Iran talks have a less than fifty fifty chance of success according to Joe Biden. Which raises an interesting question: what does the Obama administration plan to do about the Iranian nuclear program if talks, as appears likely, fail?One answer appears to be already in place: twice since concluding a preliminary agreement, the U.S. has failed to get a final agreement with Iran, and both times it has kicked the can down the road, accepting a temporary extension of the negotiating process, combining some sanctions relief with some Iranian concessions.The most likely outlook for the rest of the administration would be more of the same: no final agreement, but no final breach. It works for the White House because as long as there is no Iranian nuclear test, it will have met its key goals: no Iranian bomb, and no war with Iran. Such an outcome could also be a success for the Iranians: they will get some sanctions relief while not making difficult concessions on the scope of their nuclear activities.To embattled U.S. officials struggling to cope with the rise of ISIS, the resurgence of Al Qaeda, anarchy in Libya, civil war in Syria and a miscellany of other Middle East horrors, a no-deal deal with Iran looks very attractive. Certainly the last thing the U.S. now needs in this region is another major war.For the Iranian side, other calculations are at work. On the one hand, the collapse of oil prices has gravely weakened the country’s economic position. Weak oil prices would be a disaster for Iran without sanctions; with sanctions in place—and with a global oil glut reducing the need for other countries to get access to Iran’s oil by working around the sanctions—Iran’s government will have to make tough choices. Westerners hope that this will strengthen the hand of moderates trying to get sanctions relief by making nuclear concessions. That doesn’t seem to be happening.Instead, Iran appears to be doubling down on a program of resistance. The latest evidence: a massive boost to the military budget. President Rouhani has announced a new budget that boosts military spending by an eye-popping 33.5 percent. (Iran’s high inflation rate will reduce the impact of the new budget figures, but the real increase in defense spending is substantial.)While it is always hard to figure out what is happening behind the scenes in Tehran, it would appear that this budget demonstrates the continuing failure of Rouhani and his moderate allies to control the politics of Iran. The biggest beneficiary of the new spending is the Revolutionary Guard, a hard line organization close to the Supreme Leader and the source of much of the opposition within Iran to Rouhani’s goals of more moderate foreign and domestic policies.The huge military increase also likely reflects Iran’s determination to hold up its end in the conventional power struggle now unfolding across the Middle East. In Iraq and Syria, Iran is organizing resistance to ISIS and bolstering pro-Tehran governments. It looks as if the real powers in Iran believe for now that their interests are best served by a combination of talking in Geneva and fighting in the region, and that, with their regional opponents divided and the U.S. hesitant, they have a chance for real successes on the ground in Syria and Iraq.Iran may be much less worried about the failure of the nuclear talks than is the White House. Iran knows that the last thing President Obama wants to do is to get into a war with Tehran, and so it feels confident that it can stave off the prospect of an American attack even if the nuclear talks break down. But because the White House badly wants the talks to go on, the Iranians can spin out the negotiating process pretty much at will.