The United States government is more interested in engineering the downfall of Iran's Islamic government than in solving the situation in Syria, according to Cambridge academic Dr Roxane Farmanfarmaian.

Speaking at the Al Jazeera Media Centre, Dr Farmanfarmaian said :

If western states were genuinely committed to finding a solution to Syrian peace, as Kofi Annan is, they would welcome engagement by all significant players in the region.
That Iran is condemned and shut out suggests that  anti-Iranian policy [...] trumps any serious peace plan, no matter how much blood is spilt.

Dr Farmanfarmaian said Washington's animosity towards Tehran is so great that even if it were conclusively proved that Iran has no nuclear weapons programme, America would find another reason to demonise and marginalise the country.

She said the US policy has its roots in the humiliation it felt during the hostage crisis of 1979/80.

That crisis publicly shamed the US in a way that it had never been shamed before, and stole the feeling that the US had about itself, that it was a country beloved for its democratic values.This was the first time the US was exposed to accusations of imperialism and support for dictatorships.

Dr Farmafarmaian is in Doha as a visiting fellow at the Al Jazeera Centre for Studies.  She is an expert on Iran and middle eastern politics, an Affiliated Lecturer at the Political and International Relations Department at the University of Cambridge, and Wayne Owen Middle East Scholar at the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah.

Her entire talk is available here as an audio file.