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Iran Nuclear Deal Architects Seen Among Favorites For Nobel Peace Prize


U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (left to right), Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, and EU foreign-policy chief Federica Mogherini arrive to announce an agreement on Iran nuclear talks in Lausanne, Switzerland, on April 2, 2015.

The winner of the Nobel Peace Prize is set to be announced, with some suggesting the award could go to the architects of the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee is scheduled to make the announcement at 11 a.m. (0900 GMT/UTC) in Norway's capital, Oslo.

Observers have said the prestigious award could go to key figures behind the deal between Iran and global powers in which Tehran agreed to curtail its nuclear activities in exchange for relief from international sanctions.

If so, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, EU foreign-policy chief Federica Mogherini, and former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry would be contenders for the prize.

"The Nobel Committee would make a big splash if it awarded the prize to the Iran nuclear deal," peace-prize historian Asle Sveen told AFP this week.

The United States and other Western governments fear that Iran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons. Tehran says its nuclear program is intended solely for peaceful purposes, including power generation.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who has denounced the deal signed under his predecessor, Barack Obama, is facing an October 15 deadline to certify that Iran is in compliance with the accord.

He said on October 5 that Tehran is not living up to the "spirit" of the deal.

Others believed to be potential contenders for the peace price include Syria's White Helmets rescue service, Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege, jailed Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, and Edward Snowden, who revealed details of the U.S. government electronic-surveillance program and lives in Russia, where he has asylum.

With reporting by AFP and dpa
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