Some progress was made in high-level negotiations on Iran's controversial nuclear program on Wednesday, said a U.S. State Department official, Xinhua reported.
The official revealed this to the media after hours of meeting between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in Vienna.
Iran has been negotiating with the P5+1 group, or the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany, over the past year to find a solution to the long-standing Iran nuclear row.
A new round of talks, to be attended by negotiators from the P5+1 group and Iran, will begin on Thursday in Vienna.
In the previous round of talks held in New York in September, Iran and the world's major countries failed to make big progress, prompting some people to doubt if the negotiators could find a solution to address the remaining tough issues in the six weeks ahead of the Nov. 24 deadline.
Zarif told Iranian media on Tuesday that the negotiators might need more time to address the remaining concerns.
Also on Tuesday, the United States State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki said the U.S. was still exploring the possibility of reaching a comprehensive deal over Iran's nuclear program by the deadline next month.
In November last year, relevant sides agreed on an interim deal and planned to reach a comprehensive accord on July 20. Under the deal, Iran suspended sensitive nuclear activities in exchange for limited sanction relief.
In July, Iran and the six major countries agreed to extend negotiations for another four months till Nov. 24, as they were unable to narrow down significant gaps on core issues over the previous six months.
Western states have long suspected Iran of developing nuclear bombs under the cover of Tehran's civilian nuclear program. Iran has rejected the allegation, saying its atomic plan is exclusively peaceful.