Iran was “more or less an American ally” before former President George W. Bush included the Islamic regime in the “Axis of Evil” along with North Korea and Iraq, MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell claimed on Tuesday.
Bush’s remarks came in a post-9/11 State of the Union speech, which Mitchell argues marked a turning point in U.S. foreign policy.
Washington Post reporter Chris Cillizza agreed that Bush’s speech “turned this country in a direction on foreign policy.”
“Those words, Axis of Evil, I was standing there in Congress and called the control room, I said ‘This is a big deal,’” Mitchell added.
Mitchell went on to criticize former Secretary of State Colin Powell for not focusing enough on the “Axis of Evil” phrase and suggested the words should have been taken out of the State of the Union.
“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,” the MSNBC host said. “But being included in the Axis of Evil, it turned the Iranian government in a completely different direction. And it was a turning point in American politics and foreign policy.”
Critics of the aggressive Iranian regime argue the nation was certainly not an “ally” of the United States prior to the comment. In fact, Mediaite's Noah Rothman has compiled a list of Americans killed by Iran before 2002.