Erick Stakelbeck, CBN News terrorism analyst is reporting evidence the Iranian government sees the current unrest in the Middle East as a signal that the Mahdi–or Islamic messiah–is about to appear.
CBN News has obtained a never-before-seen video produced by the Iranian regime that says all the signs are moving into place — and that Iran will soon help usher in the end times.
While the revolutionary movements gripping the Middle East have created uncertainty throughout the region, the video shows that the Iranian regime believes the chaos is divine proof that their ultimate victory is at hand.
“The Coming is Near”
According to Stakelbeck, the propaganda footage was approved at the highest levels of the Iranian government.
It’s called “The Coming is Near” and it describes current events in the Middle East as a prelude to the arrival of the tweflth Imam or Mahdi — a messiah figure whom Islamic scriptures say will lead the armies of Islam to victory over all non-Muslims in the last days.
The Basij, an Iranian paramilitary force that is a branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, enforces Iran’s Islamic social codes, and have a branch in almost every Iranian mosque.
“This video has been produced by a group called the Conductors of the Coming, in connection with the Basij — the Iranian paramilitary force, and in collaboration with the Iranian president’s office,” said Reza Kahlil, a former member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards who shared the video with CBN News.
Kahlil, author of the book, “A Time to Betray,” worked as a double agent for the CIA inside the Iranian regime.
“Just a few weeks ago, Ahmadenijad’s office screened this movie with much excitement for the clerics,” Kahlili told CBN News. “The target audience is Muslims in the Middle East and around the world.”
The video claims that Iran is destined to rise as a great power in the last days to help defeat America and Israel and usher in the return of the Mahdi. And it makes clear the Iranians believe that time is fast approaching.
“The Hadith have clearly described the events and the various transformations of countries in the Middle East and also that of Iran in the age of the coming,” said a narrator, who went on to say that America’s invasion of Iraq was foretold by Islamic scripture–and that the Mahdi will one day soon rule the world from Iraq.
The ongoing upheavals in other Middle Eastern countries like Yemen and Egypt–including the rise of the Muslim Brotherood — are also analyzed as prophetic signs that the Mahdi is near — so is the current poor health of the king of Saudi Arabia, an Iranian rival.
“Isn’t the presence of Abdullah, his illness, and his uncertain condition, great news for those anxious for the coming?” asks the narrator.
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khameini, and Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Iran’s terrorist proxy Hezbollah, are hailed as pivotal end times players, whose rise was predicted in Islamic scriptures.
The same goes for Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadenijad, who the video says will conquer Jerusalem prior to the Mahdi’s coming.
“I think it’s a very grave development,” Mideast expert Joel Rosenberg, author of The Twelfth Imam, told CBN News, “because it gives you a window into the thinking of the Iranian leadership: that they believe the time for war with Israel may be even sooner than others had imagined.”
Kahlili says “The Coming is Near” will soon be distributed by the Iranian regime throughout the Middle East. He explained that their goal is to instigate further uprisings in Arab countries.
In Sunni and Shia eschatology, the Mahdi is the prophesied redeemer of Islam who will stay on Earth for seven, nine or nineteen years (according to various interpretations) before the Day of Judgment, literally, the Day of Resurrection) and, alongside Jesus, will rid the world of wrongdoing, injustice and tyranny.
In Shia Islam, the belief in the Mahdi is a “powerful and central religious idea” and closely related to the Twelfth Imam, Muhammad al-Mahdi, whose return from occultation is deemed analogous with the coming of the Mahdi. In Sunni traditions, there are several hadiths referring to the Mahdi. — Dan Wooding, founder of ASSIST News
To watch the video report from CBN by Erick Stakelbeck, go to: www.cbn.com/cbnnews/world/2011/March/Iranian-Regime-Video-Says-Mahdi-is-Near-/