US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has acknowledged that Iran was "helpful" to the United States in Afghanistan in the aftermath of 9/11 and after the Taliban were thrown out of Kabul.
"They (Iran) were helpful early on in our efforts in Afghanistan," Clinton said in an interview to BBC on Friday, a day after she proposed the idea of inviting Tehran at a regional conference on Afghanistan.
In the diplomatic world, this is seen as another attempt to engage Iranian leadership by the Obama Administration.
"There were almost daily contacts, a little known fact, between our Ambassador to Afghanistan and Iran's ambassador to Afghanistan. They literally met practically every day to talk through what they could do together," Clinton said, according to the transcripts made available by the State Department.
Clinton said the Taliban was viewed as one of Iran's adversaries. "We sometimes lose track of the complex relationships that exist," she said.
Asked about her proposal to invite Iran for the conference, Clinton said, "We will invite them. Whether they come is up to them."
The idea of a regional conference on Afghanistan, which was floated by her at the NATO conference, Clinton said, was well-received.