United Nations nuclear chief Yukiya Amano started talks with senior Iranian officials on Monday, Iranian media reported, on a one-day visit to Tehran that diplomats say could lead to an agreement for further inspections of Iranian nuclear sites.

Hours after his pre-dawn arrival in Tehran, Amano met the head of Iran's nuclear energy organization, Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani, ISNA news agency reported. No further details were immediately available on their discussions.

The International Atomic Energy Agency chief is also scheduled to meet Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili and Iranian foreign minister, Ali Akbar Salehi during the day.

On Saturday Salehi described Amano's visit as "a gesture of goodwill" which he hoped would lead to a "new modality" for cooperation with the UN agency.

Diplomats say it is unlikely Amano would have gone to Tehran unless he believed a framework deal for further inspections was a possible outcome.

The visit comes two days before wider negotiations between world powers and Iran to resolve differences over its nuclear program which Western countries suspect is hiding Tehran's pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability.

Iran has repeatedly denied the accusations.