ALMATY - World powers held a "useful" meeting with Iran over its nuclear programme in the Kazakh city of Almaty on Tuesday and will continue negotiations on Wednesday, a Western official said.

"We had a useful meeting today, discussions took place this evening, we are meeting again tomorrow," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The six countries - the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany - are hoping to use a combination of diplomacy and sanctions to persuade Iran to scale back nuclear work that they suspect has a military dimension. Iran says the program is purely peaceful.

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