As former Iranian president Khatami was urging Iranians to say, "Death to Terrorists!" in the post-9/11 scene, President Bush was aiming, with the force of neoconservatives and their Democrat apologists, to recreate the Islamic world in America's Image.
This layout of events is pointed out by PBS Frontline's special, which can be viewed here. For the short and sweet version, see Crooks and Liars.
All of this as Bush currently warns against World War III, and nutjobs are beating the war drums.
Back in 2001...
U.S. operations in Afghanistan were aided by Iran, but U.S. 'intelligence' thought hardliners in Iran were hiding Al Queda operatives.
So instead of discussing, negotiating in confidence, the assertion that Iran was working with Al Queda, Bush brazenly insulted all Iranians with his "Axis of Evil." With cowboy gusto and the applause of supporters, Bush hurt any progress made.
Granted, there are Iranian hardliners who consider any action against the U.S. justified, but lumping them in with the fragile reformist element only made the hardliners more justified amongst the Iranian population.
The gun-slinging cowboy has much in common with the Islamic tribalist that shoots in the air.