Iran and the United States were on good terms before George W. Bush included Iran in the “axis of evil” in his State of the Union, claimed NBC News chief foreign-affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell.
While discussing the lack of impact the annual speeches tend to have, the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza cited Bush’s 2002 address, in which he described an “axis of evil,” as an exception to that rule. Mitchell misunderstood him, and challenged him on the point. “That speech arguably turned this country in a direction on foreign policy,” she said, chastising Colin Powell for not taking the phrase out of the speech.
“Up until that moment, Iran was cooperating with the United States on the border of Afghanistan, it was post-9/11, Iran was more or less an American ally,” she continued. “By being included in the ‘axis of evil,’ it turned the Iranian government in a completely different direction — it was a turning point in American politics and foreign policy.”
Cillizza went on to agree with Mitchell and clarify that he did think Bush’s speech was influential.