IRANIAN DEMONSTRATORS protest at the annual pro-Palestinian rally marking Al-Quds Day in Tehran, in June..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Iranians believe they got fleeced in the nuclear deal with the West, while support for ballistic missiles, Hezbollah and the Assad regime remains strong, and recent protests were about the economy not a revolution, Iran Poll found in a report released on Friday.
The poll of 1,002 Iranians was conducted from January 16 to 24, in cooperation with the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland, and the responses repudiate the beliefs that a revolution is near or that the nuclear deal has brought Iran closer to the West.
Some 74.8% of respondents said the nuclear 2015 deal has not improved living conditions in the Islamic Republic.
Furthermore, a staggering 90.7% believe the US did not lift sanctions it committed to lift, or is indirectly frustrating the benefits of lifting sanctions, and 86.4% have low confidence or are not confident at all that the US will live up to its obligations to reduce sanctions under the nuclear agreement.
Frustrating hopes that the deal would moderate Iran’s views and bring it closer to the West, 67.4% of those polled said the deal proves that Tehran should not make concessions to reach uinderstandings with world powers.
And 63% of respondents believe the International Atomic Energy Agency does not have the right under the agreement to check military sites in Iran, agreeing with the government in Tehran.
In a sign of the deal’s vulnerability, 52.8% said Iran should withdraw from the deal if the US does, even if Europe and other parties stick with it.
That said, 64.4% said that Iran should not agree to US President Donald Trump’s demand to extend the nuclear deal restrictions past the expiration dates written into the agreement, and 70.1% oppose agreeing to Tehran’s rolling back its ballistic missile tests under threat from Trump to withdraw from the pact if it does not.
European powers urge Trump to preserve Iran nuclear deal (REUTERS)
All of this suggests that there is little Iranian domestic support for the regime to agree to new concessions to the West, even as there are finally signs that Europe may support aspects of Trump’s desire to limit Iranian ballistic missile testing and regional adventurism.
Many commentators have said that recent protests in the Islamic Republic show that the common Iranian is fed up with money going toward military adventures outside the country.
But the poll found that 64.7% have a very favorable or somewhat favorable view of Hezbollah, and 48.5% support maintaining full assistance to the Assad regime in Syria, while only 30% want that assistance somewhat reduced and only 14.8% want it to end.
As for the motivation behind the Iranian protests, most of those surveyed said their complaints were related to the economy.
A growing majority of Iranians say the economy is bad – 69%, up from 63% in June – and getting worse – 58%, up from 50% in June.
Large majorities sympathize with complaints voiced by some protesters that the government is not doing enough to help the poor (73%), that it should do more to keep food prices from increasing (95%) and that it should compensate people who lost money when some financial institutions in Iran collapsed (81%).
An overwhelming majority (96%) wants the government to do more to fight financial and bureaucratic corruption.
Sixty-three percent say that domestic economic mismanagement and corruption have greater bad effects on Iran’s economy than sanctions.
In contrast, a majority of Iranians oppose fundamental changes to their political system, and 59.3% disagree with protests directed against strict religious practices.
Like others who poll in Iran, Iran Poll surveys Iranians over the phone. However, the polling service says it is the only one that has interviewers who speak all of the major languages in Iran, and not merely Farsi.