Events are now building to where a large scale regional conflict in the Middle East, spiraling into a global confrontation, grows from impossible to unlikely. At the current pace, in a month's time what is now unlikely becomes more and more probable.
That the issue only rumbles beneath the surface makes the danger that much greater. The U.S. is pushing Russia and China to a point geopolitically where they will be compelled to respond much as Japan was before Pearl Harbor. Russia's interests in Syria are inviolate as are China's in Iran. The former because it hosts an all-seasons naval port and the latter because China cannot be dependent on oil from U.S. vassals in the Gulf. With China, you also have the U.S. surrounding shipping chokepoints -- with agreements to station U.S marines in Darwin, Australia and littorals in Singapore.
From my vantage point, the Washington is doing this to shore up their imperial position using an overwhelming residual military power that no longer exists economically. The message to all other nations is clear; fall in line.