Can Zarif, Kerry win Nobel Peace Prize?

TEHRAN, Oct. 05 (MNA) – With the date of announcement of names nominated for Nobel Prize on October 6 approaching, different media outlets are speculating what names would appear on the list of peace prize.

While Iran nuclear deal was undergoing intensively in 2014 and 2015, first guesses were shaped that a possible nuclear deal can bring those involved to the attention of Noble committee. Now, with almost a year and half after signing of the deal and with Oct. 6 around the corner, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and US Secretary of State John Kerry are speculated by some media to be among candidates for the title of Nobel Peace Prize.

In fact the recent history of this prize shows interesting facts which strengthen the assessments that the committee chooses some nominees and laureates by political means and goals. While the history of peace prize sees names such as Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa, Lech Walesa and Nelson Mandela, on the other hand there are names that considering the title of the award being about ‘peace’ might surprise one that how come such people have even been nominated for the award and let alone being the laureate!


In 1973, Henry Kissinger of the United States and Le Duc Tho of Vietnam were jointly named as winners. Le Duc Tho’s refusal to receive the award along with Kissinger can be telling enough how surprisingly political the award is. He had had long experience of fighting against great powers when he negotiated with Henry Kissinger for an armistice in Vietnam between 1969 and 1973. It was after the defeat of the French when Vietnam was divided. The USA supported its puppet government in South Vietnam. When the United States decided to negotiate after 1968, Le Duc Tho was appointed North Vietnam's chief negotiator, confronting Henry Kissinger.

When Hanoi was bombed at Christmastime on Kissinger's orders, Le Duc Tho agreed to an armistice. But when he received the Peace Prize together with Kissinger in the autumn of 1973, he refused to accept it, as his opposite number had violated the truce. In other words, Noble committee had awarded Kissinger for his bombardment of Vietnam.


Only 5 years after U.S.-Vietnam award, another instance occurred when the award was given jointly to Egyptian President Mohamed Anwar al-Sadat and Prime Minister of Israeli regime Menachem Begin. The two received the award for signing The Camp David Accords. The agreement was the result of twelve days of secret negotiations at Camp David and was signed in White House with U.S. President Jimmy Carter witnessing it, in form of two frameworks. The first framework (A Framework for Peace in the Middle East), which dealt with the Palestinian territories, was written without participation of the Palestinians and was condemned by the United Nations.

1978 Nobel Peace Award was given to two figures who had decided for occupation of Palestine and didn’t even let the Palestinians know about it. An agreement which was opposed by the United Nations and was a treason by Sadat against the Muslim world.The second framework (A Framework for the Conclusion of a Peace Treaty between Egypt and Israel) led to the 1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty. Anwar Sadat’s negotiations with Israeli regime was amid unanimous opposition of Muslim world and a betrayal to the war world of Islam had with a regime which had occupied Palestine. He had agreed to recognize the usurping regime and gave up Palestinian lands to liberate occupied lands in the Sinai. This betrayal was in fact the reason which led Khalid Islambouli to assassinate Sadat.

So the 1978 Nobel Peace Award was given to two figures who had decided for occupation of Palestine and didn’t even let the Palestinians know about it. An agreement which was opposed by the United Nations and was a treason by Sadat against the Muslim world.

Notably enough, Jimmy Carter similarly won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002.


While the 1978 prize had hailed the two winners for so-called contribution to peace, it was just a matter of time to prove that neither the agreement and efforts for which they were awarded, nor the selection of the committee were correct. The Nobel Peace Prize 1994 was awarded jointly to Yasser Arafat, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin, Again, "for their efforts to create peace in the Middle East."

“Shimon Peres was no peacemaker. I’ll never forget the sight of pouring blood and burning bodies at Qana,” this is how Robert Fisk describes former Israeli regime president Peres in the Independent after his death last week. Only two years after he was awarded the prize, Peres ordered a heinous massacre in Qana village within an attack on a UN refugee camp killing 106 civilians almost half of them children and burning and injuring 116 more unarmed, defenseless people.

Robert Fisk who has been outside the camp at the time of attack recounts the bittering event; “when the world heard that Shimon Peres had died, it shouted “Peacemaker!” But when I heard that Peres was dead, I thought of blood and fire and slaughter. I saw the results: babies torn apart, shrieking refugees, smoldering bodies. It was a place called Qana and most of the 106 bodies – half of them children – now lie beneath the UN camp where they were torn to pieces by Israeli shells in 1996. I had been on a UN aid convoy just outside the south Lebanese village. Those shells swished right over our heads and into the refugees packed below us. It lasted for 17 minutes.”

Though Peres claimed that it was a ‘bitter surprise’ that the camp was filled by several hundred people, while as Fisk has put it “It was a lie. The Israelis had occupied Qana for years after their 1982 invasion, they had video film of the camp, they were even flying a drone over the camp during the 1996 massacre – a fact they denied until a UN soldier gave me his video of the drone, frames from which we published in The Independent. The UN had repeatedly told Israel that the camp was packed with refugees.”

