WASHINGTON — The Peace Research Institute Oslo, an independent foundation, has put together a short list of contenders for the Nobel Peace Prize, to be announced Friday:
■ Mohammad Javad Zarif and Federica Mogherini: Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, and Mogherini, high representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, negotiated the Iran nuclear deal. As the Peace Research Institute wrote, ‘‘the peaceful and successful resolution of the Iran nuclear dispute . . . would be a worthy and notable winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.’’ Something else working in their favor: The committee may well want to reaffirm the value of the deal at a time when President Trump is considering pulling out of it. John Kerry, former US secretary of state, and Ernest Moniz, former energy secretary, played pivotal roles in the negotiations.
■ Filippo Grandi: The United Nations high commissioner on refugees had a big year. His organization took on an unprecedented refugee crisis across Europe and the Middle East. There are more than 65 million people in the world who are forcibly displaced; more than 22 million of whom are refugees. At the same time, European countries and the United States are growing less and less willing to take them in. ‘‘In this situation, the Office of the UNHCR has shown its capacity and integrity in standing up for refugees’ rights and needs time and time again,’’ the Peace Research Institute wrote.
■ Cumhuriyet and Can Dündar: Cumhuriyet editor and columnist Dündar was arrested this year and jailed on charges of disclosing state secrets and aiding a terrorist group. He moved to Germany after being found guilty. Dündar has become the face of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s vicious crackdown on free press and civil liberties. ‘‘Cumhuriyet, has been renowned for its impartial reporting and fearlessness in criticizing the authorities,’’ the Peace Research Institute wrote. ‘‘This September, no fewer than 17 of Cumhuriyet’s employees stand trial for various charges of being complicit in terrorism.’’
■ The White Helmets and Raed al Saleh: In some ways, the White Helmets/Syrian Civil Defense is an ideal contender for the Peace Prize. The civilian group in Syria, led by Saleh, has been credited with saving lives and easing suffering during a brutal, yearslong war. ‘‘A prize to the White Helmets would not be a prize only for humanitarian efforts, it would also draw attention to the remarkable — yet rarely celebrated — resilient forces of societies hit by armed conflict,’’ the Peace Research Institute wrote. The organization is controversial, though. Allies of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have accused the group of being a creation of the West and suggested that they work with extremists.
Meanwhile, British oddsmakers say Pope Francis is favored to win the honor for his unflinching advocacy of migrants and refugees, along with his efforts to halt climate change. Angela Merkel could also have a shot. The German chancellor welcomed more than 1 million refugees into her country in 2015, despite sustained opposition. Merkel has also been a steady voice for international cooperation, making the case again and again for the European Union.
The Guardian newspaper has suggested the American Civil Liberties Union could walk away with the prize for its efforts against several decisions by the Trump administration. The publication also lists Raif Badawi, a Saudi blogger who’s been in prison since 2012. ‘‘His victory, after repeated nominations, would be for courage, rationalism, and freedom of speech — and an implicit criticism of a brutally repressive regime,’’ the paper wrote.