A new poll released on Tuesday found that by a 2 to 1 margin, more Americans support the agreement between the P5+1 and Iran that will rein in the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program in exchanges for modest sanctions relief. The poll also found that only 20 percent said the U.S. should resort to military force against Iran if the deal fails.
The deal will eliminate Iran’s stockpile of medium enriched uranium, thus expanding the time that Iran will need to “break out” to build a nuclear weapon if it makes that decision. The agreement also caps the amount of low-enrichced uranium Iran can produce, halts installation of centrifuges and freezes work on the uncompleted heavy water reactor. In exchange, the Iranians will receive around $7 billion relaxed sanctions.
According to the new Reuters/Ipsos survey, 44 percent of Americans support that deal while just 22 percent oppose it. If the deal fails, 49 percent said the U.S. should impose more sanctions, 31 percent said launch further diplomacy and just 20 percent said the U.S. should use military force in response to a failed first step agreement.
While the poll also found that a majority think Iran intends to build nuclear weapons (U.S. and Israeli intelligence believe Iran has not yet made this decision), 65 percent said the U.S. “should not become involved in any military action in the Middle East unless America is directly threatened.”
“This absolutely speaks to war fatigue, where the American appetite for intervention – anywhere – is extremely low,” Ipsos pollster Julia Clark said, according to Reuters. “It could provide some support with Congress for the arguments being made by the administration.”
While nonproliferation experts are also widely supportive of the agreement, the Reuters/Ipsos poll results track with other poll findings just before the international community reached the deal with Iran last weekend in Geneva. A Washington Post/ABC News poll last week found that 64 percent would support lifting “some of their economic sanctions against Iran, in exchange for Iran restricting its nuclear program.” And a CNN poll released one day later found that “56% of the public would favor an international agreement that would impose major restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program but not end it completely, with 39% opposed to such an agreement.”