The Tudeh Party (Communist Party) of Iran last week strongly condemned President George Bush’s designation of Iran, Iraq and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea as “the axis of evil” and his threats against the three countries in his Jan. 29 State of the Union address.

Bush’s statements “have given rise to great concern among all the people of the world,” the Tudeh Party said.

Noting that a number of countries in Europe, the Middle East, Russia and elsewhere around the world have expressed opposition to Bush’s remarks, the statement said, “The Tudeh Party of Iran and other progressive and patriotic forces of Iran and the Middle East condemn these irresponsible and inflammatory statements; we are deeply concerned about the dangers threatening the region’s political stability and the future of our countries.”

In addition, “Two decades ago, by calling the Soviet Union ‘the evil empire,’ then-President Ronald Reagan tried to create a united front to destroy the socialist countries. Today, President Bush, following in his footsteps, is trying to gain power to expand and stabilize the ‘New World Order,’ especially in the strategic region of the Middle East and Central Asia.”

The unprecedented crisis in the Middle East and U.S. military presence in the Persian Gulf region, and Israel’s intention to settle accounts with Iran and Iraq “leaves no room for optimism,” the Tudeh Party said.

“The recent position of the USA has also served as a pretext for the most reactionary forces in our country to increase their pressure against the alternative forces, accusing them of cooperation with imperialism and the United States,” the statement said.

“The ultraright-wing forces of the clerical regime are manipulating the events in their interest by spouting empty and misleading slogans.”

The statement also warned that “the bankrupt political forces of the former regime” [of the Shah] are also being encouraged by events in neighboring Afghanistan including the return to power of forces close to the exiled king.

In the last two months, the Bush administration has opened up an entirely new era in U.S. foreign policy, the heart of which is unconditional support for the Israeli government’s adventurous and dangerous policies, including the virtual reoccupation of the Palestinian territories, the Tudeh said.

“At this point, the predominant belief in the Middle East is that the U.S. will give full support to the Sharon government’s policies,” the statement said.

Israel is trying to show that Iran is solely responsible for the recent clashes and poses the greatest threat to Israel’s security. In recent weeks, informed sources in Israel have disclosed the Israeli government’s plans for military action against nuclear power stations and economic targets in Iran.

“The democratic movement of our country should not allow the Islamic regime to give the United States any pretext for military aggression against our country by taking adventurous policies in the region and intervening in the affairs of other countries,” the Tudeh Party said.

“We believe that with the mobilization of the people and intensifying the struggle for democratic reforms, we can block the reactionary forces and limit the adventurous policies of imperialism.”