IRAN and six world powers held more "useful" talks on Tehran's nuclear programme, both sides said, although a Western diplomat said they were still struggling to overcome deep disagreements on the future of Iranian atomic capabilities.

Their remarks came after two days of expert-level talks in New York between Iran and the United States, France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia on a long-term accord meant to end by July 20 a decade-old dispute over suspicions that Tehran has sought the means to develop nuclear weapons.

An EU spokesman said: "(The six powers) and Iranian technical experts had a useful meeting. The talks aimed at further deepening of the knowledge on the issues and to contribute to the preparations for the next round of (senior-level) negotiations on a comprehensive agreement due to take place next week in Vienna."

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The talks were a prelude to next week's political-level negotiations in the Austrian capital.