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Will N-accord fetch Nobel for Tehran, Washington?

OSLO: A nuclear deal clinched between Iran and six major world powers that caps more than a decade of negotiations has stoked talk of a joint Nobel Peace Prize for Tehran and Washington this year, despite the likelihood of strong objections from some quarters.

US President Barack Obama, who won the prize in 2009 for promoting nuclear non-proliferation, hailed the Iran deal on Tuesday as a step towards a “more hopeful world”. But Israel pledged to try to halt an “historic surrender”.

Awarding the prestigious award to Washington and Tehran would fit a pattern of nuclear-themed peace prizes in years ending in ‘5’, commemorating the bombings of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. “I think the work of the Nobel Committee … this year just got much easier,” former Swedish PM Carl Bildt tweeted after the Iranian deal was announced.

But many doubts remain over the appropriateness of honouring Iran, which does not recognize Israel and backs its foes, faces regular international criticism over human rights and was long denounced by Washington as a member of an “axis of evil”.

Asle Sveen, a Norwegian historian and expert on the prize, said the Nobel committee was also likely to be tracking peace efforts between Colombia’s government and Marxist guerrillas.

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