UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres offered a chilling message to the world during a recent interview with BBC Radio: The risk of "World War III" breaking out in the Middle East is intensifying at an alarming rate.
As we've previously speculated, the combatants in the conflict that Guterres envisions would be the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia on one side, aided by some of their allies in Western Europe, and China, Russia and Iran on the other. What's worse, Guterres warned that the collapse of the Iran deal could be the catalyst for a military conflict that morphs into the next global confrontation.
Unless the agreement is preserved, the world will likely descend into chaos, he said.
"The risks are there. I think we need to do everything to avoid those risks."
"I believe the JCPOA was an important diplomatic victory and it is important to preserve it. I also believe there are areas in which it would be very important to have a meaningful dialogue because I see the region in a very dangerous position."
President Trump has the opportunity to avert this horrifying future, Gutteres said - all he would need to do is preserve the JCPOA until a better deal can be worked out. Perhaps the deal's signatories could work out something similar to the "four-part" supplementary agreement outlined by Emmanuel Macron during a press conference with President Trump.
Gutteres added that while he understands concerns about Iranian influence and the country's nuclear program, a reference to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's recent presentation about Iran's alleged attempts to conceal a nuclear weapons program, the Iran deal is an "important achievement" that should be preserved.
"I understand the concerns of some countries in relation the Iranian influence in other countries of the region. I think we should separate things. I think that this agreement is an important achievement. If one day there is a better agreement to replace, it’s fine, but we should not scrap it unless we have a good alternative."
During his tour of the West last month, MbS expounded upon the dangers posed by Iran and even went so far as to compare Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to Adolf Hitler.
"Hitler didn’t do what the supreme leader is trying to do. Hitler tried to conquer Europe. But the supreme leader is trying to conquer the world," he said.
Of course, this hard-line stance hardly bodes well for world peace. While negotiations continue, it's widely believed that President Trump will scrap the Iran deal on May 12 by refusing to renew the sanctions waivers - though he would then have a few options to continue with negotiations before the most draconian sanctions kick back in.