Well, first, Iran announced last week that it would "formally respond next month to a Western package of incentives aimed at persuading it to suspend its uranium enrichment program." Ali Larijani, the head of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, said that "August 22 has been set for declaring (our) views."
August 22? Why that date? Hmmm.
Larijani added that Iran would not be intimidated with any sanctions:
In case the path of confrontation is chosen instead of the path of dialogue ... and Iran's definite rights are threatened, then there will be no option for Iran but to reconsider its nuclear policies." [Emphasis added.]
So August 22 is the magical date when the world will know Iran's response.
Why August 22?
Perhaps a randomly chosen date? Or not.
Perhaps a date with Islamist significance? Let's hope not.
August 22 is Rajab 28 in the Islamic calendar. This is a special date. Rajab 28 is the date the mighty and glorified Saladin entered and conquered Jerusalem (in A.D. 1187), putting the city under Islamic rule, a hallowed event in Islamic history.
Adding to that, as Joshua Pundit points out, August 22 (Rajab 28) is also the date
the Imam Husayn (who started Shia Islam and who is revered as the precurser of the Hidden 12th Imam) started his journey to Karbala from Medina. And on the eve 27th of Rajab (August 21st) Mohammed allegedly ascended to heaven in the famous `night journey' from Jerusalem, which Muslims commemorate as the Lailatul Mi'raj.
The Persian Journal explains,
According to Shi'ite Muslim teaching, Abul-Qassem Mohammad, the 12th leader whom Shi'ites consider descended from the ProphetMohammed, disappeared in 941 but will return at the end of time to lead an era of Islamic justice.
"Our revolution's main mission is to pave the way for the reappearance of the 12th Imam, the Mahdi," Ahmadinejad said in the speech to Friday Prayers leaders from across the country." Therefore, Iran should become a powerful, developed and model Islamic society."
Ahmadinejad refers to the return of the 12th Imam, also known as the Mahdi, in almost all his major speeches since he took office in August.
Oh, and one other thing that happens during the reign of Imam Mahdi, the 12th Imam: "Muslims will kill all Jews."
Sounds quite consonant with Ahmadinejad's statements that "Israel must be wiped off the map" and his subsequent request:
We ask the West to remove what they created sixty years ago and if they do not listen to our recommendations, then the Palestinian nation and other nations will eventually do this for them. Do the removal of Israel before it is too late and save yourself from the fury of regional nations."
Could this be one reason why Iran may have stoked the fire of this phase of the war in Lebanon and Israel?
Then this article by Robert Spencer, "Iran's Day of Terror?" Herein he cites the above comments as he gives background and further details to the story of Mohammed's ascension from Jerusalem as the night sky was lit up.August 21, 2006 (Rajab 27, 1427) is known in the Islamic calendar as the Night of the Sira’a and Miira'aj, the night Prophet Mohammed (saas) ascended to heaven from the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on a Bourak (Half animal, half man), while a great light lit-up the night sky, and visited Heaven and Hell also Beit al-Saada and Beit al-Shaqaa (House of Happiness and House of Misery) and then descended back to Mecca. The night of August 21 is a very, very important night in Shia'a Islam. What Iran's Ahmadinajead is promising the world by August 22 is the light in the sky over the Aqsa Mosque that took place the night before. That is his answer to the package of incentives the international community offered Iran on June 6.
The world and especially the US State Department should take this date seriously. Nothing happens without a reason in Iran and the events in Lebanon were intentionally started by Hezbollah, with Iran's tacit knowledge and approval leading to the Rajab 27 night when it delivers its answer, in the form of "light in the sky", over the Aqsa Mosque.
I am not advocating real "End of the World-ism." I am not suggesting that I know the time or the hour when the Lord will come. I do not know that and never speculate when it really might come. What I am doing is pointing out that some religious folks out in Iran believe such things. They don't have to be right. In fact, I think they are wrong. However, right or wrong, they believe it and might act in a corresponding way: that is, ensuring that the conditions are ripe to help usher in the coming of the 12th Imam and thus institute Islamic rule.
Ahmadinejad may be wrong about the coming of the 12th imam, but even if he is that would not change the possible fact of his acting as if he were right. That is what worries me about what he might do or the clerics behind him might convince him to do.