According to a 2013 New Yorker profile of Iranian Gen. Qasem Suleimani by Dexter Filkins that cited former deputy chief of the American Embassy in Kabul, Ryan Crocker, saying that he was inches away from negotiating a peace with Iran before former President George W. Bush named Iran part of the “Axis of Evil.”
“The good will didn’t last. In January 2002, Crocker, who was by then the deputy chief of the American Embassy in Kabul, was awakened one night by aides, who told him that President George W. Bush, in his State of the Union Address, had named Iran as part of an ‘Axis of Evil,'” said the profile.
“Like many senior diplomats, Crocker was caught off guard. He saw the negotiator the next day at the U.N. compound in Kabul, and he was furious,” the report continued. “‘You completely damaged me,'” Crocker recalled him saying. “Suleimani is in a tearing rage. He feels compromised.” The negotiator told Crocker that, at great political risk, Suleimani had been contemplating a complete reevaluation of the United States, saying, “‘Maybe it’s time to rethink our relationship with the Americans.'”
“The Axis of Evil speech brought the meetings to an end. Reformers inside the government, who had advocated a rapprochement with the United States, were put on the defensive,” the New Yorker continued. “Recalling that time, Crocker shook his head. ‘We were just that close,’ he said. ‘One word in one speech changed history.'”
You can see a screen capture of the excerpt below and read the full profile at The New Yorker.
Amazing passage from this 2013 Dexter Filkins profile of Soleimani https://t.co/3Vpfu0CgFB
— Michael Andersen (@andersem) January 4, 2020