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Post 9/11, Iran has played a important role in countries that the Americans invaded militarily. By most accounts, also stated by Americans such as James Dobbins of the US state department and others, Iran's help was pivotal for the Americans in putting together the first Afghan government in place in December 2001 led by Hamid Karzai. The Americans also received Iran's help in defeating ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
The Iranians did this for their interests, like most other countries that are regional neighbors to Afghanistan and Iraq.
While the general impression across the world is - that Americans and Iranians are staunch enemies or language to such effect; the fact is that Americans have frequently used Iranian help in furthering their own interests in Afghanistan and Iraq.
See interview of Jack Straw, UK's former Foreign Secretary, which he gave to the BBC in January 2016. Here it is explicitly stated by Straw that where necessary the Americans have used Iran as a counterweight against those that the Americans found to be uncooperative - to say the very least.
From most accounts, this understanding was more active in the administrations of US Presidents, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. However US-Iran relations have come under stress during the administration of President Donald Trump, whose reasons are yet to be fully understood.
It is important to recognize that Iran is no different to any other country that is always looking to advance their own interests. But at the same time, Iran's role has proved to be destabilizing in the region where Iran has become an interventionist by sending its military personal in neighboring countries in an attempt to expand its excessive influence.
Later this page will explore in more detail, this tacit alliance between the Americans and the Iranians.