While a response was required quickly, Tehran said that it would give its answer on August 22. Analysts originally explained the choice of dates as marking the month's end according to the Persian calendar.
However, the date has also led to speculation regarding its apocalyptic significance - this is the date on which Muslims commemorate Mohammed's ascention to heaven on a horse. The significance lies in the site where this supposedly took place: Jerusalem. The combination of the religious symbolism, the vitriolic statements of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad regarding the "surprises" his country is preparing, his messianic statements and beliefs in ridding Jerusalem of infidels, and the ongoing five-week-long military exercise have led some to attribute earth-shattering significance to this date.
DEBKAfile has had its run with this Aug 22nd Apocalyptic speculation too:
DEBKAfile’s intelligence sources report that information rated “highly credible” has reached US undercover agencies of a secret report presented to Iran’s supreme ruler Ali Khamenei by Abdollah Shabhazi, one of the heads of the Supreme National Security Council. He claims to expose a mega-terror plot against Jerusalem scheduled for August 22, which aims at killing large numbers of Jews, Arabs and Christians.
This atrocity will reportedly arm the United States and Israel with the pretext for hitting Iran’s nuclear installations, as well its capital, Tehran, and other big cities.
Shabhazi says the US and Israel need to launch a military campaign to restore the deterrent strength they lost in the Lebanon war.
The massive attack will reportedly focus on the Old City of Jerusalem and its eastern suburbs. The Iranian report claims that the plotters, who are not identified, are eager to recreate the divine white light whish spread over Jerusalem in the year 632. It does not rule out the use of a non-conventional weapon.
Any thoughts? In these days of no hand luggage flights...
Read more about Aug 22nd in this Haaretz article and in this Debka report