Atomic Iran - ALERT AUG 22
Speculation Rages About Iran's Plans for August 22
Tue Aug 22, 2006 01:58
 
 

Speculation Rages About Iran's Plans for August 22

GOOGLE NEWS: IRAN AUG. 22


Speculation Rages About Iran's Plans for August 22
By Patrick Goodenough
CNSNews.com International Editor
August 21, 2006

(CNSNews.com) - August 22 could usher in an apocalyptic period in the Middle East thanks to some belligerent action on the part of the Iranian regime. Or maybe not.

As Tuesday approaches, the Internet is running hot with speculation about what Tuesday may bring, ranging from a new refusal by Iran to shut down its controversial uranium-enrichment activities to an attack -- even a nuclear attack -- against Israel.

The frenzy was prompted by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's announcement, more than a month ago, that his government would deliver its response on August 22 to an international carrot-and-stick proposal aimed at defusing the standoff over its nuclear activities.

The date was chosen by Tehran and had no obvious relevance in international diplomacy. The only formal deadline the international community is currently awaiting with regard to Iran is August 31 -- the date set by the U.N. Security Council for Iran to suspend uranium enrichment or face the possibility of sanctions.

Some commentators have downplayed the importance of August 22, arguing that the decision was simply one of convenience, akin to saying "we'll respond by the end of the month." August 22 marks the end of the Persian solar month of Mordad.

But others are less sanguine, noting that the date is significant in Islam, for several reasons.

It coincides with the Islamic calendar date Rajab 28, the day Jerusalem fell to the Islamic warrior Saladin, in October 1187. Many Muslims regard Saladin's victory as a high point in Islamic history, and just weeks ago, Syrian fans of Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah were likening him to the 12th century Kurdish hero.

On the night of August 21-22, Muslims believe Mohammed underwent his "night journey," a trip on a magical steed from Mecca via the "farthest mosque" -- later said to be al-Aqsa in Jerusalem -- and on to heaven and back.

The two-stage journey is known in Islam as the "isla and miraj," and tradition holds that a divine white light appeared over Jerusalem at the time.

"The night of August 21 is a very, very important night in Shi'a Islam," according to Farid Ghadry, a Sunni Muslim and president of the exiled Reform Party of Syria, based in the U.S.

Ghadry claimed that Ahmadinejad would deliver his answer to the international community in the form of a "light in the sky" over the al-Aqsa mosque on the night of Aug. 21-22.

He urged the world to take the date seriously, adding that "nothing happens without a reason in Iran."

Apocalyptic belief

Commenting on Ghadry's interpretation, Robert Spencer of Jihadwatch argued that an Iranian attack on Israel, conventional or nuclear, would "be consistent with Ahmadinejad's oft-repeated denials of Israel's right to exist and recent predictions that its demise was at hand."

"Will he attempt to make good on these threats this year on the anniversary of the miraj, illuminating the night sky over Jerusalem?" Spencer wrote in Front Page magazine. "Will Western powers heed Farid Ghadry's words and move to stop Iran before it is too late?"

An article published by the pan-Arabic media organization al-Bawaba noted Ahmadinejad's adherence to the Shi'ite belief in the 12th imam - also known as the "hidden" imam, Mahdi, who disappeared more than a thousand years ago but has been miraculously kept alive, pending his emergence at a time of global chaos and war.

"Some believe that Imam Mahdi will be returning some time this August, also the time some military experts predict that Iran will be ready to construct its first nuclear weapon," it said.

"Apparently, Ahmadinejad sees himself as an instrument to pave the way for the arrival of Imam Mahdi as well as an important successor to Saladin in terms of the liberation of Jerusalem."

Circulating widely online are the thoughts of the veteran Islamic scholar Prof. Bernard Lewis, who also refers to the belief in the return of the hidden imam.

"Mr. Ahmadinejad and his followers clearly believe that this time is now, and that the terminal struggle has already begun and is indeed well advanced," he said in an article originally published Aug. 8 in the Wall Street Journal.

Pointing to the date of Mohammed's journey, Lewis wrote: "This might well be deemed an appropriate date for the apocalyptic ending of Israel and if necessary of the world."

"It is far from certain that Mr. Ahmadinejad plans any such cataclysmic events precisely for Aug. 22," he said. "But it would be wise to bear the possibility in mind."

"In the world of radical Islam past events add weight to any contemporary attack," political commentator Micah Halpern wrote in the Israel Insider magazine.

"Attacks are programmed to resonate with history and reverberate with meaning beyond the present. Attacks are a tool used to remind the collective Muslim community to recall an historical episode."

Halpern argued that the Iranian president chose Aug. 22 because of its significance in Islamic history.

"Ahmadinejad is invoking eschatology, the end of days and the time of 'the great light in the sky' as Muslims call it. Ahmadinejad is informing the Muslim world that, this year also, an event of significance will happen on that date. Ahmadinejad proclaims that the event will change their destiny."

'Iran emboldened'

The Israel intelligence website Debkafile reports that there is much speculation about what Iran may be planning for Tuesday.

"Tehran may announce success in producing enriched uranium of a higher grade, meaning it is no more than six months away from a weapons-grade capability. While providing justification for U.N. Security Council sanctions, Tehran prefers to believe that this announcement will be its passport for admission to the world's nuclear club and its attendant privileges, including the right to enrich uranium independently."

Counterterrorism consultant Daveed Gartenstein-Ross mulled the possibility that Iran's Aug. 22 date may be linked in some way to recent unconfirmed reports suggesting that North Korea may be preparing for an underground nuclear weapons test. Writing at the Counterterrorism blog, he noted that the two rogue states have cooperated in the past in the nuclear field.

In an article on the question of the Aug. 22 date, investment analyst Larry Edelson said conditions looked ripe for a wider war in the Middle East.

The Arab world was convinced Israel had come out of its month-long conflict with Hizballah in Lebanon having "effectively lost its first war," he said on the Money and Markets website.

"Hizballah is essentially an extension of Iran, supplied and financed by the country's Revolutionary Guard. End result: Iran is more emboldened than ever."

Edelson predicted an increase in volatility and financial risk by the end of August.


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Jerome R. Corsi, Ph.D. Atomic Iran - ALERT AUG 22

GOOGLE:


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8/14/06...
RE: Mike Wallace's interview with Iran's outspoken president: — AUDIO: 60 MINUTES

CLICK LINK:


AUDIO: 60 MINUTES...
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8/13/06...CLIP 1 - 60 MINUTES
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.....DREAMS.... NIGHTMARES...."THE TIME OF THE BOMB IS
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MR. BUSH WANTS TO SOLVE EVERYTHING WITH BOMBS...."
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FORUM...:
60 Minutes Interview with Iranian President
http://bestsyndication.com/v-web/bulletin/bb/viewtopic.php?p=9728#9728

Wikiipedia - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
In June 2006, 50 Iranian economists wrote a letter to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warning him of serious problems. The president and his team, ...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahmoud_Ahmadinejad
 

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