Islamic authority [“Hujjat al-Islam”] Mehdi Taeb, is head of “Amar’s Headquarters,” an ultra-conservative research institute close to Iran’s Supreme Leader. Taeb declared on August 8, 2019, “Iran has reached the final stretch in its fight against the ‘Zionist enemy.’” He proclaimed, “The first step was to approach the borders of Israel, and the second step will be to reach Jerusalem (Quds).”
Taeb compared Iran’s situation today to the battle of Siffin in 657 CE (near today’s Raqqa in Syria) between Caliph Ali ibn Abi Talib, Mohammed’s cousin and son-in-law, and the Syrian Governor Mu’awiya bin Abu Safyan. Shia Muslims considered Ali ibn Abi Talib as the rightful successor of Muhammed.
Malik Al-Ashtar, one of the Shi’a heroes, was the leader of Ali’s military at Islam’s inception. In the battle of Siffin, Malik Al-Ashtar was only two tents away from Mu’awiya’s tent, and he could have killed Mu’awiya if not for a famous ruse that Mu’awiya employed. Heeding his advisers, Mu’awiya ordered his soldiers to impale pages of the Koran on their lances. This brought about the end of the battle and ultimately, the loss of Ali’s caliphate and the founding of Shi’a Islam.
It should be noted that the Shiite resistance movement in Bahrain is named after Al-Ashtar: “Saria Al-Ashtar.” This resistance movement is supported by Iran, and its name and symbol are in the spirit of “Hizbullah” Lebanon – the Iranian role model for Shi’ite liberation movements around the world.1
Taeb declared, “While we had nothing 40 years ago, today we are sitting on the borders of Israel.” He stressed that “Iran must not enter into any negotiations because our state has expressed readiness to hasten the moves that are imperative to bringing about the re-emergence of the hidden [editor’s note: messianic] Imam (Mahdi).”
Taeb is strongly hinting that Iran must continue (the final stretch) in its opposition to Israel – contrary to Ali’s decision almost 1,400 years ago to stop the campaign in Siffin. Iran should not be tempted into negotiations and thereby forego its goal of destroying Israel. Taeb’s statements illuminated the distinction between the Iraqi and Iranian Shi’a. Iran is taking concrete actions to hasten the appearance of the hidden Imam. This is different from the Iraqi belief.
The Iraqi Shiites are led by the “quietist” Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Husseini Al-Sistani (88). [Quietism is a religiously motivated withdrawal from political affairs.] Sistani, therefore, opposes taking any steps to hasten the arrival of the hidden Imam and holds that clerics should separate mosque and state and serve only as a religious authority and eschew politics. More outspoken Shia quietists even term Velayat-e faqih [the Iranian Islamic system of governance – rule of the clergy over the state] as a dictatorial regime. While Al-Sistani’s wording is more careful, nevertheless his quietist approach is quietly gaining ground inside Iran, making Khamenei (80), Iran’s Supreme Leader, and his religious and political-military supporters increasingly uneasy.
Taeb: Exit from the Nuclear Agreement
Regarding the nuclear agreement, Taeb stressed that “Iran will continue to take measures to get out of the nuclear agreement step by step, to show that the phased exit is being implemented to prove that Iran is true to its obligations while the other parties to the agreement have not acted properly.” In this context, Taeb revealed that Khamenei “did not receive the letter from Trump that the Japanese Prime Minister brought to Tehran,” adding, “after that, Iran used its force to down the U.S. drone and to stop the British ship, and they (America and Britain) could do nothing.” Taib, referring to recent events in Yemen and the position of the United Arab Emirates, said that countries that were allied with Saudi Arabia had abandoned it because it had not achieved their goal.2
Mehdi Taeb is the brother of Hossein Taeb, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards Intelligence Organization, which has more power and more authority than the Rouhani government’s intelligence office.
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