105 years ago WWI began. Five highly armed powers faced each other in Europe at the time, and one spark was enough to trigger a long and terrible war. Today five militarily well-equipped countries are engaged in the Middle East: Iran, Israel, USA, Turkey and Russia in the background. In a military sense, you can forget about Saudi Arabia and Europe, with the exception of the UK. As long as Boris Johnson is PM, he will have no choice but to be a loyal vassal of Trump. Every spark can be enough and the whole Middle East from Suez to the Hindu Kush is put into a conflagration. It would be an assymetric war that nobody can win.
People as Bolton and Pompeo want a regime change in Teheran. You never reach a regime change with sanctions. Trump may be so naiv to think so. But the people around him know better. They seem to have a similar blueprint in mind as before the Iraq war. Regime change in Baghdad led to a destabilization of the entire region and the emergence of IS was one of the results. The attempt of a regime change in Tehran will have consequences to an even greater extent.
Strictly speaking, we already saw the first acts of war. It began with UK’s seizure of an Iranian-flagged ship in the street of Gibraltar. An oil embargo on Syria is possible in peace time, but enforcing such an embargo by military means on an international shipping route is a wartime act. The reaction of Iran was predictable.
Now we are in a standoff. The chances for diplomatic solutions are not good at the moment. It began with the withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Deal. The only way to peace leads back to that.