The Call for a 'Greater Iran' Is Old News

Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1788: “An enemy generally says and believes what he wishes.” In trying to decipher the agenda of our adversaries, we need to assume that they believe what they are saying. Much like Hitler stated his goals in Mein Kampf, the Iranian regime is today stating its goals. And as with Hitler, they are being ignored as the words of an otherwise rational leader of a nation-state playing to a domestic audience.

The leader of the Iranian Hezbollah, Ayatollah Mohammad Baqer Kharrazi, has received attention for clearly stating the Iranian regime's objectives -- objectives that were obvious but not so plainly stated before. He said that Iran must put together an “Islamic United States” under its helm that stretches from Palestine to Afghanistan as a prerequisite for the arrival of the Mahdi.

The Mahdi, also called the Hidden Imam, is the messianic figure that Shiites believe will come at the time of a final grand confrontation between the Islamic world and the infidels. If this prophetic event were to happen at a time of God’s choosing, this concept would be less frightening. Instead, Ayatollah Kharrazi and the current Iranian regime believe that it is their calling to create the conditions for his arrival. And those conditions, as Kharrazi states, are the destruction of Israel and Iran’s Sunni rivals (specifically mentioned by him are the Iraqi Baath Party and the Saudi Wahhabists) in order to create a Shiite crescent from the Middle East to central Asia.

The Iranian regime is working towards this goal as part of a religious conviction and not just as a matter of nationalism and self-interest. It will be impossible to convince them to not pursue this goal, as that would be tantamount to converting from the religious-political ideology to which they’ve devoted their lives. The success that they are seeing in these endeavors only reinforces their convictions that the path they are pursuing has been blessed by Allah. And, as they are being guided by Allah, they need not concern themselves with the appearance of enemy military superiority, for once Iran’s bloc is created the Mahdi will come.