Irans long term political ambitions cannot be achieved without nuclear weapons. They want to be the regional superpower and even though they are spending huge sums on their conventional military that will make them a local power but not a superpower. They also want to be a global power which is why they are increasing the range of their missiles way beyond the Middle East and even working on ICBMS. They have the oil & want nukes put all those things together it makes you a major player in the world and it allows you to dictate terms to your weaker neighbors. Iran will never have the muscle it needs to achieve those ambitions without the nukes they will remain just a local bully.
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from the article: Ahmadinejad: Nuclear sanctions will not stop Iran