But, the diplomat cautioned: “We could go backwards this afternoon.” He said he did not expect serious negotiations to take place already during Saturday’s talks, for example on the West’s demand that Tehran cease higher-grade uranium enrichment.

But the diplomat added that Iran had indicated “openness on all those issues”, in contrast to the last time when Iran refused to talk about its nuclear program, which it says is peaceful but the West suspects has military links.

“Not only are the atmospherics and the atmosphere completely different from what they were previously but more importantly he (Jalili) is not coming with the same preconditions and what we would consider obstacles that we saw previously,” the diplomat said.