The Great Satan (Persian شيطان بزرگ Shaytan-e Bozorg, Arabic الشيطان الأكبر Al-Shaytan Al-Akbar) is a common epithet for the United States of America in Iranian foreign policy statements, popularized by Imam Khomeini. Death to America is another closely linked propaganda phrase.
- As you know, the biggest problem of the Islamic world today is global Zionism and the Great Satan America. They are our enemies, especially the enemies of the Islamic Republic of Iran. They do not understand [the language of] reason, they do not follow international law, nor do they follow moral and humane laws. They have no religion and they do not accept God. They are a bunch of profane people, but seemingly, some are called Christians and some are called Jews.
- Imam [Khomeini] taught us to reject injustice, and to never accept the barbaric America, which is trying to take over the world. Many people have come up with terms to describe America. But let me be frank with you, I haven't found any term more beautiful, lofty, and noble than the term "the Great Satan" to describe America.
- As a nation-state, Iran has no problems with anybody. As a vehicle for the Khomeinist ideology it has problems with everybody, starting with the Iranian people. The Khomeinist regime makes no secret of its intense hatred for Iranian culture, which it claims has roots in “the age of ignorance” (jahiliyyah). To admire this regime because of Iranian culture is like admiring Hitler for Goethe and Beethoven and praising Stalin for Pushkin and Tchaikovsky. This regime has executed tens of thousands of Iranians, driven almost 6 million into exile, and deprived the nation of its basic freedoms. It has also killed more Americans, often through surrogates, than al Qaeda did on 9/11. Not a single day has passed without this regime holding some American hostages. Iran as a nation is a solid friend of America. Iran as a vehicle for the Khomeinist revolution is an eternal enemy of “The Great Satan.” The only realistic strategy for the United States would be to help it stop being the Islamic Republic and become Iran again. President Obama’s policy, however, points in the opposite direction. He has made it harder for the Iranian people to regain their human rights.