So the man says here, let’s get rid of the Ayatollahs by bringing down oil prices. That’s a decent suggestion. But if you do that, you’re proving the point that Iran cannot rely on oil resources for too long and needs to move quickly towards alternative resources, the main one being nuclear energy– perhaps a reasonable claim by the Islamic Republic when it comes to defending their nuclear program. So what Tom Friedman doesn’t get is that by pushing oil prices down, you are nullifying the argument that Iran doesn’t need nuclear energy due to its rich oil resources. So you either keep the oil prices high, or shut your mouth and let them go on with their nuclear program under constant surveillance by the IAEA watchdog (what Iran is saying it’s more than willing to do).
There’s a trust issue there (i.e. the US has to trust Iran when it says it’s program is strictly civilian), and for that, Mr. Friedman has a respectable solution: the US should talk to its strongest potential ally in the Middle East, Iran.
Get someone like Friedman to sit with an Iranian Think-tank (like Ali Ettefagh) and you might actually end up with a solution; but then who’s gonna listen?!
Note: You may read this article for a more scientifically-oriented insight into the issue. The results suggest that Iranian oil exports may be “declining to zero by 2014-2015.” The discussion sounds biased, but as for any other scientific paper, what really matters is the results section which here supports Iran’s claims on energy shortage.