Six in 10 Americans say force needed to stop Iranian nukes

Fox News poll finds that 25% of the respondents believe sanctions and diplomacy would be enough to stop the program.

March 7, 2010 03:57
1 minute read.
Pro-government demonstrators gather in the central

iran revolution rally 311. (photo credit: AP)


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WASHINGTON – Sixty percent of Americans think military force will be necessary to stop Iran from working on nuclear weapons, a Fox News poll released last week found.

In contrast, only 25% of the respondents said sanctions and diplomacy would be enough to stop the program.

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The proportion of those who believe sanctions and diplomacy alone can work has dropped slightly, from the 29% who said so when polled by Fox News in September. But the numbers for military force only grew by one point in that time.

Faced with a scenario in which Iran acquired a nuclear weapon, 56% of those surveyed said it would be a “disaster,” 37% said it was “a problem that could be managed,” and 3% said it was “not a problem at all.” Another 3% said they didn’t know.

The poll also found that slightly more Americans don’t approve of US President Barack Obama’s handling of the issue of Iran than approve, with 42% disapproving and 41% approving. That number is lower than on the other national security issues covered in the survey – Afghanistan and terrorism – but the same or higher than on domestic issues including health care and the federal deficit.

The survey was conducted by telephone on February 23 and 24 of 900 registered voters by Opinion Dynamics on behalf of Fox News. The margin of error is +/- 3%.

At the same time, an Israel Project poll found that 73% of Americans still wanted to see international economic and diplomatic sanctions on Iran expanded, with only 19% saying they opposed such efforts.

Also, 69% agreed with the statement: “Even with all the problems that America faces at home now, we must still work hard to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons,” with only 24% instead saying they agreed that “with all the problems that America is facing at home now, we should reduce our efforts to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons.”


The Israel Project poll was conducted of 1001 people on February 20 to 24. The margin of error is +/- 3.2%.

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