WASHINGTON – Countries in the West, Asia and the Middle East are united in not
wanting to see a nuclear-armed Iran, with most supporting sanctions and even some
Arab states favoring force to prevent such a scenario, according to a Pew poll
Sixty-three percent of Americans think military force
should be used to keep Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, while slim
majorities in Britain, France, Germany and several other European countries back
such a course, as they do in Egypt and Jordan.
In Lebanon, a plurality of
46% back military force if necessary, but in Turkey only 26% do while 42% are
opposed. These numbers are similar to those in Russia (24% in favor; 41%
opposed) and China (30% in favor; 39% opposed).
Iran is highly disliked,
led by 91% of Germans who hold an unfavorable view of the country. Other
Europeans countries range between 62% and 85% in terms of those holding negative
views of Iran, with 68% of Americans holding a negative view.
the only Muslim country that holds a favorable view of the Islamic Republic, and
the stance of many Arab countries is negative and in some cases sharply falling.
Between 2006 and 2012, Iran’s favorability rating fell from 59% to 22% in Egypt
and from 49% to 18% in Jordan.
Pakistan is similarly the only country of
those surveyed that would like to see Iran get nuclear
Opposition in North America and Europe is in the high 80s to
90s. Just slightly lower percentages in those countries approve tougher
sanctions on Iran.
In Russia and China, however, only 46% and 38% of the
respective publics would like to see stronger sanctions.
In America, the
possibility of using force against Iran if necessary is split somewhat along
party lines, with it being favored by 79% of Republicans, 61% of Democrats and
58% of Independents.
The survey was conducted by telephone and
face-to-face interviews with 26,210 people in 21 countries between March 17 and
April 20, according to Pew. The margin of error ranged from +/-3% to +/-5% among