Apocalyptic messianic vision drives Ahmadinejad
Iran's new president has some very dangerous ideas that he appears to believe wholeheartedly. We should take him at his word. These apocalyptic visions make me think that an outright military attack on Iran will only provoke the cataclysm that he is seeking.
Telegraph | News | 'Divine mission' driving Iran's new leader
But listen carefully to the utterances of Mr Ahmadinejad - recently described by President George W Bush as an "odd man" - and there is another dimension, a religious messianism that, some suspect, is giving the Iranian leader a dangerous sense of divine mission.
In November, the country was startled by a video showing Mr Ahmadinejad telling a cleric that he had felt the hand of God entrancing world leaders as he delivered a speech to the UN General Assembly last September.
When an aircraft crashed in Teheran last month, killing 108 people, Mr Ahmadinejad promised an investigation. But he also thanked the dead, saying: "What is important is that they have shown the way to martyrdom which we must follow."