UNITED NATIONS — U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says “the world cannot live with a major confrontation in the Gulf.”

Guterres was referring Thursday to the escalating crisis between the U.S. and Iran in the wake of the collapsing nuclear deal with world powers.

The U.N. chief told reporters “it is absolutely essential to avoid any escalation of the situation.”

Guterres said he has “no particular insight” into the possibility of a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani during the annual meeting of world leaders at the General Assembly starting Sept. 23.

But he said any effort to avoid a confrontation “will always be welcome.”

Trump has made clear he would sit down with Rouhani without preconditions to discuss Iran’s nuclear program.

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