(Photo: REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl)
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivered his address before the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday, saying that the return of Jesus Christ was soon to come, along with the Islamic end-time figure the 12th Imam.
"God 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 and is named Imam Al-Mahdi, a man who will come in the company of Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) and the righteous," Ahmadinejad said, according to a transcript by PolicyMic.
According to Shi'a Muslim beliefs, which the Iranian president subscribes to, Jesus of Nazareth will return to Earth along with the above-mentioned Imam, and they together will solve many of the world's problems.
In his speech, which was over half an hour long, Ahmadinejad spoke about the need for a reform in the United Nations, and opened his statement with a prayer.
"I thank the Almighty God for having once more the chance to participate in this meeting," his speech began. "We have gathered here to ponder and work together for building a better life for the entire human community and for our nations."
Most of the Iranian president's points were focused on calling for peace and unity among all nations, and even suggested that Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, and Buddhists do not have problems and are not hostile against each other. "They get along together comfortably and live together in an atmosphere of peace and amity," he said
Ahmadinejad blamed the current problems of the world and "the bitter incidents of history" on "wrong management" and "self-proclaimed centers of power who have entrusted themselves to the Devil."
He called on the leaders of the world to place their trust in God and defend human rights.
"The Almighty God has not left us alone in this mission and has said that it will surely happen. If it doesn't, then it will be contradictory to his wisdom," the Iranian leader said.
On the return of Jesus and the Imam, which he called the "Ultimate Savior," Ahmadinejad said that it will mark a "new beginning, a rebirth and a resurrection. It will be the beginning of peace, lasting security and genuine life."
He noted that oppression, immorality, poverty, and discrimination will end, while justice, love and empathy begin.
"He will come and he will cut through ignorance, superstition, prejudice by opening the gates of science and knowledge. He will establish a world brimful of prudence and he will prepare the ground for the collective, active and constructive participation of all in the global management," the president continued.
"The arrival of the Ultimate Savior, Jesus Christ and the Righteous will bring about an eternally bright future for mankind, not by force or waging wars but through thought awakening and developing kindness in everyone," Ahmadinejad concluded in his U.N. address. "Their arrival will breathe a new life in the cold and frozen body of the world. He will bless humanity with a spring that puts an end to our winter of ignorance, poverty and war with the tidings of a season of blooming."
The Iranian president, in his second and likely final term in office, believes like many Muslims that Jesus was one of God's prophets, but deny his divinity and crucifixion.
Ahmadinejad has often spoken openly about his desire to see the arrival of the 12th Imam, with observers suggesting that he believes he is being guided by God to help eschatological events unfold.
"Ahmadinejad belongs to the mainstream of Shi'a Islam, known as 'Twelvers," according to an article by the The Kairos Journal's website, as shared by CBN.com. "They recognize a historical succession of Imams, connected by family ties, commencing with Muhammad and concluding with the 12th Imam."
"President Ahmadinejad seems to think that the time is ripe for the 12th Imam's reappearance and that, as president, he should play a role in opening the way for his return," the publication added.