In asserting a direct linkage between the effort to achieve stability in Iraq and the Israeli-Arab conflict, the Iraq Study Group report has committed a grave error.

The report states that the US cannot achieve its goals in the Middle East unless it “deals directly with the Arab-Israeli conflict and regional instability

Underlying all this is Iran’s nuclear program. Iran’s aim in carrying out uranium enrichment is to obtain nuclear warheads. The world knows this but has, so far, shied away from dealing effectively with Iran’s relentless nuclear drive.

For that reason alone, it’s shocking that the ISG report does not explictly state what needs to be stated: that Iran cannot be allowed, under any circumstances, to develop nuclear weapons. If Iran does obtain nuclear weapons, the other states of the Middle East will rush to do the same. The prospect of regional proliferation or, even worse, a nuclear conflagration triggered by Iranian aggression, is not one that can be countenanced by either the US or Israel. Yet all the ISG report does is to recommend that that the UN Security Council continue to deal with Iran’s nuclear program – that the Council’s record on this issue so far has been pitiful is not mentioned.

When it comes to Syria, the report advocates that Israel concede the disputed Golan Heights in exchange for Damascus preventing arms transfers to Hamas and Hezbollah, ending its destructive role in Lebanon and helping to “obtain from Hamas an acknowledgement of Israel’s right to exist.