Tehran, 20th October
Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says he "talks with Allah" frequently.
Ahmadinejad addressed members of the Islamic Association of Engineers Friday in Tehran during an Iftar dinner which breaks Ramadan fasting: "I often connect with Allah and he has assured me that the infidels will never be able to overpower the faithful."
The term 'connection' used by Ahmadinejad is the same term used in the Farsi language to describe Internet connections.
The president did not elaborate on his statement, though it is not the first time he makes similar claims.
In September 2005, Ahmadinejad said he was surrounded by "a bright light" during his address to the General Assembly in New York. "I felt it myself. I felt that the atmosphere suddenly changed, and for those 27 or 28 minutes, all the leaders of the world did not blink.
When I say they didn't move an eyelid, I'm not exaggerating. They were looking as if a hand was holding them there, and had just opened their eyes to the message of the Islamic Republic," he said at the time.
Up until today however, Ahmadinejad's supporters had only referred to his alleged 'contacts' with the Mahdi.
Shiite Muslims believe the Mahdi, the 12th Imam and a descendent of the Prophet Mohammed, vanished in the middle of the 9th century when he was nine but would return and bring Islam to its total fruition as the world's last standing religion.
No one in Iran, not even the founder of the Islamic Republic, Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Rouhollah Khomeini, had ever alleged they had direct contact with Allah. (Though he did portray he spoke directly on Allah's behalf and should thus be obeyed blndly).