Iranian cleric: War with the West would be justified on the grounds of religion

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Muslims must engage in “widespread conflict” with the West for the Hidden Imam to appear, a member of Iran’s Assembly of Experts said on July 31, speaking on Iran’s Ofogh TV Channel.

“In order for the Hidden Imam to appear, we must engage in widespread conflict with the West,” said Mohammad Mehdi Mirbagheri. The Assembly of Experts is a governmental body comprising of Islamic jurists.

Twelver Shia Muslims believe that the Hidden Imam is the 12th and last of the Prophet Mohammed’s spiritual and political successors. According to Twelver Shia belief, he will appear one Friday to bring peace and justice on earth and put an end to tyranny.

“This conflict is not just a military conflict, but it is [also] a political, cultural, and economic one,” he added.

“If we had to go to a military war in defense of our beliefs, it would be completely moral,” said Mirbagheri.

On negotiations with the West, he said: “Negotiations are good, if Iran’s approach to them leads to the triumph of [Islamic] civilization, but if negotiations are carried out to cooperate with the society of the infidels, then they are bad.”

“During the past few years, we have been the victors in the negotiations,” claimed Mirbagheri.

Western civilization is “an anti-religion civilization,” he said.

The US is not “that powerful,” claimed Mirbagheri. “Our competitors have understood that America is not all that powerful. We want to announce to the world that they are not that powerful,” he said. “You can negotiate with them and not surrender. If they exit the negotiations, so will we. If we are not more powerful than America, then why did they create the 5+1 and bring in the Europeans?”