with Iran, sanctions have helped the Iranian hawks point out to the people that Iran isunder siege from the US and must seek to protect itself through nuclear nationalism.Robert Baer, a former CIA officer and author of the 2009 book "The Devil We Know",about Iran's imperial ambitions, says, "Effective sanctioning of Iran is a dream. Iran’sregime is still standing after thirty years of sanctions—still able to buy anything it wantsfrom China and Russia. Some of America’s closest allies, such as Turkey and Japan,trade with Iran as if there were no sanctions at all."
From American hawks such as John Bolton to official statements from Iran'sgoverning councils, everyone is in agreement that Iran wants to ensure its capacity to build nuclear weapons, whether it actually builds one or not. At the end of PresidentBush's tenure, he changed his stance on Iran somewhat so that the US would supportEurope's attempts to negotiate with Iran, but this has led to nowhere, probably becausethe terms up for debate are different for the Europeans (international security) and forthe Iranians (regional security and security against Americans), and because the USneeds to be involved in negotiations as the dominant security hegemon. This establishesthe main players in this process as Iran and the US -- no one else has enough influenceor power to affect either nation in its ambitions with the other.On the Europeans' attempts at negotiations with Iran:
"The European talks went nowhere, and six months after the U.S.concessions, the Iranians accelerated their nuclear program by starting to enrichuranium. On the last day of May 2006, under pressure from European allies toopen talks with Tehran, the U.S. offered to join the Europeans at the negotiatingtable — but only if Iran first agreed to suspend its program of uraniumenrichment. And, hoping to press the Iranians to comply, Washington spent thenext two years trying in vain to forge a consensus in the U.N. Security Council formeaningful sanctions. Last week, Rice announced that she had agreed to sendBurns despite Iran's firm refusal to stop enriching uranium."
"The Devil We Know: Dealing with the New Iranian Superpower", Crown, 2008. Kindleversion, highlight location 4032-34.
Calabresi, Massimo. "U.S. and Iran: A One-Sided Negotiation", Time Magazine, 21 Jul 08.