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Nobel Prize a message to Trump

Reuters

Members of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons attend a news conference in Geneva after ICAN won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday.

AFP-JijiWASHINGTON (AFP-Jiji) —The Nobel committee spurned an opportunity to celebrate the Iran nuclear deal, but still found a way to send a message to U.S. President Donald Trump.

Trump is a stern critic of the 2015 accord, and U.S. officials say that he intends to tell the U.S. Congress next week that Tehran is not honoring its side of the bargain.

He is also engaged in a perilous game of brinksmanship with North Korea, threatening “fire and fury” and exchanging insults with young dictator Kim Jong Un.

Some supporters of the deal had hoped the jury would honor the architects of the Iran deal and in doing so send a message to Trump about the power of diplomacy.

In the end the committee chose not to provoke Trump by handing prizes to Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif or former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

But in celebrating the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) they sent a strong message about the world’s concerns over nuclear escalation.

“The message that has been communicated is a more subtle indirect messaging,” said Melissa Dalton, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“It’s potentially a message and an encouragement to uphold the JCPOA as a commitment that the U.S. has made with allies to nonproliferation,” she said, referring to the Iran deal.

ICAN is a global civil society movement pushing for a global treaty to ban nuclear arms, one that was signed by 122 countries — although none with such weapons — in July.

U.S. has no plan to sign treaty

The United States reacted coolly to the award, and a State Department spokesman said Washington has no plans to sign the treaty.

“This treaty will not make the world more peaceful, will not result in the elimination of a single nuclear weapon, and will not enhance any state’s security,” he told AFP.

Speaking in Geneva, ICAN head Beatrice Fihn made an explicit link between the award and concerns about Trump’s attitude to the Iran deal and nonproliferation efforts.

This week, Trump is expected to announce he is “decertifying” Iran’s compliance with the 2015 agreement it signed to limit its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

ICAN hails survivors

BERLIN (Jiji Press) — The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons praised on Friday the contribution to its activities by hibakusha atomic bomb survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

“It is a tribute to the survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki — the hibakusha — and victims of nuclear test explosions around the world,” ICAN said in a statement issued after the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced its decision to award the prize to the organization.

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