The majority of Iranians are in favor of their country having nuclear
weapons, despite the fact that they are worried about international
sanctions, according to a poll carried out by US-based Charney Research for the
International Peace Institute.
The poll found that 71 percent of Iranians want the country to have
atomic weapons, a number that stood on only 52 percent in 2007.
Forty-seven percent of respondents believed international sanctions on
the Islamic Republic were having a major impact.
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Just one in six Iranians think there is any likelihood the US or Israel will attack their nuclear facilities.
The survey of some 700 people, carried out in September, showed that
most Iranians voted for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the 2009
elections which many have said were fixed.
The poll found that, by a three-to-one majority, Iranians want closer
ties to the West, not reduced links. They also support Western criticism
of Iranian human rights violations and aid to Iranian nongovernmental
Despite their desire for closer ties, however, as tensions have risen on
the nuclear issue, Iranians have felt spurned by the West. Almost
nine-tenths are now hostile to the US—a 40-point increase on 2008—while
55 percent are unfavorable to Europeans.
While Iran’s leaders are widely believed to be seeking regional
hegemony, its public would prefer to focus on domestic needs by a margin
of two to one. Moreover, while three-fifths support aid to Hamas and
Hizbullah, three-fifths would also accept a two-state agreement between
Israelis and Palestinians.
The poll was carried out from Istanbul by telephone.