Islamic State, or ISIS, like Iran, is driven by a visceral conviction that end times are imminent. According to Islamic prophecies, those times include the return of Jesus who will "break the cross" and herald the Muslim Mahdi as the world's true messiah.
Iran's former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was well known for his articulate promotion of Tehran's vision for a global caliphate under the leadership of a prophesied messiah figure called the Mahdi. Three years ago it appeared that Ahmadinejad was gone from power for life. Today, however, he is a strong candidate to recapture the role of President.