Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at UN 370 (R).
(photo credit: Mike Segar / Reuters)
Nearly nine out of 10 Americans view Iran unfavorably, making it the lowest rated country out of 22 nations that are frequently in the news and were asked about in a Gallup survey released Thursday.
Israel is viewed favorably by 66 percent of Americans, according to the survey, while 29% of respondents said they have an unfavorable view of the Jewish state.
Canada and the UK received the most favorable ratings among countries asked about with 91% and 88% ratings respectively. Gallup's analysis of the survey data found that "Americans are most positive about countries that are democracies and US allies, and least positive about countries that are seen as threats to the US, those that are involved in major turmoil, and those that are not traditional democracies."
Iran's 87% unfavorable rating was worse than North Korea (84%), Pakistan (81%), Syria (75%) and the Palestinian Authority (77%).
"Israel and the Palestinian Authority comprise one of the few country pairs that are significantly correlated in a negative direction, meaning that Americans who rate one favorably tend to rate the other unfavorably," according to Gallup's analysis of the data.
Gallup added that its continuing research has shown that Americans strongly favor Israel in the conflict with the Palestinian Authority, explaining the PA's being ranked in the bottom group in the survey. Only 15 % of respondents said they view the PA favorably.
Following Canada and the UK as the most favorably viewed countries on the list were Germany (85%), Japan (81%), France (73%), India (68%) and Israel.
Mexico (47%) was eighth on the list, followed by Russia (44%), China (43%), Venezuela (40%), Egypt (40%), Saudi Arabia (36%), Cuba (34%), Libya (20%), Iraq (19%) and Afghanistan (15%).
Iran and North Korea's ratings as the most unfavorably viewed countries on the list were in keeping with a previous Gallup poll published on February 18 which found that Americans viewed the development of nuclear weapons by Tehran and Pyongyang as the most critical threats to the vital interests of the United States.