World

Iran nuclear talks hit crunch time 2 days before deadline for framework deal

  • From left, U.S. Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz wait to start a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and others at the Beau Rivage Palace Hotel in Lausanne, Switzerland Sunday, March 29, 2015. (AP Photo/Brendan Smialowski, Pool)

    From left, U.S. Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz wait to start a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and others at the Beau Rivage Palace Hotel in Lausanne, Switzerland Sunday, March 29, 2015. (AP Photo/Brendan Smialowski, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • Head of Iranian Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi, 2nd left, and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, 2nd right, walk together during negotiations at an hotel in Lausanne, Switzerland, Sunday March 29, 2015. Iranian officials are meeting with representatives from world powers while in Switzerland for negotiations on Iran's nuclear program. (AP Photo/Brendan Smialowski, Pool)

    Head of Iranian Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi, 2nd left, and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, 2nd right, walk together during negotiations at an hotel in Lausanne, Switzerland, Sunday March 29, 2015. Iranian officials are meeting with representatives from world powers while in Switzerland for negotiations on Iran's nuclear program. (AP Photo/Brendan Smialowski, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier walks outside the hotel during negotiations on Iran's nuclear program between Iran and world powers in Lausanne, Switzerland, Sunday, March 29, 2015. (AP Photo/Keystone, Jean-Christophe Bott)

    German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier walks outside the hotel during negotiations on Iran's nuclear program between Iran and world powers in Lausanne, Switzerland, Sunday, March 29, 2015. (AP Photo/Keystone, Jean-Christophe Bott)  (The Associated Press)

Negotiations over Iran's nuclear program are entering a critical phase with differences still remaining just two days before a deadline for the outline of an agreement.

With the March 31 target fast approaching, the top diplomats from the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, Germany and Iran were meeting Monday to try to bridge the remaining gaps and hammer out the framework deal that will be the basis for a final accord to be reached by the end of June.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart have been meeting in Switzerland since Thursday in an intense effort to reach a political understanding on terms that would curb Iran's nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief.