terror and tehran
homeaxis of evilinside iraninterviewsdiscussion
photo of a demonstrationjoin the discussion: Are you convinced by the U.S. case against Iran?  Does President Bush's language of evil serve U.S. interests?


Viewers and the general public should be properly informed by someone in our domestic media about the U.S.'s true relations/incentive system with Iran, and what's at stake. Iran represents the most important nation in the region and possibly in Asia in general. As tribalism spins out of control in the Holy Land, Iran can shrewdly defuse Arab and Palestinian anger - if only the Bush Administration and Clinton's before it would deftly reach out to its people. Our leaders must *try* and see Iran as having more dimensions than a Raiders-of-the-lost-Ark-charicatured depiction of "the bad guys".

Most importantly, Iran's current leaders would be forced to step down should a true U.S.-backed market economy commence in Iran. The Mullahs are not capable of running things under a competitive market system, where multinational conglomerates set up shop in Tehran and require more of the professional class and less of the mullocracy. This cannot, however, happen while the U.S. maintains blunt sanctions against Iran. Start listening to Dick Cheney and John Browne of British Petroleum and open up U.S. trade with Iran.

Eric Moon
Newport Beach, CA


As usual your program got down and right to the core. I found this program very fair. Even though it was very generalized, but had said most of it in the limited one hour of the program.

Thank you, Frontline.

Pantea G
Tustin, CA


A good review of the history since 1953, but I wish there had been more emphasis and elaboration on our overthrow and murder of Mossadegh just as Allende later and on our support for the brutality of the Shah. I wish you had shown Jimmy Carter praising the Shah as his best friend. We support dictatorships all over the world. We are doing it now in the Central Asian Republics. We never learn that eventually we pay a high price for such nefarious alliances. I did not want to say "evil", because the word has come into disrepute in some quarters.

Alvin Hofer


In my opinion the hardliners and special Lobbying group influencing US foreign policy does not serve the long term interests of United States. Putting Iran under an axis of evil name served the interests of these very same groups, and not the interests of America, albeit temporarily hopefully. It obviously only helped give strength to the hardliners in Iran's government also, and hindered the civil movement for progress temporarily.

United States needs to spend more time on getting to know Iran. And also evaluating the domestic laws which allows a certain minority and hardline lobbying group determine her foreign policy in the Middle East ie the unlimited freedom of certain lobbies looking for their own interests only, and not America's.

p.s. Your program on Iran was fair in general, and that is a breath of fresh air in the USA TV arena, for a change.

Kaveh T.


The situation is obviously complex but several points are worthy of comment and quiestion. First to label any country as the axis of evil is a crude thing to do when speaking to the world. Its effect on the muslim countries is to polarize and unite them against us. Either the intent was a shortsighted political motive aimed at stimulating support from the american public or it was stupid international politics. I would prefer to entertain the former because it would indicate not much but greater intelligence but I can't be sure. I felt that frontline did a splendid and unbiased report on the difficult problem.

Alan Robertson
Elmhurst, Il


One can not comprehend the campaign of disinformation being carried out by the media and supported by the government to alter facts and or or not present all the facts concerning the middle east. Frontline tonight talked about the US Embassy and Marine barracs bombings in Beirut in the early 80s. The program failed to mention why these bombings took place. This should not be viewd as justification of these events; rather should be viewd as an analysis of things and an attempt to look at the proper diagnosis of violence. While the exterior motives of the American role in Lebanon ,after the israeli invasion of Lebanon, had ties to peace keeping mission, the hidden motives were to crush the national Lebanese forces predamenantly muslims at the time that were fighting the pro-secterian and pro-christian government and their christian allies. These hidden motives became clear to the Lebanese and the World, when US battle ships started bombarding the druze mountains with massive size bombs after the druze forces managed to become very close to control a major area in the mountains. Why do we Americans practice democracy in our homeland? Yet we do not apply it elsewhere in the world. We support Israel, the only country in the middle east that occupies land from 3 other countries. We supported a pro-christian minority government in Lebanon, but when different Lebanese factions including Muslims called and fought for non-sectarian i.e., non-religious governmet, we the united states beat the hill out of them!

ayman Ibrahim
Minneapolis, mn


Labeling Iran as an "axis of evil" has strengthened the hands of the hardline groups in Iran and has weakened the reform movement in Iran. The recent "border security act", which was passed 93-0 in the US senate will further strengthen the argument that the religious right in Iran has been making. This will further isolate the Iranians and distance them from the United States. Considering that in the Middle East the only population that came in support of the US following the events of 9/11 were the Iranians, passing of this resolution was a huge insult to the Iranians.

