Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, 55, has arrived in New York City to speak at the opening session of the U.N. General Assembly saying he does not take seriously the possibility of an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Currently serving his second term as president, Ahmadinejad — a believer that the Twelfth Imam is coming soon to annihilate the U.S. and Israel and to set up a global Islamic caliphate — is expected to leave office in 2013. This may be, therefore, the Iranian leader’s last address to the U.N. in his current role. He has spoken about the imminent arrival of the Twelfth Imam or “Promised One” in every U.N. speech so far. Will he go further this time? He is certainly projecting self-confidence in the face of a possible war with Israel. “Fundamentally we do not take seriously the threats of the Zionists,” Ahmadinejad told reporters in New York this morning. “We have all the defensive means at our disposal and we are ready to defend ourselves.”
One of Iran’s top military leaders went further over the weekend, however. He spoke not of his nation’s ability to defend itself from an Israeli attack, but of its potential desire to strike first — at Israel and at American military personnel and facilities. “Iran could launch a pre-emptive strike on Israel if it was sure the Jewish state were preparing to attack it, a senior commander of its elite Revolutionary Guards was quoted as saying on Sunday,” Reuters reports. “Amir Ali Hajizadeh, a brigadier general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, made the comments to Iran’s state-run Arabic language Al-Alam television, according to a report on the network’s website. ”Iran will not start any war but it could launch a pre-emptive attack if it was sure that the enemies are putting the final touches to attack it,’ Al-Alam said, paraphrasing the military commander. Hajizadeh said any attack on Iranian soil could trigger ‘World War Three.’ ‘We cannot imagine the Zionist regime starting a war without America’s support. Therefore, in case of a war, we will get into a war with both of them and we will certainly get into a conflict with American bases,’ he said. ‘In that case, unpredictable and unmanageable things would happen and it could turn into a World War Three.'”
President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu also address the U.N. this week, as does new Muslim Brotherhood leader turned Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi. It’s going to be an interesting week in the Big Apple. Let’s be praying.
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