by Kourosh Ziabari
Saturday, October 13th, 2012
Nobel Prize is the most prestigious honor which one may be awarded in his lifetime. The legacy of Alfred Nobel is so matchless and incomparable that more than one century after the first Nobel Prize was awarded, it is still the most exalted and esteemed prize that can be conferred to people who work for the promotion and advancement of sciences and global peace.
Many people live their entire life with the dream of winning a Nobel Prize, without revealing this sealed aspiration to anyone. Chemists, physicists, medics, economists, authors, poets and activists who invest their whole life on a groundbreaking achievement which rightfully and truly deserves a Nobel Prize may witness the swift and unstoppable passage of years, without being ever recognized for their striking breakthroughs and accomplishments, either by the Nobel Foundation or the universities, organizations and groups which award important prizes.
Nobody can doubt that Nobel Prize is an insignificant reality or may diminish in importance and value with time. Every year, weeks before the announcement of the Nobel Prize laureates in physiology or medicine, chemistry, physics, literature, peace and economics, mass media, authors, university professors and ordinary people begin to make speculations about who may be given the prize and have their name recorded in the brilliant history of the Nobel Prize.
Upon writing his will in 1895, Alfred Nobel thought that it must be suitable to entrust the responsibility of awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to a Norwegian committee, because Norway did not have the same militaristic traditions as Sweden, and “at the end of the nineteenth century the Norwegian Storting (legislative assembly) had become closely involved in the Inter-Parliamentary Union and its efforts to resolve conflicts through mediation and arbitration,” as written by the Norwegian Nobel Committee website.
Alfred Nobel had realized the need for supporting and sponsoring global efforts aimed at fostering peace and tranquility around the world, and for this reason, he demanded that a group of five Norwegian lawmakers should decide about the destiny of the Nobel Peace Prize each year.
It’s not far from reality to claim that the criteria for the endowment of Nobel Peace Prize as stipulated by the Norwegian Nobel Committee have been usually politically motivated, and this is something which is not in line with the essence of Alfred Nobel’s will. Of course there are people in the history of Nobel Peace Prize who were awarded the prize righteously for their sincere efforts to promote peace, encourage dialogue among the nations and reduce or abolish the standing armies. But, let’s just be fair. Was the European Union really worthy of receiving the Nobel Peace Prize?
I really don’t know if this union has really contributed to fraternity and integrity between its 27 members throughout the past decades, but what I have personally witnessed in the past year is that this union has aggressively declared an all-out, bloodless war on Iran, affecting millions of innocent civilians in my country who can’t understand for what crime they are being targeted and punished in such a belligerent and unfair manner.
The European Union began to impose an inclusive oil embargo against Iran since July 1 as a result of direct pressure and lobbying by the United States and in an effort aimed at paralyzing Iran’s nuclear program which they claim is not aimed at civilian purposes, and finally breaking the back of Iran’s economy and pressuring it into making political concessions.
As a result of these sanctions, the value of Iran’s currency, rial, has dropped to its lowest level against dollar in three decades, the country has been hit by a staggering and overwhelming hyperinflation which according to Prof. Steve H. Hanke has been increasing the price of goods and commodities by 70% every month since the sanctions began to take effect and the country’s export of oil has decreased 600,000 to 800,000 barrels each day which means a 50% reduction in sales. Moreover, several international insurance companies, airliners and shipping lines have ceased their cooperation with Iran as a result of the economic crisis which has encompassed the country.
As a result of the oil embargo and other financial restrictions imposed on my country by the EU, the Iranian families are unable to fund their students abroad and consequently, a large group of Iranian students studying in foreign universities are returning en masse. Sensitive medicine and pharmaceutical products which were previously imported from the foreign countries cannot find their way to Iran’s markets anymore and thousands of patients badly in need of medicines for such diseases as thalassemia, hepatitis, diabetes, different types of cancer, heart diseases and psychiatric disorders are facing serious problems with finding their medicines.
Are the leaders of the European Union recognizing that their sanctions are taking a heavy toll on the innocent, ordinary Iranian citizens and shattering the ambitions and aspirations of thousands of youths who cannot realize their dreams due to the financial problems which have tumbled on their lives?
Are the leaders of the European Union who now carry the grandiose accolade of the world’s most important prize for promoting peace recognizing that the purchasing power of the middle-class and working families has experienced an unimaginable free-fall in the recent months and that their lives is on the verge of blowing apart?
Waging wars does not take place simply by means of bombarding cities or dropping nuclear bombs on other nations. What the European Union has been doing with Iran is the unmistakable representation of an all-out war in which the ordinary citizens are the silent victims.
Alfred Nobel writes in his will, my capital should be “invested in safe securities by my executors, shall constitute a fund, the interest on which shall be annually distributed in the form of prizes to those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit to mankind.”
Was destroying the economy of Iran and ruining the lives of thousands of innocent civilians the magnum opus for which the European Union was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize?