A new poll has found that a majority of Americans favor a final nuclear deal with Iran that provides sanctions relief and a limited civilian nuclear program coupled with a strict verification and monitoring component to assure that Iran does not produce nuclear weapons.
According to the survey — conducted by the Program for Public Consultation and the Center for International & Security Studies at the University of Maryland — 61 percent of respondents favor making the deal, including “62 percent of Republicans, 65 percent of Democrats and 51 percent of independents.”
The pollsters provided respondents with a brief summary of the issues surrounding Iran’s nuclear program and then offered different arguments and asked what outcome they would support. The summary and arguments were vetted by “Congressional staffers from both parties and other experts.”
The poll asked respondents whether they agreed with “two major options being considered for the US”:
- Continue to pursue a long-term agreement that limits Iran’s enrichment of uranium: Iran would accept intrusive inspections of their program, while the US would accept Iran enriching to the low level necessary for nuclear energy, and would gradually ease some sanctions provided that Iran sticks to the agreement.
- Do not negotiate an agreement that includes Iran having limited enrichment, but rather impose new sanctions on other countries to get them to cut their economic relations with Iran to pressure Iran to agree to completely stop all uranium enrichment.
“Americans find convincing the arguments for making a deal as well as for ending the negotiations and ramping up sanctions,” said Steven Kull, director of the Program for Public Consultation. “But when asked to finally decide, a clear majority breaks in favor of a deal.”
The survey’s results track closely with previous polling on Iran’s nuclear program. Americans have consistently favored a diplomatic approach to the issue over a military one; and numerous polls have shown that Americans opposed increased pressure while talks are ongoing and supported the interim nuclear agreement the U.S. and its international partners reached with Iran last November.