Poll: Most countries opposed to a nuclear Iran

A new Pew poll finds countries around the world opposed to nuclear-armed Iran, most support sanctions.

May 19, 2012 01:35
1 minute read.
Ahmadinejad looks on next to nuclear scientists

Ahmadinejad nuclear unveiling 390. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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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 released Friday.

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.

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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.

Pakistan is 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 weapons.

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 most countries.

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