The Iranian government is seeking nuclear weapons in order to bring about an apocalypse, Professor Moshe Sharon, a professor of Islamic studies from the Hebrew University, told the annual conference at the Counter-Terrorism Institute in Herzliya Thursday.
Sharon said there was "no possibility of peace between Israel and the Palestinians whatsoever, for ever," since the Arab and Islamic world viewed the establishment of Israel as a "reversal of history," and would never accept Israel.
He described peace agreements with Arab Muslim states as "pieces of paper, parts of tactics, strategies," adding that they have "no meaning."
"The root of the problem between us and the Arab world is Islam. Islam is not only a religion. It is a culture, politics… a state, Islam is everything. It has been like this, and it will be like this for the foreseeable future," Sharon said.
"Islam is a messianic religion… from the very beginning, it talked about the end of the world," Sharon said. In Islam, "Allah is the king of the end of days," Sharon explained, before addressing the Shiite
Islam guiding Iran.
According to Sharon, the Iranian regime genuinely believes that the Shiite messiah, the twelfth Imam (also known as the Mahdi), "is here. And he will come. And first, he will establish the Shiite house of Ali. This is a time of messianic expectation."
"What moves today the Iranian government, prime minister, is first and foremost the wish to bring about the twelfth Imam." The power of the ayatollahs in Iran came from the grassroots and popular belief that they can "contact the Mahdi. Everybody believes," Sharon said.
"How will they bring him? By an apocalypse. He (the Mahdi) needs a war. He cannot come into this world without an Armageddon. He wants an Armageddon. The earlier we understand, the better. Ahmadinejad wants nuclear weapons for this," Sharon declared.
Israel was a side issue for Iran, the professor said, adding that Iran was using Israel as a means "to enter the Islamic world" and dominate it. "But they cannot bluff the Saudis, the Wahabbis… the Shiite are hated by the Sunnis. The Saudis are far more apprehensive of nuclear weapons in the hands of Iran than Israel," he said.
Speaking to Ynetnews about the possibility of a military conflict with Iran, Sharon said: "The only way to avoid military confrontation with Iran is to leave this military confrontation to powers bigger than Israel."
"I'm not so sure that the business with Iran will be finished without confrontation, but it's not an Israeli business," he added.