A day after reports indicated that President Trump plans to “decertify” the Iran Nuclear Deal — because he doesn’t feel that the agreement serves U.S. interests, although it serves to limit Iran’s nuclear capabilities — the Nobel Peace Prize has arrived with remarkable timing. This year’s award goes to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), a grassroots organization full of activists who want to eliminate the approximiately 15,000 nuclear weapons scattered around the globe.
ICAN, a Switzerland-based group, shall how receive $1.1 million as part of its honor, which will go a long way toward its campaign for a global treaty to altogether ban nukes. According to the Associated Press, the prize committee wanted to send a message — to both President Trump on Iran but also regarding his ongoing feud with Kim Jong-un — with this award:
The prize committee wanted “to send a signal to North Korea and the U.S. that they need to go into negotiations,” Oeivind Stenersen, a historian of the peace prize, told The Associated Press. “The prize is also coded support to the Iran nuclear deal. I think this was wise because recognizing the Iran deal itself could have been seen as giving support to the Iranian state.”
ICAN does face a long road ahead toward their desired global treaty. As of now, 3 of the required 50 countries needed for ratification have signed on, but the Nobel Committees, at least, have given the group their stamp of approval. Further, the award arrives after the U.S. president has not only stoked North Korean aggression by constantly tweeting about “Rocket Man,” but there’s also the not-so-small matter of Russia. Less than a year ago, Vladimir Putin and Trump were both signaling an increase in their countries’ respective nuclear arsenals.
For its part, ICAN is understandably thrilled. Executive Director Beatrice Fihn told the press that she first thought the award was “a prank” before reality set in. Fihn then issued a statement:
“[This award] sends a message to all nuclear-armed states and all states that continue to rely on nuclear weapons for security that it is unacceptable behavior. We will not support it, we will not make excuses for it, we can’t threaten to indiscriminately slaughter hundreds of thousands of civilians in the name of security. That’s not how you build security.”
Recently, ICAN protesters gathered in Berlin outside the U.S. and North Korean embassies to draw attention to the latter’s continued nuclear and missile tests. With North Korea reportedly eying a Columbus Day provocation, the Nobel Peace Prize recipient this year couldn’t possibly be more relevant.