The full text of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s manifesto on world governance has been published in full for the first time by the country’s Center for Strategic Studies. It was prepared by the Center back in 2012 during the tenure of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The current head of the Center, a think-tank first established in 1997, is President Rouhani’s adviser Hesamodin Ashena, Hassan Rouhani's adviser. This recent release was one of 22 major studies and research projects commissioned under Ahmadinejad which outline the Islamic Republic’s plans and policies for world government.
The program is studded with keywords and catchphrases often used by the then-president, such as “Mahdism”, “Advent” and “Master of the Age”. Throughout his presidency Ahmadinejad made strange claims about his relationship with Imam Zaman: otherwise known as Mahdi, the 12th Shia Imam who was born in 879 and is sometimes called Master of the Ages by Twelver Shia Muslims. They believe him to be the last “Hidden Imam” who will one day reappear and bring justice to the world. In one of his speeches, Ahmadinejad claimed the West was seeking the arrest of Imam Zaman; in another in 2013, he stated that the 12th Imam would resurface in precisely four years’ time.
Now, the Islamic Republic’s manifesto for world governance has been laid out for all to see. And it speaks of laying the groundwork for the Mahdi government: the future rule of Imam Zaman, according to Twelver Shiite belief.
What Does the Manifesto Say Must Happen?
Part of the manifesto is an attempt to explain the "ideal" world community from the perspective of Twelver Shiites. This section re-iterates that the ideal society considered will be realized after the emergence of the last Hidden Imam, and after going through stages of "the beginning and end of the world", "emergence and uprising", "invitation and struggle", "victory of truth and destruction of evil", "domination of the world”, and eventually "formation of the state."
Criticizing Western culture and civilization and the relations that govern it, the manifesto claims that by implementing a "justice" project around the world, a better life can be created for all of Earth’s inhabitants.
It proposes the establishment of "fair" organizations and institutions for the realization of justice in the world. The presidents and boards of these institutions, it stipulates, should be elected once every three years through general votes by the member states. The leaders of of these organizations, it said, will be people of "science, trustworthiness, and management capability".
It also explicitly states: "Muslims, especially Shiites, have a divine-political mission in forming a religious government" and that "great wars" will take place after the arrival of Imam Zaman", including "the breaking of treaties and incitement of war by the West."
The most serious obstacle to the realization of the Islamic Republic’s end-goal, it says, is “the discourse of liberal democracy that governs the current international system”. It also claims that that "widespread ignorance of the harmful consequences of oppression and violence, and ignorance of the beneficial results of justice" are posing challenges, as well as "lack of faith in God and disbelief in the Hereafter and moral principles", "fanatical sectarianism" and "flawed structures in society and the world”.
To help bring about re-routing of global political orientation, it is proposed that "new actors in line with the goals of the Islamic Revolution be injected into the international system in order to move towards the desired system". The document also explicitly suggests that the Islamic Republic "conclude agreements between the economic activists of Hezbollah in Lebanon, etc, with economic groups inside Iran”.
According to this document, the process of forming the Mahdi utopia will include a period in which jurists are in charge. On behalf of Imam Zaman, they will interpret his rulings and communicate them to the people. After the advent, it says, "it will become possible for the Shiites to communicate directly with Imam Zaman”.
Features of the End Society Conspicuously Lacking in Iran Today
The main feature of this final Mahdavi utopia is, it says, creating a just world free from oppression and discrimination" that is purely Islamic in nature and which "will address the concerns of modern man, such as security, welfare, etc". Its other characteristics are being under the leadership of “righteous and pious people and prominent religious figures”, “God’s centrality in all matters”, the “rule of reason” and the “divinization of human desires”.
Another sub-heading of the manifesto includes a description of the world’s structure and inter-country relations after “the apocalypse”. "There are no different armies,” it says. “There is one ruler all over the world. The entire world is run like a family.”
The economy under Iman Zaman’s leadership, it says, will prioritize “the dignity of the people” as well as “the division of wealth equally”. These will be achieved through the completion of 12 tasks, including the implementation of “economic justice”, raising wages, collecting taxes, monitoring the markets, establishing a public education system and “solving the problems of unemployment and poverty”.
Notably and with some irony, it says the law in this final state “will be based on social rights and justice, and without any arrogance”. And the cultural transformation in the Mahdi government, it says, will be “so deep and comprehensive that all people learn science and wisdom." It goes on: “In the era of Mahdi's rule, a wonderful change in science and knowledge will take place and the doors of all knowledge will be opened to the people."
“Under the rule of the Master of the Age, the diseases, weaknesses, and disabilities of the people will be eliminated and the people will become wise, prudent, knowledgeable, healthy, and strong."
Equality and cooperation will be at the heart of the Mahdi government, according to this document. It states: “The people of the world will feel the same way about each other, as members of the same family, and therefore contribute to the improvement of collective life through cooperation and collaboration.”