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Trump severely criticised by Nobel peace prize winner ICAN, over nuclear standoff 

Nobel peace prize winner rebukes Trump over nuclear standoff https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/06/anti-nuclear-campaign-group-ican-wins-nobel-peace-prize

As award is announced for anti-nuclear group Ican, its head says US president ‘puts a spotlight’ on the weapons’ dangers, Guardian, Saeed Kamali Dehghan and Jon Henley, 7 Oct 17,  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 election of President Donald Trump has made a lot of people feel very uncomfortable with the fact that he alone can authorise 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 Israel – 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 said “the risk of nuclear weapons being used is greater than it has been for a long time” and there was “a real danger that more countries will try to procure nuclear weapons, as exemplified by North Korea”.

It said the peace prize was also a call to nuclear-armed states “to initiate serious negotiations with a view to the gradual, balanced and carefully monitored elimination of the almost 15,000 nuclear weapons in the world”.

The award is not the first time the peace prize has gone to anti-nuclear campaigners. Philip Noel-Baker received it in 1959 for his work on disarmament, and in 2005 the International Atomic Energy Agency and its former chief Mohamed ElBaradei were joint laureates “for their efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes”.

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 programme 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.

Ican said in a statement: “This is a time of great global tension, when fiery rhetoric could all too easily lead us, inexorably, to unspeakable horror. The spectre of nuclear conflict looms large once more. If ever there were a moment for nations to declare their unequivocal opposition to nuclear weapons, that moment is now.”

The UN chief, António Guterres, tweeted his congratulations: [on original]

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: [on original]

In Japan, survivors of the 1945 US atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the second world war welcomed this year’s announcement. Sunao Tsuboi, who met with former US president Barack Obama during the latter’s historic visit to Hiroshima last year, congratulated Ican on its win. He endured serious burns and later developed cancer.

“I’m delighted that Ican, which has taken action to abolish nuclear weapons like us, won the Nobel peace prize,” the 92-year-old said, according to Agence France-Presse. “Together with Ican and many other people, we hikabusha will continue to seek a world without nuclear weapons as long as our lives last,” he said.

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October 7, 2017 - Posted by | politics international, weapons and war

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