Peace talks continue in Vienna this week as around 20 countries try to orchestrate the end of Syria's civil war.
The talks are the broadest since the start of the Syrian conflict in 2011, but meaningful progress appears unlikely as positions on both sides show no signs of budging.
Otago University international relations expert Robert Patman says the countries have to agree on two major points: "Our recognition of who are the legitimate opposition forces to [Syrian President Bashar al-Assad] and what to do with Assad," he told the Paul Henry programme.
"The Russians and the Iranians want to keep Assad in place. The Americans and much of the Western world… want Assad to go."
Watch the video for the full interview with Robert Patman.