News ID: 202139
Published: 1221 GMT October 10, 2017

Nobel peace prize winner rebukes Trump over nuclear standoff

Nobel peace prize winner rebukes Trump over nuclear standoff

The head of the anti-nuclear campaign group awarded the Nobel peace prize has chided Donald Trump for ramping up a nuclear standoff and said the US president has a track record of “not listening to expertise”.

Speaking in the hours after the Norwegian Nobel committee made the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) its 2017 laureate, Beatrice Fihn, the group’s executive director, said Trump “puts a spotlight” on the dangers of nuclear weapons, the Guardian reported.

“The election of President Donald Trump has made a lot of people feel very uncomfortable with the fact that he alone can authorize the use of nuclear weapons,” she told reporters in Geneva, adding that “there are no right hands for nuclear weapons”.

Fihn, who called Trump “a moron” in a Twitter post just two days before the peace prize announcement, said the award sent a message to all nuclear-armed states that “we can’t threaten to indiscriminately slaughter hundreds of thousands of civilians in the name of security”.

The chair of the Norwegian Nobel committee, Berit Reiss-Andersen, said the award had been made in recognition of ICAN’s work “to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its groundbreaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons”.

The award underlines the mounting danger of nuclear conflict between the US and North Korea and the increasing vulnerability of the Iran nuclear deal. It also amounts to a reprimand to the world’s nine nuclear-armed powers – the US, Russia, Britain, China, France, India, Pakistan, North Korea and also Israeli regime – all of whom boycotted negotiations for a treaty banning nuclear weapons that was approved by 122 non-nuclear nations at the UN in July.

The Nobel committee’s decision comes just days before as Trump could carry out his threat to unravel the Iran nuclear deal, which could trigger a second nuclear standoff amid the North Korea crisis. The deal, concluded in 2015, settled a decade-long dispute over Tehran’s nuclear program and averted the risk of another war in the Middle East.

Trump could decertify Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal next week. He told a meeting of US military leaders on Thursday that Tehran was not living up to the “spirit of the agreement”, and added they were witnessing “the calm before the storm”.

Sir Richard Dalton, a former British ambassador to Iran, said the Nobel award was “a challenge to the international community, led by the UN security council, to protect this historic non-proliferation agreement [the Iran deal], which is vital for regional peace, from its detractors”.

Fihn said in her initial reaction that the group had received a phone call minutes before the official announcement and she had thought it was a prank. She said she did not believe it until she heard the name of the group during the announcement in Oslo.

The EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, who was touted as a possible peace prize winner this year alongside the Iranian foreign minister for their work on the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, tweeted:

Federica Mogherini


Good to see the #NobelPrize2017 to @nuclearban. We share a strong commitment to achieving the objective of a world free from nuclear weapons.

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