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Iran: Awarding Nobel Peace Prize to a criminal 'spiteful, politically motivated'

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kan'ani

Iran has condemned a "spiteful and politically motivated" move to award the 2023 Nobel Peace Prize to an Iranian woman who has been convicted of committing criminal acts.

In a statement on Friday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kan'ani said the Nobel Committee's political move was in line with "interventionist and anti-Iranian policies of some European countries."

He added that the committee's decision was "another link in the chain of West's pressure against Iran" which would have no outcome but reinforcing the Iranian nation's determination to pursue its independent policy.

Kan'ani emphasized that the decision to award Mohammadi the prize was a "disappointing deviation from its initial objectives."

He also criticized the Nobel Committee for making "incorrect and false claims" about events in Iran, which indicated "some European governments' approach to fabricate information and produce confusing and deviant narratives about internal developments in Iran."

In a political move, the Norwegian Nobel Committee on Friday awarded Narges Mohammadi, 51, the 2023 Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, claiming that she has been fighting "against the oppression of women" in Iran and fighting to "promote human rights and freedom for all."

Mohammadi has been in and out of jail for much of her adult life and is currently serving a prison term in Tehran's Evin prison.

In 2016, an Iranian appeals court confirmed the 16-year sentence for Mohammadi on charges of colluding to act against national security, engaging in propaganda campaigns against the government as well as forming and directing an illegal group.

She was released in 2020 but sent back to prison in 2021 on charges that include spreading propaganda against the Islamic establishment.

Kan'ani said as one of the founders of the United Nations, Iran has always emphasized the "objective" realization of peace at the regional and global levels and has always made efforts to promote the culture of peace.

However, he added, Iran "never wants peace and its realization to be abused."

He reiterated that Iran's ideal is to establish peace and justice across the world through effective and friendly cooperation among nations and peaceful coexistence.

The Iranian spokesperson advised the committee to stop playing an instrumental role in implementing the fraudulent policies of certain Western countries and award the Nobel Peace Prize to individuals or bodies that "sincerely seek to promote the culture of peace and justice in the world."

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