Poll: 71% of Iranians want nuclear arsenal

Survey finds less than half of Iranians think sanctions having major impact; only 1 in 6 believes Israel, US will attack nuclear facilities.

December 9, 2010 21:46
1 minute read.
Iran war games

iran war games. (photo credit: Associated Press)

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 organizations.

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.

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