I feel that way because of facts. They are tricky things! And also because I know a lot of Iranians.
Here is what Khatami suggested in order for our civilizations to better understand each other:
"Following earlier works by renowned philosopher Dariush Shayegan, President Khatami introduced the theory of Dialogue Among Civilizations as a response to Huntington's theory of Clash of Civilizations. After introducing the concept of his theory in several international societies (most importantly the U.N.) the theory gained a lot of international support. Consequently the United Nations proclaimed the year 2001 as the United Nations' Year of Dialogue Among Civilizations, as per Khatami's suggestion  . Pleading for the moralization of politics, Khatami argued that “The political translation of dialogue among civilizations would consist in arguing that culture, morality and art must prevail on politics.” Khatami has become an international personality, and he has gained much fame among intellectuals all over the world.
Khatami’s dialogue of civilisations, challenging Samuel Huntington’s The Clash of Civilisations and the Remaking of World Order (Huntington, 199
, is not just a domestic plea but a worldwide invitation. In 1998, Khatami addressed an international audience at the United Nations General Assembly in New York to delineate his main arguments (Khatami, 2001c, pp. 11–22) and the UN declared the year 2001 as the Year of Dialogue Among Civilisations. His proposal for such a dialogue is an inclusive concept that reaches beyond Iranian/non-Iranian, Muslim/non-Muslim dichotomies. It is an appeal to all humanity in the midst of growing violence and conflict worldwide, ultimately aiming at the betterment of human life. The dialogue of civilisations has several goals: laying the ground for peaceful, constructive debate among nations; providing a context in which civilisations can learn from each other’s strengths and weaknesses; replacing fear, blame, and prejudice with reason, fairness, and tolerance; and facilitating a dynamic exchange of experiences among culture, religions, and civilisations aimed at reform and amelioration. Khatami believes that such dialogue would strike a balance between the two extremes of self-denial, unquestioning imitation, and surrender and hatred, irrational rejection, and execration."
Go to his wikipedia page for the links to the sources.
This is what their folks were talking about when we declared them members of the axis of evil. THIS was their leader.