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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Waiting for Rapture in Iran

CSM:Among the true believers is Iran's hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who predicted with "no doubt" his June election victory, months in advance, at a time when polls gave him barely 1 percent support. The president also spoke of an aura that wreathed him throughout his controversial UN speech in September.

"O mighty Lord," Mr. Ahmadinejad intoned to his surprised audience, "I pray to you to hasten the emergence of your last repository, the promised one, that perfect and pure human being, the one that will fill this world with justice and peace."

Later, at a private meeting with a cleric that was caught on video, Ahmadinejad shared his views of the moment. "I felt that all of a sudden the atmosphere changed, and for 27 to 28 minutes the leaders did not blink," he said. "They were astonished.... it had opened their eyes and ears for the message of the Islamic Republic."

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