May 10, 2012
Tracking Public Opinion on Iran
Recent News (Updated 10/27/2013)
US Attack on Iran
A new Reuters/Ipsos poll asked, for the first time in a while, a question about a US attack in Iran (following the new interim deal)-
Only 20% answered that the US should use military force. 49% thought that it should increase sanctions, and 31% believe that it should resume diplomatic efforts.
When it comes to the interim agreement itself, 44% said they support the deal, while only 22% oppose it. Two other polls taken before the agreement was signed, one by ABC/Washington Post and the other by CNN/ORC, both showed strong levels of support (64% and 56%) for an agreement (The difference between the two polls is discussed here).
A recent AJC poll (October 2013) which examined the opinions of US Jews on the matter found that 52% percent of American Jews favor an attack on Iran in case diplomatic efforts do not succeed (24% strongly; 28% somewhat), a sharp decline from last year's figures (64.1% in favor- 36% somewhat and 28% strongly).
US/Israeli Support for an Israeli Attack
The Reuters/Ipsos poll also asked Americans the following question about a possible Israeli strike on Iran-
In total, 40% would approve the strike (including 25% who would approve the strike even if the US government would not support it) while 20% did not.
A March 2013 poll, conducted by CNN/ORC, asked the American public the following question:
49% of the respondents were for supporting Israel and 49% were against it (for 'not getting involved').
Among American Jews, support for an Israeli attack on Iran (if necessary) is quite unequivocal- according to the AJC poll 67% of American Jews would support an Israeli attack on Iran, should diplomacy not end its suspected nuclear weapons program.
When it comes to the Israeli public, a recent Israel Hayom/New Wave poll finds that about two thirds of Israelis agree with Benjamin Netanyahu's statement that "Israel should face Iran alone, if necessary". 66% of the respondents agreed, 22% disagreed and the remaining 13% were not sure.
Attitudes toward Iran
A September Gallup poll asked Americans whether they consider Iran as an ally, friendly but not an ally, unfriendly, or an enemy to the US. 83% of the respondents said that Iran was unfriendly/Enemy, while 10% answered friend/ally.
A Gallup poll conducted this February shows that the vast majority (83%) of Americans believe that Iran's nuclear program is 'a critical threat to the vital interests of the United States'. Iran also finished last in Gallup's 'country favorability ranking' compiled on the same dates: a whopping 87% of Americans have an 'unfavorable' attitude towards Iran while only 9% view the country favorably.
A fascinating comprehensive survey conducted by James Zogby in 20 Arab countries (Published late February 2013) points out 'a growing antipathy toward Iran across the Arab World and among Iran’s non-Arab neighbors'. The survey shows that Iran is currently viewed unfavorably in 14 of the 20 Arab countries covered in the study; that only 3 of the 20 countries view Iran as a 'good role model to follow';and that majorities in 16 of the 20 countries agree that Iran is contributing to a sectarian division in the Arab world. Definitely worth a look.
An interesting Gallup poll (published in November) shows that an overwhelming 85% majority of Iranians feel that the sanctions have effected their livelihoods (50% said it effected them 'a great deal', 35% said somewhat). Another very interesting observation from that same poll (based on results from June)-
A May-June Gallup survey asked Iranians whether they approve of Iran 'developing its own nuclear power capabilities for military use'. 41% disapproved, 34% approved and 25% answered with a 'don't know/refuse to answer'.
In February Gallup published the results of an intriguing poll tracking the Iranian public's attitude toward the severe international sanctions imposed on Iran by the international community. According to the poll (conducted between mid-December and mid-January), '48% say sanctions have affected their own personal livelihoods a great deal and another 35% say somewhat'. When asked who is most responsible for the sanctions, only 10% answered 'the Iranian Government' while 47% blamed the US.
Attack, diplomacy or no attack?
Click here for the full table