See the latest opinion pieces on our pageIran’s unabashed goal is a global caliphate under the rule of an Islamic messiah called the Mahdi. During his tenure as Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, evoked this goal, this dream, every time he spoke at the United Nations. In a speech that he delivered there just before ending his presidential term, Ahmadinejad articulated Iran’s conviction that its messiah is at hand.On September 26, 2012, he said, “Allah Almighty has promised us a man of kindness, a man who loves people and loves absolute justice, a man who is a perfect human being. [He] is named Imam al-Mahdi, a man who will come in the company of Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) and the righteous. By using the inherent potential of all the worthy men and women of all nations and I repeat, the inherent potential of ‘all the worthy men and women of all nations,’ he will lead humanity into achieving its glorious and eternal ideals.” (italics added) What must be done in preparation for the appearance of this Mahdi who will “bring about an eternally bright future for mankind”? According to Ahmadinejad’s admonition, the world must “join hands and clear the way for his eventual arrival with empathy and cooperation, in harmony and unity.” (again, italics added) The key to his counsel is an admonition to “clear the way.” Unworthy men and women, and their ultimate expression of unworthiness, Israel, must be removed. Ahmadinejad’s assertion is a persistent message that continues to this day. Only two months ago, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei posted to his official Twitter account, “Once ppl in West #realize their problems stem from Zionist domination over govts, great social movements will give #birth to a new world.” A new world under the Mahdi, that is. For its part, even the US, Khamenei tweeted, is a “chained dog” of the “Zionist regime.” According to Khamenei, Israel is a “barbaric, wolflike & infanticidal regime” that “spares no crime.” Accordingly, he says, it “has no cure but to be annihilated.” Claiming justified hatred of the Jewish state, Khamenei thanks Allah that the world is waking up. “Global hatred of #Israel is a sign of divine help,” he tweeted. Joining Allah’s efforts to stimulate global hatred against Israel, Iranian media is promoting ancient blood libels against the Jewish people, and so by proxy the Jewish state. Last Saturday, May 2, the Persian news website Alef published a lengthy essay; it included lots of pictures.Titled, “Who Are Human History’s Most Bloodthirsty People?”, the article is illustrated with artwork and photos “proving” Jewish human sacrifice in worship of their God.Mehdi Khalaji, an Islamic theologian working for The Washington Institute, has analyzed the article. He writes, “Its anti-Semitic intentions are clear from the start.” Translating from Persian, Khalaji quotes the essay. “Blood shedding by Jews is not a new theme. By looking at what is happening in occupied territories, one can know the rapacious and savage spirit of this people. ...Killing foreigners is [justified] in Jewish wisdom and teachings, and there is no difference between them and animals....According to the Talmud, there are two bloody rituals that satisfy Jehovah: the feast of breads mixed with human blood [Passover] and the circumcision ritual for Jewish children. ...Research shows that following the falsified teachings of Judaism was the main factor behind all the miseries and misfortunes that Jews suffered from in their history. In the past, Jewish witches were using human blood in their conjurer ceremonies.”Without a call to action, the article in Alef is intended only to incite. Iran’s Supreme Leader has already made the call to action. Taking up the theme of “annihilation,” top leaders in Iran use the term to describe Israel’s future.Writing for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Michael Segal and Daniel Rubenstein have documented statements made by these leaders. “The Zionist regime will soon be destroyed, and this generation will be witness to its destruction,” says Hojatoleslam Ali Shirazi, Khamenei’s representative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.Anticipating the need to plan Israel’s annihilation, Iran President Hassan Rouhani states that “the formula for this move must be discussed in [Iran’s] government.” “We will not abandon our [armed] struggle until the annihilation of Israel and until we will be able to pray in al-Aqsa mosque,” pledges Iran’s Brigadier General Mohammed Reza Naqdi. Making reference to Jerusalem’s self defense, Ayatollah Hossein Nouri Hamedani says, “The enemies are talking about the options [they have] on the table. They should know that the first option on our table is the annihilation of Israel.” In a thinly veiled reference to Tehran’s capability to construct a nuclear weapon in as little as a month, Iran’s Defense Ministry boasts, “If once the destruction and demise of occupying Israel was an impossible and unattainable dream, today thanks to the historic and intelligent actions of Imam Khomeini, it has become possible and is actually in the process of occurring.” Khamenei concurs. “Israel’s leaders sometimes threaten Iran,” he scoffs, then curses, “but they know that if they do a damn thing, the Islamic Republic will raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground.”What is keeping Iran from attacking Israel today? From Iran’s statements, assaulting Israel is a question of when, not if. Anticipating a deluge of cash from sanctions relief, it sees near-term opportunities to strengthen its pincer movement against Israel via proxies in Lebanon, Syria, Yemen and Gaza. And with relief from sanctions, it hopes to pick a time to build nuclear weapons that it will use, or threaten to use, in waging war against the Jewish state. Tehran knows that when it wages war with Israel, it will do so with necessary savagery to “annihilate” the state as it has pledged to do. The level of anticipated savagery is indicated by today’s demonization of Jews. Hoping to align with Allah’s “divine help” in stimulating both domestic and “global hatred of Israel,” Iran is preparing the way for its Mahdi.Whether in spirit or in flesh, all signs are that, in fact, that the Mahdi is on his way. Perhaps he is already here, waiting to announce himself. Accordingly, Iran is not standing by. Neither is Israel. Or its watchmen. For such a time as this.The author is Bureau Chief for USA Radio Network and Bridges For Peace News, where this first appeared www.bridgesforpeace.com. Follow Brian on Twitter @Brian- Schrauger.