VFTB 239: Timothy Furnish – Iran and the Nuke

Iran-nuclearTHE AYATOLLAHS of Iran may not be as eager to use a nuclear weapon, if and when they get one, as we’ve been led to believe.

Dr. Timothy Furnish, expert on Islamic eschatology and author of Holiest Wars: Islamic Mahdis, Their Jihads, and Osama bin Laden, explains that the Shia sect of Islam does not believe they can hasten the return of the Twelfth Imam, unlike Sunni Islam, which — in addition to rejecting the concept of the Twelfth Imam — hopes to provoke a cataclysmic war with the forces of Christendom. Further, they do not believe that victorious global jihad will occur before the Twelfth Imam returns from occultation.

This doesn’t mean Iran is committed to peace in the Middle East, nor does it mean they don’t want to have a nuclear arsenal. But maybe we can address the situation more effectively if we analyze it realistically. Click here to open Dr. Furnish’s 2011 paper “A Western View on Iran’s WMD Goal: Nuclearizing the Eschaton, or Pre-Stocking the Mahdi’s Arsenal?”

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1 Comment

  1. I listened with interest to your excellent interview with Doctor Timothy Furnish concerning Iranian eschatology and Nuclear weapons. In my own email correspondence with Dr. Furnish, I brought up an issue as to a hadith (prophecy) concerning an army from Khurasan (eastern Iran and Afghanistan) attacking Israel prior to the arrival of the Mahdi. He responded by claiming that the Iranians believe that that prophecy was fulfilled in the eighth century and only the Sunnis believe it portends to the future. However, on further research, it is clear that the Shia also believe a form of this hadith is to be fulfilled in the future when the apocalyptic figure of the Sufyani (an evil figure) arrives just prior the Mahdi. In the Shia version, the army from khurasan does battle with the Sufyani. Furthermore, other Shia hadith proclaim that the Sufyani is to be in control of Palestine. My point is is that it is not as cut and dry and Dr. Furnish wants to make it concerning on whether Iran plans to attack Israel or not. When I brought up this hadith, the Doctor did not respond and he has ceased all correspondence.

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