Right Web

Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

Iranians Losing Confidence in U.S. Compliance with JCPOA

Polls Indicate that Iranian public is losing confidence that the United States will abide by the terms of the landmark nuclear deal.

Print Friendly


The Iranian public is losing confidence that the United States will abide by the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), according to the latest in a series of polls undertaken by the Center for International and Security Studies (CISSM) at the University of Maryland.

The new poll, the first taken by CISSM since last month’s parliamentary elections, found widespread and broad-based support for President Hassan Rouhani. Sixty-three percent of respondents said that they voted for candidates who support Rouhani, while only 22% said that they voted for his critics.

The survey was conducted among a representative sample of 1,005 Iranians contacted by telephone between March 3 and March 13. It followed an earlier poll conducted February 15-24 on the eve of the first round of election. The telephone calls, which included some 30 questions, were placed from Toronto. They both had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2%.

Perhaps the most worrisome finding was a decline in enthusiasm for the JCPOA and in public confidence that Washington will live up to its commitments. Although overall approval of the JCPOA remains strong at 71%, the percentage of respondents who said that they “strongly” approved of the deal has fallen steadily from a high of 43% in August (a few weeks after the JCPOA between the P5+1 and Iran was concluded) to 27% in the latest survey.

Confidence that the U.S. will abide by the deal has also slipped—from 45% in a September survey by the Gallup organizations to 29%, according to CISSM. Although 41% of respondents said in September that they were either “not very” or “not at all” confident about Washington’s compliance, the new poll found that figure had risen to 66%. The pollsters did not probe the reasons for the increase in skepticism, although it may relate either to the continuing imposition of sanctions as well as coverage of the election campaign here.

Nonetheless, both the decline in support for the JCPOA and the skepticism about U.S. compliance may account for a decline in enthusiasm for Rouhani, according to CISSM. Although his favorability rating remains extraordinarily high—84% in the current poll—those respondents who say they have a “very favorable” view of the president have fallen from 61% last August to 40% this month.

This decline may also be related to views of the economy, according to CISSM’s analysis. In a poll taken last May, 54% agreed with the proposition that the country’s economic situation was good. Only 46% say that now. At the same time, 52% are optimistic that the economy is improving, as opposed to a third who said it is it is getting worse.

Consistent with Rouhani’s view, a large majority (64%) said that they favored increasing economic engagement with western countries. That included 54% of self-described critics of Rouhani. Nonetheless, a larger number (58%) continue to put a higher priority on achieving economic self-sufficiency—a quest repeatedly stressed by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei—than increasing trade with other countries, which is seen as a priority by only 36% of Iranians.

Many of the questions directed at respondents were designed to probe their identification with various political tendencies that will be represented in the new parliament. Sixty-eight percent of respondents said that they actually cast ballots in the election.

As expected, support for Rouhani was concentrated mainly among those who voted for Reformist and independent candidates, although 50% of respondents who voted for candidates from the conservative Principlist group said that they supported the president. Thirty-three percent of respondents said that they voted for candidates they believed were Reformist, 35% said that they voted for those they believed were Principlists, and 24% said that they voted for independents.

Sixty-one percent of pro-Principlist voters, 81% of pro-Reformist voters, and 71% of voters for independents said that they supported the JCPOA.

As to the election itself, 44% said that they considered it “very free and fair,” while another 39% said that they were “somewhat” free and fair. Asked about their satisfaction with the range of candidates they were able to vote for— the Guardian Council disqualified about 45% of the 12,000 candidates who filed to run for office—31% said that they were “very satisfied,” 39% said they were “somewhat satisfied,” and 17% expressed dissatisfaction.

The survey found majority support for Iran’s increasing its assistance to groups fighting the Islamic State (63%) and to the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (51%). The poll also found strong support (86.5%) for collaborating with other countries to end the civil war in Syria, although only 46% said that they approved of Iran’s collaborating with the U.S. in helping the Iraqi government in fighting the Islamic State. In August, 58% favored such cooperation.

Share RightWeb

Featured Profiles

Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), President Trump’s nominee for secretary of state to replace Rex Tillerson, is a “tea party” Republican who previously served as director of the CIA.

Richard Goldberg is a senior adviser at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies who served as a foreign policy aide to former Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL).

Reuel Marc Gerecht, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, has been advocating regime change in Iran since even before 9/11.

John Hannah, Dick Cheney’s national security adviser, is now a leading advocate for regime change in both Iran and Syria based at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Dennis Ross, a U.S. diplomat who served in the Obama administration, is a fellow at the “pro-Israel” Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Sheldon Adelson is a wealthy casino magnate known for his large, influential political contributions, his efforts to impact U.S. foreign policy discourse particularly among Republicans, and his ownership and ideological direction of media outlets.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is known for his hawkish views on foreign policy and close ties to prominent neoconservatives.

For media inquiries,
email rightwebproject@gmail.com

From the Wires

Print Friendly

North Korea and Iran both understand the lesson of Libya: Muammar Qaddafi, a horrifyingly brutal dictator, gave up his nuclear weapons, was eventually ousted from power with large-scale US assistance, and was killed. However, while Iran has a long and bitter history with the United States, North Korea’s outlook is shaped by its near-total destruction by forces led by the United States in the Korean War.

Print Friendly

Europe loathes having to choose between Tehran and Washington, and thus it will spare no efforts to avoid the choice. It might therefore opt for a middle road, trying to please both parties by persuading Trump to retain the accord and Iran to limit missile ballistic programs and regional activities.

Print Friendly

Key members of Trump’s cabinet should recognize the realism behind encouraging a Saudi- and Iranian-backed regional security agreement because the success of such an agreement would not only serve long-term U.S. interests, it could also have a positive impact on numerous conflicts in the Middle East.

Print Friendly

Given that Israel failed to defeat Hezbollah in its war in Lebanon in 2006, it’s difficult to imagine Israel succeeding in a war against both Hezbollah and its newfound regional network of Shiite allies. And at the same time not only is Hezbollah’s missile arsenal a lot larger and more dangerous than it was in 2006, but it has also gained vast experience alongside its allies in offensive operations against IS and similar groups.

Print Friendly

Donald Trump should never be excused of responsibility for tearing down the respect for truth, but a foundation for his flagrant falsifying is the fact that many people would rather be entertained, no matter how false is the source of their entertainment, than to confront truth that is boring or unsatisfying or that requires effort to understand.

Print Friendly

It would be a welcome change in twenty-first-century America if the reckless decision to throw yet more unbelievable sums of money at a Pentagon already vastly overfunded sparked a serious discussion about America’s hyper-militarized foreign policy.

Print Friendly

President Trump and his advisers ought to ask themselves whether it is in the U.S. interest to run the risk of Iranian withdrawal from the nuclear agreement. Seen from the other side of the Atlantic, running that risk looks dumb.