In the past few weeks, many European and American officials have acknowledged that the path to a free Middle East passes through Tehran. In another words, the only way to see peace and freedom prevail in the Middle East and especially in Iraq, is to see a democratic government taking power in Iran.
Although the Iranian people have been saying this for the past 3 years while being pretty much ignored by the Westerners but coming to this conclusion is by itself a sign of reaching a new and deeper understanding of the region by Western leaders.
Before the war in Iraq, Americans believed that they could some how get along with the Iranians as the biggest neighbor to that country. To be sure, the US, through diplomatic channels, officially asked the Iranians not to meddle in the war and for the duration of the operations and they did actually succeed to keep them out. Later on, it turned out that the Americans had actually met with the Iranians a few times in Europe to discuss the matter.
In return for not meddling during the war, Iran asked the allies to bomb and annihilate their longtime enemy, the Peoples Mujahedin Orgnization of Iran (PMOI) that was based in Iraq. PMOI is recognized as the biggest and the most organized dissident Iranian movement that exists outside the country and has vowed to overthrow the mullahs in Tehran. Just before the war the PMOI declared non-partisan to the war nevertheless their basis were bombed and many of their members were killed.
Soon after though, the PMOI and the American Command in Iraq reached a peace accord putting the PMOI at the protection of the US forces in accordance with the Geneva conventions.