Is Europe pushing for US-Iran talks in Kuwait

European powers are seeking talks in Kuwait between the US and Iran to defuse their tensions and explore chances for relaunching dialogue between them, Kuwaiti newspaper Al Rai reported Wednesday, citing unnamed “well-informed” sources.

Tensions have mounted in recent months between the US and Iran as Washington blamed Tehran for a series of mysterious attacks on commercial vessels in the Gulf and the vital Strait of Hormuz.

In April, the US designated Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization.

Last year, US President Donald Trump withdrew his country from a 2015 international nuclear deal with Iran and has since imposed a host of crippling economic sanctions on it. Washington and Tehran have since been engaged in bellicose media rhetoric.

The envisaged talks in Kuwait will hopefully lead to negotiations on the nuclear row and Iran’s ballistic missile programme and its contested activities in the Gulf region, the sources told Al Rai.

“The European countries that signed the [2015] nuclear agreement with Iran are pushing strongly in the direction of launching negotiations between Washington and Tehran. These countries believe that there is a chance to build on intense talks that they they have recently held separately with the US and Iran,” the sources said.

The sources, however, said the proposed talks in Kuwait still faces opposition from some countries in the region that they did not name.

The European powers are making “intense efforts” to overcome this opposition and tout the crucial importance of the Kuwait talks, according to the same sources.

There was no immediate official comment in Kuwait on the report.

Iran is increasingly under international pressure to stop its destabilising and meddlesome acts in the Arab region.