Iran has agreed to further talks with a group of world powers aimed at ending a decade-long stand-off over its nuclear programme.

Saeed Jaleeli, Iran’s chief negotiator, said the two-days of talks in Kazakhstan had been positive and that the position of the other world powers at the table had been “more realistic”, than in the past. The talks are being led by the US, the UK, France, Germany, Russia and China in a bid to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, although Tehran insists its nuclear programme is being used for civilian purposes only.

The seven countries involved in the talks announced that further discussions on technical issues will take place on 18 March, with a larger meeting of diplomats on 5 April.

Analysts says the talks need to make significant progress this year to avoid military action against Iran’s nuclear programme in 2014.