Setting up the possibility of its first face-to-face encounter with Iran, the Obama administration proposed a conference on Afghanistan at the end of this month that is likely to include Iran among the invited countries, American officials said on Thursday.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton proposed holding the conference, which would be convened by the United Nations, at a meeting of NATO foreign ministers here. “Any long-term solution will require the participation of all of Afghanistan’s neighbors,” she said, in her first speech to ministers from the other 26 North Atlantic Treaty Organization members.
“I would expect that Iran would be invited,” said the acting State Department spokesman, Robert A. Wood.
The conference is to be held on March 31; it was not immediately clear if Iran planned to attend.
Of course this makes complete sense, given the long history of close relations between the two nations, and the fact that the Iranians detest the Taliban more than we do (and nearly went to war with them in 1998.)