The Axis of Evil and the Great Satan

Deepak Tripathi
(Al-Jazeera Magazine, September 15, 2009)
(CounterPunch, September 8, 2009)

“America is the Great Satan, the wounded snake.”
– Ayatollah Khomeini, November 5, 1979

“States like [Iran, Iraq, North Korea] constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world.”
– President George W Bush, January 29, 2002

Spoken two decades apart, these words sum up the troubled history of the relationship between Iran and the United States. The German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, once said, “There are no facts, only interpretations.” His observation holds true about the manner in which Tehran and Washington remain preoccupied with each other. No significant event in Iran can go without repercussions for relations with the West. Almost 30 years after the overthrow of Iran’s autocratic ruler and America’s policeman in the oil-rich Gulf, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, the legacy continues to haunt both countries. More