A new poll has found that a majority of Americans support the first step agreement reached last month between the six world powers and Iran over its nuclear program.
The deal freezes Iran’s production of low-enriched uranium, eliminates its stockpile of higher enriched uranium and commits the Islamic Republic to more intrusive inspections from United Nations nuclear experts, in exchange for modest sanctions relief.
The new Associated Press-GfK poll found that 59 percent either approve or “lean approve,” while 38 percent disapprove or “lean disapprove.”
These results track with a number of surveys taken recently on the Iran nuclear deal and serve as further evidence that two recent polls — one conducted by Pew and the other by a Republican pollster — finding opposition to the agreement are outliers.
The AP-GfK poll results come as two Democratic senators are setting out to defy the White House in a push for additional sanctions on Iran, a move that many think would violate the terms of the Geneva agreement and scuttle talks.
Moreover, the bill says that President Obama cannot waive sanctions on Iran unless he can certify that a final deal on its nuclear program will include provisions that require Iran to dismantle its nuclear infrastructure, an option that Obama said recently is “not available.”
“There is no question the legislation violates the spirit of the Geneva agreement and it would undoubtedly be seen by the Iranians that way, giving ammunition to hard-liners and other spoilers looking to derail further progress,” former Obama administration Pentagon official Colin Kahl told Foreign Policy.
Sens. Carl Levin (D-MI) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA) write that more sanctions on Iran now “would run the risk of derailing efforts toward a peaceful resolution, and risk the unity we have achieved with the world community that has been so crucial to our progress to date.
“[A]llowing time for the United States and its allies to explore the possibility of a peaceful resolution is in our nation’s interest and in the interest of our friends and allies. It is clearly what the American people want and expect.”