Voices for war against Iran constantly assert attacking the current government of Iran would lead to a popular uprising against the government. Most Republican candidates, and Senator John McCain, argue that President Obama should have openly supported student rioters a few years ago. Such beliefs fail to understand the nature of Iranian society. Any sign of interference or attack on their land by the United States would result in massive support for the Ahmadinejad government. Few Americans know the role played by the CIA in 1953 in overthrowing a democratic secular leader named Mossadegh and replacing him with a Shah who was hated.
In a new book, Ali Rahema argues that Shiites(Iran is a Shiite Muslim nation) believe in the return of the Mahdi and regard their Imams as sinless and prophets of the law. Rahema claims Imams have drawn upon superstition and respect for imams to create a popular belief the Mahdi will return due to the holiness of their imams and the Iranian people. President Ahmadinejad has claimed to be the instrument of the Hidden Imam and carries out his will and only through supporting the current religious leadership in Iran will ancient prophecy came true.
Of course, these attitudes are similar to those of men like Rick Santorum who cast politics as a struggle between religious forces of good versus the evil forces led by Barack Obama. Then again, how different are these ideas from those of Jewish religious leaders claiming God gave land for the Jewish people and if some Muslims are on the land, they must go.