This year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner is expected to be announced later this week, amid speculations that the prestigious award could go to the architects of the historic Iran nuclear deal.
The researchers, who predict potential winners, suggest that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and the European Union’s foreign affairs chief, Federica Mogherini, would possibly be among the winners.
Zarif and Mogherini were the most senior negotiators in a lengthy diplomatic process, which saw the signing in 2015 of the landmark deal between Tehran and the P5+1 group of states – the US, Russia, France, the UK plus Germany.
Henrik Urdal, the head of the Peace Research Institute of Oslo (Prio), which makes a shortlist each year with mixed results, said the two are strong contenders this year.
Urdal said Zarif and Mogherini are the best candidates because of the significant role they played in the negotiation process in the lead-up to the deal, which has been praised worldwide as a victory for international teamwork and diplomacy.
International observers believe the Iran deal could serve as a model for all world countries in dealing with different conflicts.
The accord, called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), removed the nuclear-related sanctions against Tehran in return for restrictions on Iranian nuclear activities.
Israel and the new US administration remain the only critics of the Iran deal.
Despite all the international praise, US President Donald Trump said at his UN speech last month that the JCPOA was an “embarrassment” and threatened to unilaterally withdraw from the accord.
During his election campaign, he had even vowed to “tear up” the agreement.
A medal of Alfred Nobel is pictured prior to the beginning of a press conference on October 2, 2017 in Stockholm. (Photo by AFP)
Since taking office in January, Trump has been actively seeking a pretext to undermine the accord.
However, Mogherini, along with other world leaders, have strongly defended the deal, arguing that the document belonged to the entire world, not just the United States.
Nobel Prize was created by Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel and first awarded in 1901.
The Nobel season began on Monday with the announcement of the medicine prize. The Nobel Assembly at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute awarded the prize to US born scientists Jeffrey Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael Young on Monday. Laureates in the fields of chemistry, physics and literature will also be awarded this week in Stockholm.
The Norwegian Nobel Institute will announce the peace prize in the capital, Oslo, on Friday, is probably awarding the facilitators of the agreement in a message to the US president to avoid leaving the accord.