Iranian cleric wants a 'Greater Iran'

AP is reporting that a "radical" Iranian cleric (aren't they all?) says that the regime should seek a "Greater Iran" that would rule over the Middle East and Central Asia, thus "herald[ing] the coming of Islam's expected messiah."

Ayatollah Mohammad Bagher Kharrazi heads an Iranian party called Hezb'allah (no connection to the Lebanese party of the same name) and is seeking an "Islamic United States." He said that such a political alignment would "stretch from Afghanistan to Israel, bringing about the destruction of the Jewish state." This, of course, would hasten the arrival of the Mahdi.

Such talk no doubt makes regional players like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan very nervous. This is especially true since Kharrazi calls them "cancerous tumors." He includes all Sunni Muslims in that definition as well.

His thinking may not entirely reflect the views of the leadership. But this kind of ruminating is listened to very closely by others in the region. That's because the fanatics who believe in the imminent arrival of the Mahdi are also in charge of the government. They may not see a "Greater Iran" achieving the miracle. But their belief in the Hidden Imam makes them extremely dangerous and unpredictable.

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