However, deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times published on 14 February that Iran was now looked at differently from the other two countries branded part of an ‘axis of evil,’ Iraq and North Korea. ‘The axis of evil was a valid comment [but] I would note that there’s one dramatic difference between Iran and the other two axes of evil and that would be its democracy,’ he said. ‘You approach a democracy differently.’ Despite the rhetoric from both sides, Iranian and US representatives have held various meetings on common concerns, such as the looming conflict in Iraq (MEED 11:2:03).