@Jason Lam I agree that the Iranians have a justified fear of the Americans especially since they invaded its neighbors Afghanistan and Iraq. At times Iran was certain it was next. But the US withdrawal from Iraq left Iran in control, the quagmire in Afghanistan is debilitating US foreign policy to this day. And yet only the US has the means to unseat the Iranian regime. So they continue to remain wary and certain in their faith in nuclear weapons: only those can guarantee immunity from foreign involvement.
But I wasn’t talking about the US here, I was talking about Europe and the negotiating that has been ongoing since 2003 between Europe and Iran. Maljoffre here can rant all he likes against Javier Solana, the latter also endorses the current round wholeheartedly thinking that with Rohani there is a real chance of success. Solana ought to know, he’s been talking to Rohani when the latter was chief nuclear negotiator and actually attended Rohani’s inauguration. But Solana also is always positive and hopeful even under the most dire circumstances, it’s what made him such an excellent negotiator.
The cards are certainly different on the table today especially with Iran feeling pain over the sanctions and with the Syrian quagmire starting to drag Iran down financially, strategically and morally. Still Iran has a very strong position in the region especially now that they effectively control much of Syria’s chemical weapons and have compromised Hezbollah to their agenda. There’s no easy return from their commitments to Syria, but they might want to bargain over those.
My guess is that Iran will have nuclear weapons in two years and no war will have started over it. Iran will try to build up legitimacy by leveraging its influence in Syria. Neither Israel nor the Saudis will attack, they can’t by themselves and the likelihood that they’ll cooperate is minimal. The only possible scenario here is that either provokes Iran and the US is forced to step in.