But We Can Still Trust Ahmadinejad on Nuke Talks, Right?

On December 7, Fox News was the only major English-language news organization to run a stunning story that revealed the futility of dealing with Iran's nuke-obsessed ruling cult.

In an interview with Dubai-based Al-Arabiya, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused the United States of blocking the return of the Mahdi. This isn't a dispute over immigration or diplomatic immunity, but a claim made by the follower of a radical Shia cult that the world's sole remaining superpower is stopping the supernatural return of Muhammad al-Mahdi, the "Hidden Imam" who disappeared more than 1,100 years ago into a cave to await the End of Days.

We could hope this was some sort of dark joke,  but it isn't:

Ahmadinejad reportedly claims he has documented evidence that the U.S. is blocking the return of Mahdi, the Imam believed by Muslims to be the savior.

“We have documented proof that they believe that a descendant of the prophet of Islam will raise in these parts and he will dry the roots of all injustice in the world,” Ahmadinejad said during a speech on Monday, according to Al-Arabiya.

"They have devised all these plans to prevent the coming of the Hidden Imam because they know that the Iranian nation is the one that will prepare the grounds for his coming and will be the supporters of his rule," Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying.

The press will no doubt downplay this latest declaration as they have previous invocations of the Mahdi by Ahmadinejad -- and if  media do discuss his seemingly bizarre beliefs, they immediately remind their audience that the real power in Iran is Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

But despite attempts by the world's media and politicians to avoid dealing with the dark religious overtones in his addresses, Ahmadinejad has repeatedly returned to the same message. That message, of an Iranian government pushing ever further towards the development of nuclear weapons that will fall under the control of an apocalyptic religious movement, is terrifying.

The study of Iranian Shiite eschatology is of interest to world governments that must deal with the region, and the United States is no different. The Pentagon was provided an unclassified January 2006 briefing entitled "Iranian President, Islamic Eschatology, and Near-Term Implications." A 42-page copy of the slide deck used for that presentation focused heavily on the threat of a faction within the Iranian government, led by Ahmadinejad and his spiritual mentor Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi. Yazdi is a powerful member of the Assembly of Experts, which has the authority to appoint or dismiss the supreme leader. Yazdi's disciples have sanctioned the use of nuclear weapons.