Speed Reads

Deals Deals Deals

A Nobel Peace Prize for John Kerry? It could happen.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif might just have a shot at the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize for reaching a historic nuclear deal on Tuesday. If that sounds a tad premature, welcome to the wild world of Nobel Prize forecasting.

The Swedish and Norwegian Nobel committee seems to favor nuclear non-proliferation activists in years ending in fives, Reuters notes: Soviet nuclear scientist and human rights reformer Andrei Sakharov won in '75; the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War were honored in '85; physicist and disarmament promoter Joseph Rotblat received the award in '95; and the International Atomic Energy Agency took the Nobel in 2005. Reuters chalks up the 10-year intervals as the committee's way of memorializing the bombing of Hiroshima in 1945. 

If that's not convincing enough, Kerry and Zarif have already locked up an important endorsement in Sweden, where Tariq Rauf, the director of the Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Program at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), has already called for the pair to be honored with the Peace Prize.

But Kerry and Zarif are far from locks. Asle Sveen, a Norwegian expert on the Nobel Prize, told Reuters the committee would likely also be considering peace efforts between Colombia's government and Marxist guerrillas. Pope Francis and a Russian newspaper critical of Vladimir Putin are also rumored to be among the 276 candidates in the running for the 2015 prize.

Here's another catch: Kerry and Zarif are only eligible for the award if they were added to the long list of candidates before the nomination period closed back in February. There won't be a conclusive answer either way until the award is announced in October.