President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vowed once again to "cut the hands" of Iran's enemies if the Islamic republic came under attack, AFP reported Tuesday.
"We will welcome a hand extended in friendship, but if anywhere in the world a hand is extended in aggression against Iranians, the nation will cut it from the arm," he told a rally in Birjand, the capital of the northeastern province of South Khorasan.
In the speech, broadcast live on state television and circulated in several media outlets, Ahmadinejad reiterated his accusations that the United States was hindering the return of the redeemer of Islam, the Mahdi, local media reported.
“If the Mahdi does not come, this will mean that the battle of Karbala could be repeated. The Mahdi will face what the prophets faced and his life will be in danger,” he told the rally.
While pointing out that the 1979 Islamic Revolution, which ousted the Shah and installed the current religious regime, is a prelude to the appearance of the Mahdi, Ahmadinejad argued that the arrogance of the United States is one the main obstacles to the Mahdi’s coming.
“The United States is an arrogant country that plunders the wealth of nations by invading them. It is also a criminal state because it supports Israel.”
Ahmadinejad accused the United States of planning and carrying out the September 11 attacks in order to gain the sympathy of the world.
“These attacks fed its propaganda and became an excuse for attacking Afghanistan under the pretext of fighting terrorism.”
This is not the first time Ahmadinejad refers to the Mahdi, which has earned him much criticism from Iran’s senior clerics and politicians.
In an earlier speech he gave in Esfahan in December, Ahmadinejad claimed he had documented evidence that the United States invaded Iraq in order to prevent the coming of the Mahdi and stressed that the Iranian people would prepare the ground for his coming forming the Mahdi Army.
In a meeting he held with cleric Ayatollah Jawadi Amuli, Ahmadinejad claimed a halo of light surrounded him while he gave a speech at the United Nations General Assembly, attributing this to the Mahdi’s support.
In Shiite faith, the Mahdi, an Arabic term for guided, is believed to be the redeemer of Islam who will come to earth before the Day of Judgment and, together with Jesus, rid the world of all tyranny and injustice.