The US and China agree it is important for Iran to respond positively to existing nuclear proposals by six major powers, according to US officials.
President Hassan Rohani, present at the UN, has said he hopes for a deal on Tehran’s nuclear programme in three to six months.
The developments came hours before the first top-level direct contact in six years between US and Iranian officials on Iran’s disputed programme.
The meeting in New York will see the US Secretary of State John Kerry come face to face with his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif for the first time, along with other ministers from the “P5 plus one” group – the permanent members of the Security Council and Germany.
Speaking at the UN for the second time in a week, Iran’s president set his sights on Tehran’s old enemy Israel.
“The only country in the region which not a member of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Israel should join it without further delay,” he said. “Accordingly all nuclear activities in the region should be subject to the comprehensive safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Authority.”
Rohani said Israel’s non-signature of the 1979 treaty had prevented the region from becoming a nuclear-free zone.