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Writing in the Asia Times, M K Bhadrakumar explains the ways in which Iran is slowly but surely being brought back into the international community and rightly assuming its place as a leading power:

Anyone familiar with the complex ways in which Persians express their heart’s desire will agree Ahmadinejad’s response within hours of Obama’s interview with al-Arabiya on Monday showed Tehran seems quietly pleased with the drift of things. Recent signals, it seems, have been reaching Tehran after all.

Tehran knows a main reason is that it has a crucial role to play in salvaging the crisis in Afghanistan. On Wednesday, the European Union’s External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner flagged the importance of inviting Iran to the EU’s forthcoming “regional conference” on Afghanistan. The ruling Christian Democratic Union of Germany has proposed in the Bundestag the setting up of a “Contact Group” on Afghanistan that would comprise the UN Security Council’s permanent members, as well as the EU, Pakistan and Iran…

…Despite all the propaganda, the US would know it has no better ally than Iran in combating al-Qaeda and the Taliban. However, this could work in different ways. It could pose problems if the US embarked on a genuine dialogue with the Taliban without having a degree of Iranian acquiescence. Iran can easily undermine any inter-Afghan talks.

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