It is a fact that a Nobel Peace Prize laureate who has been remembered as ‘peacemaker’ since his death last week, was the main person responsible for massacre of innocent people in Qana. And it is of course noteworthy that the Palestinian figure who shared the award with him – Yasser Arafat – was reportedly assassinated with poison by the Israeli regime, a matter which is under investigation.


Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States, was awarded the peace prize ‘for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples,’ while he had been in power for less than eight months when he was picked for the title. Among reasons the Noble committee had considered as factors for Obama being the winner was ‘his support’ for the vision of a world free from nuclear weapons and his advocacy for ‘dialogue and cooperation across national, ethnic, religious and political dividing lines.’ They also believed that Obama had improved relations of Muslim world and the West.

According to the Nobel staff, he had done all of these things within only 8 months in office! From the abovementioned issues, he had only delivered a speech in Cairo talking about better relations between Muslims and the West. In other words, the award was given to the lip service he had paid so far without any deeds!

But with the experience of 1994, it is good to have a look at President Obama’s foreign policy as his term is coming to an end. His Secretary of State and currently presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton admits in her book that the Obama administration and she had supported regime change and welcomed the coup in Honduras which ousted democratically elected Manuel Zelaya in 2009.

She has also admitted that under her term in office, the United States supported formation of extremist groups in the Middle East and it led to the events in Libya’s Benghazi and of course formation of Daesh or ISIL. In 2015, Former Director of Defense Intelligence Agency Michael Flynn announced that Americans ‘willfully’ allowed ISIL and Al-Nusra rise in Syria and Iraq “to weaken Bashar Assad in Syria.” It was also announced in secret documents revealed by sources in the United States.

In Ukraine, U.S. supported another regime change by the means of its so-called ‘democracy promoting programs’ by funding NGOs and groups in the country to rig the election as it was done before within color revolutions in that part of the world. Obama and his men didn’t even accept a referendum in Crimea in which majority of people vote for being part of Russia.

Another instance of such interventions into domestic affairs of other countries can be widely seen in the Middle East where under the umbrella of NED and USAID program, Washington spent millions of dollars to provoke social movements, especially after the chain of unrests and revolutions in the region. The protests which ousted democratically elected President Morsi in Egypt were according to studies led by a number of activists and NGOs funded directly by National Endowment for Democracy. The same NGOs part of whom were arrested in 2011 and the assets of some of them were frozen a couple of weeks ago.

Sudan was another scene in Africa where Obama administration pursued their agenda to divide the country into two parts the result of which is now turned to be poverty and economic and political problems in the two parts of the same country.

Barack Obama who was hailed for his words about a world free from nuclear weapons is now seeking plans to renovate nuclear weapons of the United States and continues to support the Israeli regime, Pakistan and India who are not signatories to NPT and have stockpiled nuclear warheads. Meanwhile, as he is supposed to be an advocate of dialogue and cooperation between different religious groups, his administration has hit the highest record of arms sale to Saudi Arabia – $115 billion. While Riyadh is the safe haven of many extremist and terrorist groups and it is no secret now that Wahhabi ideology of Saudis is the root cause of extremism and terrorism carried out across the world in name of Islam and the country has long been sowing discord among Islamic sects. It was just last month when a conference in Grozny gathering all Sunni groups and sects excluded Wahhabism from Sunni beliefs and never invited anyone from this ideology to the massive event where many scholars and figures were invited and Al-Azhar figures participated too.

Now with the possibility of an award for U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, it would be no surprise if the committee picks Kerry in another political move to provide Obama administration and John Kerry with a legacy at the end of their term in office.

It is however possible to see Kerry hailed for contributing to global peace, even if John Kerry has been representing terrorist groups in Syria and even if his negotiations led to a direct U.S. attack on Syrian government forces in Deir Ezzor.It is however possible to see Kerry hailed for contributing to global peace, even if John Kerry has been representing terrorist groups in Syria and even if his negotiations led to a direct U.S. attack on Syrian government forces in Deir Ezzor; and even if he and his country are supporting armed groups who are officially affiliated with Al-Qaeda which is by the U.S. and U.N. considered as terrorist group; he can be winner even if he has supported Saudi-led invasion of Yemen which has killed thousands of innocent people, many of them women and children.

The truth is that even in case of Iran’s nuclear deal for which Zarif and Kerry are expected to be shortlisted for an award, like the case in 1973, only one part of it deserves the award and the American side has not fulfilled its commitments in the deal and no real outcome has occurred as the United States is politically barring the JCPOA from going forward.

So there is no wonder if John Kerry is added to the list of many politicized picks of the Nobel committee and FMs of a country like U.S. which has the darkest history of attacking other countries and a country like Iran which has never attacked or interfered into affairs of other countries for at least a century, go hand in hand to receive an award for peace!

Hamid Reza Gholamzadeh has done his MA in North American Studies and his focus has been on US policies towards the Middle East. He is also English Chief Editor of Mehr News Agency.

News Code 120293


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