Shia Muslims, including Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, believe that an Islamic savior known as the Mahdi will return at the end of time. They believe the Mahdi's appearing will be a time of chaos, carnage and confusion.
"Imam al-Mahdi is another name for the 'Twelfth Imam' or the 'Hidden Imam,' as New York Times best-selling author Joel C. Rosenberg explained in one of his recent blogs.
"Shia Muslims believe this Islamic messiah will come at the End of Days to destroy Judeo-Christian civilization as we have known it, force infidels to convert or be executed, and will set up a one-world Islamic government known as the 'caliphate.'
According to Rosenberg, Ahmadinejad believes Allah has chosen him to prepare the world for the coming of the Mahdi and that he can hasten his appearance by creating worldwide chaos.
In a provocative speech to the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday, Sept. 23, Iran's president prayed God would "hasten the arrival of Imam al-Mahdi and grant him good health and victory and make us his followers and those who attest to his righteousness."
"Ahmadinejad believes the way to 'hasten' the Twelfth Imam's coming is to annihilate the U.S. and Israel," Rosenberg said. "This would bring about the 'victory' that Ahmadinejad prayed for on American soil."
Joel Rosenberg spoke with CBN News about Iranian eschatology and how it ties in with Muslim regime's nuclear ambitions, as well as his new book. Click play to watch.
*Originally aired Oct. 19, 2010.