The Royal Institute of International Affairs, commonly known as Chatham House, has jointly nominated Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his US counterpart John Kerry for the think tank’s 2016 prize. The British NGO commended the two for their “crucial roles” in the international arena throughout 2015, particularly in the negotiations that led to Iran’s historic nuclear deal.
According to the think tank, the nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 was “one of the most intractable diplomatic stand-offs in international affairs in the 21st century”.
The renowned London-based think tank, whose mission is to analyze and promote the understanding of major international issues and current affairs, recently announced
the nomination on its officialwebsite
, calling the “historic” deal “a victory for diplomacy.”
“Overcoming enormous technical complexity, entrenched domestic opposition in the United States and Iran and three decades of intense hostility between their two countries, Kerry and Zarif’s leadership and commitment, in particular, were imperative to sustaining and driving the negotiations to their successful conclusion,” the statement further read.
Iran’s historical nuclear deal, dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was signed on July 14, 2015 following two and a half years of intensive talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China — plus Germany.
According to the Chatham House, the annual prize is awarded to a person, persons or organization deemed to have made the most significant contribution to the improvement of international relations in the previous year.
Other nominees are former French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and Christiana Figueres, the executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, for their roles in delivering a global climate agreement at the COP 21 meeting in Paris in December 2015, and Attahiru Muhammadu Jega, the Nigerian academic and chairman of Nigeria’s electoral commission, for conducting his country’s most credible election since 1999.
The final winner or winners will be announced later this year.