By now it must be obvious that the reform movement in Iran can best be served by opening as many channels into the Iranian nation and elected officials as possible. An stable and democratic Iran can go a long way in establishing peace and stability in the Middle East.

Abdolvahab Saleh


I was disgusted by your program. I'd like to know who really is behind this biased and one-sided production.

Fariba Hemmati
Alexandria, VA


my god, even pbs has turned into a biased, deiceving network. its so funny how you guys never fail to decide on telling one side of the story. it saddens me the way you try to use media manipulation, and feed it to your ignorant audience....

rahill j
okemos, michigan


The "Axis of Evil" remarks played very well on the State of the Union telecast. My feeling is that it may not have served us well. We have to find ways to establish relationships with the Arab states. This would be more constructive than wars. How many people have to be killed in the name of God before we realize that our only hope is to attempt to negotiate a peaceful solution - even with people we are not entirely comfortable with.

Louis Fuchs
Boca Raton, Florida


I saw the Terror and Tehran report. Long needed piece of documentation. Since the hostages, over and over, the mullahs in Iran under the name of their Islam, not the real Islam, have threatened America and the world, killed inside and outside Iran ,prisoned and tortured reporters... and America shows no reaction?!! Others were punished for less crimes than these, even yesterday was too late to give it back to them. The rulers in Iran are the nucleus of terrorism in the world.

roya parsay


Yes, we agree with President Bush. What more does it take to convince anyone? Your liberal presentation, that we support, made it appear that you need more convincing.

tim jones
albion, ny


The "Axis of Evil" statement by the President was an error of monumental proportions. At the very time that there as an opening to Iran, the President, in order to pander to the conservative elements of his constituency, shuts the door. Iran and Saudi Arabia from a geopolitical perspective, are twin keystone elements in the region.

At best, this is an administration with a grudge and with a moralistic view and unnuanced view of the world. Given the President's background and lack of international experience, this is not suprising. The consequences of a lack of vision for the region and Americas role in the region, however, are quite frightening.

ed armas
white plains, ny


The question you failed to ask is whether one can combat evil by acquiescing in it, whether openly or SUB SILENTIO?
Can you envision Iran's mullahs saying to the reformers: "Even the Great Satan recognizes our primacy, how dare YOU question it?!" OR, if you prefer, could Churchill have assisted the anti-Nazi Germans in the 1930s by playing nicey-nicey with Hitler?

Paul N. Wenger
West Hartford, CT


Thousands of years ago, three tenets of Zarathustrian
religion were established and adhered in Persia:

Good Thoughts. Good Expressions. Good Deeds.

In 21st century, we witness these ancient tenets are
abandoned by all around the world:

* Khomeini says "America is a Great Satan"
* few Iranians chant "Death to America"
* Bush & Rice boast about "axis of evil"

They have these in common:

No Good Thoughts & No Good Expressions

The preview of the last act is "No Good Deeds!" We already have seen a barbaric act on Sept 11. All civilizations'
survival depend on these simple three tenets. And it all
starts with "Good Thoughts!"

Khatami already insisted on promoting an active dialogue among civilizations. This is a great start! What is NOT a great
start is "Axis of Evil". Its politic may play out
in favor of both Iran and US; but, then it may play out
badly too! Bad thoughts seem naturally end with bad deeds!

I give grade A+ for Khatami's "Dialogue Among Civilization"
I give grade C- for Bush's/Rice's "Axis of Evil"

Behrouz Vafa


home | introduction | iran and the axis of evil | inside iran | interviews
producer chat | readings & links | chronology | discussion | video
tapes & transcripts | press reaction | credits | privacy policy

FRONTLINE | wgbh | pbsi

khatami photo copyright © reuters newmedia/corbis
web site copyright 1995-2014 WGBH educational foundation