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As the global financial crisis deepens, everyone is looking for a savior. So far, to no avail. In the United States, there were hopes the $700 billion bailout plan promoted by the Federal Reserve and the Treasury would stop the rot. It hasn't.

The European Union continues to bicker about who should be rescuing whom. Desperate Iceland -- facing a meltdown -- is looking to Russia.

But Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad is looking to higher powers. He's telling his people it'll be the missing imam that saves the world. Imam Mahdi, the 12th Imam of Shi'ite Islam, disappeared more than 1,000 years ago. And devout Shi'a believe he will return one day to usher in a new era of peace and harmony.

According to AFP, in a televised speech in the city of Bojnurd this week, Ahmadinejad said the reason global markets were collapsing was because people had abandoned their religious faith. But not to worry, Ahmadinejad told his audience, a global government of justice is just around the corner -- with Imam Mahdi ready to lead it.

-- Jeremy Bransten

About This Blog

Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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