GENEVA  - Iran said its hotly awaited proposal to break the deadlock with world powers over its nuclear programme earned a good reception Tuesday, in talks seen as a test of a thaw under new President Hassan Rouhani.

The hour-long PowerPoint presentation by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his team was for the first time delivered in English, Western officials said, underlining a new mood in the often-tense nuclear talks. Senior Iranian negotiator Abbas Aragchi praised the “very positive environment” and said the “reaction was good” across the table. He told reporters that all sides had agreed not to reveal details, but insisted the proposal was “very comprehensive” and eclipsed one made in April under Rouhani’s predecessor that ended up a dead letter. However he was quoted by the Iranian state news agency IRNA as saying that snap inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities were not on the table.

“It does not exist in the offer,” Araghchi told IRNA. Iran’s two-day meeting with the European Union-chaired P5+1 group — the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia, plus Germany — ends a six-month hiatus over the Islamic republic’s refusal to curb uranium enrichment in exchange for the easing of punishing international sanctions.

“The climate of the meeting was very good and very constructive. The proposal that we have introduced has the capacity to make a breakthrough,” Aragchi said after Tuesday’s opening session.

The talks in Geneva are seen as test for the administration of President Hassan Rouhani, who took office in August pledging transparency on the nuclear programme and engagement with the international community to help lift the sanctions strangling Iran’s economy.

‘We are not here to waste our time’. “We are very serious. We are not here symbolically, to waste our time. We are serious for target-oriented negotiations,” said Aragchi. Iran’s archfoe Israel has warned the world not to fall for “sweet talk” from Rouhani. Western negotiators insist they are not naive but that the change in Tehran’s tone, at least, is clear. EU spokesman Michael Mann underlined the “very different” atmosphere. “We have come here with a sense of cautious optimism and a great sense of determination because we believe it’s really time now for tangible results,” Mann told reporters in Geneva. “There are signals from Tehran that they want to engage in these negotiations, that they want to be more transparent. The proof would be if they made real progress,” he said.

“We are on our side ambitious to move forward quickly... The ball remains in their court,” he added.

Earlier, Zarif said Tehran’s plan contained three steps that could settle the long-running nuclear standoff “within a year”. He said the initial step could be achieved “within a month or two, or even less”. Acknowledging that “the nuclear issue cannot be resolved in one session, as mistrust has been accumulated over years”, he said he hoped for at least a roadmap for higher-level talks. A senior US administration official said earlier in Geneva that detail was the key and that any easing of sanctions would be “targeted, proportional to what Iran puts on the table”.  “We are hopeful, but that has to be tested with concrete, verifiable actions. “I believe firmly that no deal is better than a bad deal,” he said.

The United States would welcome a further bilateral meeting with Iran on the sidelines of nuclear negotiations between Tehran and six major powers that began in Geneva on Tuesday, a US State Department spokeswoman said. “We would welcome an opportunity for a bilateral and have said so,” Deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said during a break in talks between Iran and the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany.

Earlier on Tuesday, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said that neither the Iranian nor US delegations had asked for such a meeting. He was speaking to reporters after Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif presented the six powers with an Iranian proposal aimed at ending the decade-long standoff over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.

US Secretary of State John Kerry held bilateral talks with Zarif in New York last month after Iran’s top diplomat met foreign ministers of the six powers on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly’s annual gathering of world leaders.

A day after Zarif and Kerry had their brief face-to-face meeting, US President Barack Obama and new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani spoke by telephone, the highest-level contact between the two countries in three decades and a sign that they are serious about reaching a pact on Tehran’s nuclear program.

 The bilateral contacts are the culmination of a recent dramatic shift in tone between Tehran and Washington, which cut off diplomatic relations with Iran a year after the 1979 revolution that toppled US ally Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and led to the US Embassy hostage crisis in Tehran.

Obama has said for years he was open to direct contact with Iran while also stressing that all options - including military strikes - were on the table to prevent Iran building a nuclear bomb. Tehran denies allegations by Western powers and their allies that it is seeking the capacity to make atomic weapons.