By now everyone should be aware that Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons. If not, then you've been living under a rock for the past year or so, so you really need to get out more. It is Iranian long-range ICBMs that have precipitated the latest fit from Russia, after the United States decided that it would be a good idea to preemptively place anti-missile systems in Poland before Iran gets ICBM technology, after all.
Here's the problem: Iran has every right to possess nuclear weapons.
First off, Iran does not have a history of being overly belligerent in the Middle East during the modern era. Sure, they can talk a big game, but they rarely, if ever, walk the walk anyway. The last major Iranian military operation was against Iraq from 1980-1988, and that was in response to a war that Saddam Hussein started. There have been minor issues since then, but for the most part Iran has actually remained relatively peaceful militarily, with the exception of nonsensical political rantings put out by Ahmadinejad (who, in reality, has next to no real power over the government or military as he isn't a senior cleric).
As far as I'm concerned, a nuclear Iran wouldn't be the end of the world. In fact, a nuclear Iran could be turned into a valuable ally in the Middle East and force us to realign our foreign policy for that part of the world for the better. Face it, if Iran had nuclear arms, we'd have to actually engage them on some diplomatic level. It's in our best interests to foster a positive relationship with Iran.
Consider the following:
1. Iran wants nuclear power and nuclear wepaons. The USA agrees to aid Iran in the production of both, provided we are allowed to maintain on-site inspectors. This allows us to identify the characteristics of Iranian nuclear material. That way, we would be able to determine if a nuclear weapon was sourced in Iran, and if one was used against the United States, we would then detonate a nuclear device in Q'om in retaliation.
2. Nobody wants us over there, so pull all of our forces out of the Middle East, with the exception of a carrier battle group in the Gulf to ensure that the free passage of American merchant shipping and oil carriers is not interfered with. Democracy in the Middle East isn't important, the oil coming out of it is. That's the cold, hard reality of the situation. And if anyone else wants to ensure the safe passage of their own goods and oil, then they can take care of it themselves.
3. A withdrawl of US forces allows us to send them to places where it makes sense to send them, like Pakistan, to take down the corrupt regime that is harboring Al Qaeda and Taliban elements, and the US border with Mexico, to cut off the invasion of illegal noncombatants.
4. Keeping the US out of the Middle East will allow them to sort things out for themselves. We'll ensure that American oil gets through, but they can pretty much live life how they see fit otherwise. We have no real right to impose Western values or political beliefs on other nation states anyway. If Saudi Arabia wants to keep their women under wraps and deny them basic human rights, then that's their prerogative, and the responsibility of the people in their own society to effect any change they see fit, for example.
5. The big kicker: eliminate all US political and military support for the state of Israel. We get nothing from the relationship whatsoever. It's time to cut bait and let them take care of themselves, both in the Middle East and on the floor of the UN Security Council. No more free vetos, sorry. And no more wasted taxpayer dollars aiding a nation that likes to aid potential aggressors like China and Venezuela, sometimes by sharing American technology without our consent or approval. They made their bed in 1947, now let's see if they can really lie in it.
Take those actions, and our overall relationship with the governments of the oil-producing states and their Arab and Persian neighbors will, over time, improve dramatically. This will lead to an eventual lessening of the rampant Anti-Americanism that invades these societies and fuels suicide bombers and other idiots. But that leads me to the last point: blackmail. If this is going ot work, these nations need to understand that we will no longer tolerate any actions by their citizens against the United States under the banner of Islam. If we want to make a serious dent in Islamic extremism, we need to convince those nations to do something about it themselves. That requires motivation. The best way to do this? Put out a statement to the leaders of the nations in the Middle East calling for a complete end to militant Islamic attacks on American citizens and soldiers (the latter group being in the process of leaving the AOR anyway). The first time an American citizen is killed by a terrorist attack directed against the United States or it's interests such as an embassy on foreign soil (i.e. if a suicide bomber blows up a market in Tel Aviv and a vacationing American is killed, we would not be obligated to respond in this serious manner), we will put a missile into a madrassa. If it's okay for them to use religion against us, it's okay for us to use religion against them. Madrassas are where a lot of the religious education and the anti-Americanism stems from, so they are a valid target. We'd have to repeal the Laws of Armed Conflict, but that's a great idea in and of itself, as it would allow us to fight wars on the level of our enemies, transforming the US military complex into something that would actually be feared, acting as a much more credible deterrent. Really, anyone who goes into a war with one hand voluntarily tied behind their back deserves to get a beating, anyway.
And that, people, is how you get America out of the Middle East, keep the oil flowing, and put a serious dent in Islamic extremism as directed towards America and Americans. The rest of the world? They can figure it out for themselves. We're the evil Americans who aren't supposed to be interfering and imposing our will on the rest of the world, remember? All we're doing here is protecting our direct interests and our citizens, and leaving the rest of the region to handle its own affairs.