In his most recent statement, cabinet secretary Majid Doostali said, “Ahmadinejad’s era is the prelude to Imam Zaman’s return” [Imam Zaman is the 12th Shiite Imam who is viewed to be in occultation but who will return one day].
Kargozaran newspaper yesterday published new comments by Doostali in which he is quoted to have said, “The Cabinet Secretary pointed out that just as Imam Zaman’s occultation had a prelude and a main period, his return too has a prelude and a main period, and that Ahmadinejad’s administration was the prelude to the return.”
Majid Doostali is close to President Ahmadinejad and after Zaribafan, became the Cabinet Secretary last June. He was with Ahmadinejad during the Iran-Iraq war and prior to that was a judge in the serial murder cases in the province of Kerman who reduced the capital punishment sentences of the criminal murderers, who were Basij members, to mere prison terms. He was also the deputy district attorney of Kerman. Recently, Hassan Rowhani, Iran’s former chief nuclear negotiator, had said that such claims by the administration were attempts to “fool the masses”.
“What kind of a game is this in which we assume the public to be fools? We will reveal everything to the public if it becomes necessary. Some people nowadays place an empty prayer carpet in the front row when they perform congregational prayers and declare that the carpet is for Imam Zaman. Others put a plate for the Imam at their table when they eat. Still others schedule their important meetings on Fridays, the weekly national holiday in Iran, so that they can make their decision with the Imam amongst them, as they claim. Someone [a reference to the President himself] even claimed one time that the Imam would appear in two years. A few years have passed since that claim so it is clear that the person is nothing but a liar,” he said.
Rowhani raised these issues after Ahmadinejad - who after his return from the US - had called those who did not believe his claims that the gathering at Columbia University in New York where Ahmadinejad gave a talk was under the “control” of Imam Zaman, “shortsighted.”
“I know that short sighted people cannot digest these beliefs but I [at Columbia University] was certain that our lord would come and run the show. I said ‘Imam Zaman! I want to see your artistry,’” he had said. (Ahmadinejad’s speech at the Elm-o-Sanaat University, Raja News.)