It’s no secret that Iran has been less than friendly with the U.S. since we uprooted their democratic government in 1953 and installed an unpopular authoritarian monarchy allowing for civil unrest, violent uprising, and an opportunity for radical clerics to take over the country and install an extremist, anti-western, anti-Semitic theocracy, vicariously creating the term “blowback.” Needless to say, from then on, the hate speech has been flowing out of Tehran, and America sits on her hands all the while fighting the urge to reach out and punch Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad square in the mouth.

Ahmadinejad is notorious for wanting the annihilation of the “Zionist Regime,” meaning Israel, or as Iranian leadership likes to call it, “the little Satan.” Aside from constantly threatening America’s only true ally in the Middle East, Iran has not held its tongue on making outrageous threats to what it refers to as “The Great Satan,” or the United States.  Inciting chants of “Death to America,” warning of retalitory attacks on Israel and American middle eastern outposts, and even Iranian military leaders boasting that they have the naval power to put submarines off of our east coast with missiles capable of hitting major cities like New York and Washington D.C. is commonplace for Iran.

And those are legitimate threats. Considering the Iranian diligence in pursuing a nuclear weapon in spite of our consistent discouraging and economic sanctions, why we haven’t taken the gloves off with this aggressor is beyond my comprehension. We are talking about a blatant sponsor of terror, a country that denies the Holocaust ever happened but eagerly awaits its opportunity to usher in another one by seeking to “[wipe] Israel and America off of the face of the Earth.”

It seems like all that we have done is attempt to negotiate.

Great job, guys.

Why we haven’t intervened after literal threats to U.S. cities and citizens?  That in itself is a serious issue that needs to be raised in the face of the Obama administration. But that is not what this piece is about.

I want to know something a little more unnerving. I want to bring to light something I see lurking in the shadows of a potential global war. I want to know if Iran is trying to rush “prophecy.”  I want to know if they are rolling out a red carpet for what they call “The 12th Imam” or their messianic figure, “The Mahdi.” I want to know if they are arming themselves and preparing for the Jihad to end all Jihads.

Why else would they be pursuing nuclear ambitions? Why else would they be sacrificing their people’s well being in the face of some of the world’s strongest military and economic powers? Why would they be cozying up with China and Russia, the only economic and military powers to rival the US, UK, and Israel?

If they were just trying to make a name for themselves in the global market, wouldn’t they be sending olive branches to the White House and Knesset? Wouldn’t there be Iranian diplomatic envoys working every angle of the world?  Peaceful summits in Tehran? Pictures of Mahmoud, Bibi, and Barack cheesin’ in front of the rose garden? That would only make sense.

However, that is a laughable alternate reality. Something that seems more like satire than actuality. The nationalistic propaganda the Iranian regime is spewing rivals that of Nazi Germany.  Their funding of terrorist organizations like Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Assad regime in Syria are key indicators that Ahmadinejad and the “supreme leader” of Iran’s theocratic council, Ayatollah Khamenei, are determined to see that Islam keeps a stranglehold on the middle east.

So what is the Mahdi? Why are they wanting to rush its coming?

In Islamic eschatology, or the study of the end times, the Mahdi is the prophesied redeemer of  Islam, who is, by most accounts, set to return to Earth with Isa (Islamic version of Jesus Christ) to set up global sharia, or rid the world of wrongdoing and “break the cross” (or break the Christian church). Then, they will try to set up a messianic capitol in Jerusalem. They are setting the stage for the coming of the Mahdi.

With every military, political, and diplomatic move Iran makes, it seems as if it is preparing for and drawing closer to the Shi’a belief, the Islamic sect that governs Iran, that Mahdi and/or the 12th Imam will soon return and destroy the western heathens and crush Israel. Maybe that is why Ahmadinejad, between spewing hate against the U.S. and Israel, praises the Mahdi in his speeches and beckons the coming of the holy 12th Imam.

While the mainstream media continues its onslaught against “radical Christians” seeking to preserve traditional marriage and eliminate abortion and contraception, the battle in the Middle East rages much more intensely and poses a greater threat than these stupid social disagreements. Despite the “fatwa” issued by Ayatollah Khamenei claiming that nuclear weapons are haram or sin, this guise doesn’t seem to be the direction of the Iranian state. According to the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) an Iranian opposition group, Iran has pushed full steam ahead with its nuclear ambitions in the past few days.

Exploring Islamic end time prophecy allows for a whole new understanding of their handling of diplomacy and military strategy in recent months. It may seem bizarre and extreme, but we are dealing with an extremist religiously zealous regime, intent on seeing Islam engulf the world.

This is more than just middle east tensions, this is an attempt at prophetic theatre, an attempt to make prophecy, reality.

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…” -Hosea 4:6

Tanner Salyers | Pensacola Christian College | @TannerSalyers