World

Kerry working to seal Iran nuke deal in Montreux, Netanyahu in Washington to criticize it

  • Secretary of State John Kerry gestures during a news conference after he delivered remarks to the United Nations Human Rights Council on Monday, March 2, 2015, in Geneva. Kerry discussed ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran, and tensions with Russia over Ukraine. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

    Secretary of State John Kerry gestures during a news conference after he delivered remarks to the United Nations Human Rights Council on Monday, March 2, 2015, in Geneva. Kerry discussed ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran, and tensions with Russia over Ukraine. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)  (The Associated Press)

  • Pro-Palestine demonstrators wearing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu masks and symbolic "blood stained hands," led by Code Pink, protest in front of the Washington Convention Center, where the 2015 American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference is being held, in Washington, Sunday, March 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

    Pro-Palestine demonstrators wearing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu masks and symbolic "blood stained hands," led by Code Pink, protest in front of the Washington Convention Center, where the 2015 American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference is being held, in Washington, Sunday, March 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)  (The Associated Press)

  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference in Washington, Monday, March 2, 2015. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference in Washington, Monday, March 2, 2015. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)  (The Associated Press)

Top U.S. and Israeli officials are spending the day focusing on an emerging nuclear deal with Iran, but from opposite corners. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry wants to bridge differences with Tehran while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans to criticize the pact before Congress.

Kerry was meeting Tuesday with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohamad Javad Zarif in the Swiss town of Montreux — head of a March 31 deadline to seal a preliminary deal putting constraints on Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief for Iran.

Their meeting is overshadowed by Netanyahu's planned speech by invitation of congressional Republicans skeptical that the deal will seriously crimp Iran's nuclear-weapon making ability. The meeting was not coordinated with the White House and has further strained relations between Obama and Netanyahu.