John Kerry and Iranian foreign minister hold talks
Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif (L) holds a bilateral meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry (R) on the second straight day of talks over Tehran's nuclear program in Vienna in July 2014Jim Bourg/Reuters

US Secretary of State John Kerry has held direct high-level talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on Iran's nuclear programme and the Iraqi situation, in New York.

The hour-long discussions took place in the backdrop of both the US and Iran insisting that though they are against the Isis, they would not be involved in a joint military operation against the insurgent group.

Speaking on the sidelines of the UN meetings, they reportedly agreed to hold further meetings if necessary.

"They spent time reviewing the status of the EU-led P5+1 negotiations on Iran's nuclear programme. They discussed both the progress that has been made and the work that still needs to be done. Secretary Kerry noted that this week is an opportunity to make additional progress and stressed that it is our intention to do so," a senior State Department official told Reuters.

Without mentioning the details of the discussions, the official said: "Separate and apart from the nuclear issue, they also discussed the threat posed by ISIL [Isis]."

The talks come as Iran is negotiating with the P5+1 powers – the US, the UK, Russia, China, France and Germany - over its contentious nuclear programme.

The discussions, which are scheduled to conclude in November this year, resumed on Friday, 19 September, after a two-month gap.

There were reports earlier which suggested that Iran was willing to cooperate more in the anti-Isis military offensive in return for concessions.