World

Diplomats scramble for consensus as deadline day for Iran nuclear talks arrives

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, center, and British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, second right, waits with U.S. Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, left, U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, second left, and others before a meeting with Russia, China, France, Germany, European Union and Iranian officials at the Beau Rivage Palace Hotel in Lausanne, Switzerland Monday, March 30, 2015, during Iran nuclear talks. 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. (AP Photo/Brendan Smialowski, Pool)

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, center, and British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, second right, waits with U.S. Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, left, U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, second left, and others before a meeting with Russia, China, France, Germany, European Union and Iranian officials at the Beau Rivage Palace Hotel in Lausanne, Switzerland Monday, March 30, 2015, during Iran nuclear talks. 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. (AP Photo/Brendan Smialowski, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • Officials of Britain, Russia, China, France, Germany, European Union, the United States and Iran wait for the start of a meeting on Iran's nuclear program at the Beau Rivage Palace Hotel in Lausanne, Switzerland Monday, March 30, 2015. Negotiations are entering a critical phase with differences still remaining just two days before a deadline for the outline of an agreement. (AP Photo/Brendan Smialowski, Pool)

    Officials of Britain, Russia, China, France, Germany, European Union, the United States and Iran wait for the start of a meeting on Iran's nuclear program at the Beau Rivage Palace Hotel in Lausanne, Switzerland Monday, March 30, 2015. Negotiations are entering a critical phase with differences still remaining just two days before a deadline for the outline of an agreement. (AP Photo/Brendan Smialowski, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, left, Head of Iranian Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi, second left, Special Assistant to Iranian president Hossein Fereydoun, second right, and Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi wait for the start of a meeting with Britain, Russia, China, France, Germany, European Union and the U.S. officials at the Beau Rivage Palace Hotel in Lausanne, Switzerland Monday, March 30, 2015, during Iran nuclear talks. 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. (AP Photo/Brendan Smialowski, Pool)

    Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, left, Head of Iranian Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi, second left, Special Assistant to Iranian president Hossein Fereydoun, second right, and Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi wait for the start of a meeting with Britain, Russia, China, France, Germany, European Union and the U.S. officials at the Beau Rivage Palace Hotel in Lausanne, Switzerland Monday, March 30, 2015, during Iran nuclear talks. 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. (AP Photo/Brendan Smialowski, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

Diplomats are scrambling to reach consensus just hours ahead of a self-imposed deadline on the outline of an Iran nuclear deal.

Facing a midnight local time (6 p.m. EDT) Tuesday target to produce a framework agreement, substantial differences persisted. Top diplomats from the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany were meeting alone and then with Iran's foreign ministers to try to bridge the remaining gaps. They hope to hammer out an understanding that would serve as the basis for a final accord to be reached by the end of June.

The latest round of negotiations began last Thursday in the Swiss town of Lausanne. Officials have cited some progress in the talks, which have as yet failed to nail down an agreement.