return of the Mahdi is near, employing the metaphor of “spring” that also has been used to describe the recent revolutions across the Middle East.
He said the Mahdi will “bless humanity with a spring that puts an end to our winter of ignorance, poverty and war with the tidings of a season of blooming.”
“Now we can sense the sweet scent and the soulful breeze of the spring, a spring that has just begun and doesn’t belong to a specific race, ethnicity, nation or a region, a spring that will soon reach all the territories in Asia, Europe, Africa and the U.S.”
Outside the U.N. General Assembly hall, in numerous press conferences and interviews during his New York visit, Ahmadinejad was explicit about his disdain for Israel and his insistence that it will one day be eliminated.
Erin Pelton, spokeswoman for the U.S. Mission to the U.N., said that in the past couple of days, “we’ve seen Mr. Ahmadinejad once again use his trip to the U.N. not to address the legitimate aspirations of the Iranian people but to instead spout paranoid theories and repulsive slurs against Israel.”
“It’s particularly unfortunate that Mr. Ahmadinejad will have the platform of the U.N. General Assembly on Yom Kippur, which is why the United States has decided not to attend,” she said.
Ahmadinejad ignored President Obama’s challenge to the U.N. yesterday that Iran must not be allowed to pursue nuclear weapons.
Instead, he effectively took a victory lap around the U.N. in his eighth and final appearance, implying he had accomplished his mission to set in motion the events that would bring about the return of the Islamic messiah.
Under his leadership, Iran has built a nuclear weapon program in defiance of numerous U.N. resolutions and countless attempts at economic and diplomatic sanctions, leaving Israel and the U.S. with their last and least desirable option, war.