Right Web

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

Nearly 2/3 of U.S. Public Opposes Withdrawing from Iran Nuclear Deal

Lobelog

Amid growing speculation about a Trump administration’s intentions regarding the Iran nuclear deal, a new poll has found that nearly two-thirds of the U.S. public opposes withdrawing from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) negotiated 18 months ago between Iran and the P5+1.

The poll, part of a much larger survey by the University of Maryland’s Program for Public Consultation (PPC) about public attitudes about the U.S. role in world affairs, was released Thursday to foster better informed debate about the issue in advance of Trump’s inauguration. It included 2,980 respondents and was conducted December 22-28.

“Though President-elect Trump campaigned on ripping up the deal and seeking to negotiate a better one, the majority of Americans would rather continue with the deal as long as Iran continues to comply with its terms,” said PPC’s director, veteran foreign-policy pollster Steven Kull.

Reaction split along predictably partisan lines. Nearly nine out of ten Democrats (86%) favored continuing the deal so long as Iran complies with it, while 40% of Republicans agreed with that position. Among self-described independents, 58% said the U.S. should stick with the deal.

The poll was released just a day after 37 leading U.S. scientists—including Nobel laureates, nuclear experts, and former White House science advisers—sent an open letter to Trump in support of the deal. The deal provided a “strong bulwark against an Iranian nuclear-weapons program” and a “critical U.S. strategic asset,” the scientists wrote.

It remains very unclear what Trump will do. He has often referred to the JCPOA as “disastrous.” Last March, he told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee that his “number one priority is to dismantle [it].” In the same speech, however, he declared that, as president, he will ensure that the deal is “enforce[d] like you’ve never seen a contract enforced before…” At still other times, he has said the agreement should be renegotiated.

Although generally quite hawkish toward Iran, top appointments to his administration so far have been divided on the JCPOA. Trump’s national security adviser, Gen. Michael Flynn (ret.), is strongly opposed to it, while his nominee for secretary of state, Gen. James Mattis (ret.), believes the deal is flawed but worth sustaining. A U.S. withdrawal or reimposition of sanctions, he warned last spring, would prove largely ineffective or even counter-productive because the other parties in the P5+1 (Britain, France, Russia, and China plus Germany) were highly unlikely to go along.

Although the administration may itself not take any specific action – at least, not immediately – Republicans and a handful of Democrats in Congress are expected to push legislation in the coming weeks that would, for example, bar the transfer of Boeing commercial aircraft to Iran, tax or otherwise sanction domestic and foreign companies that do business with Tehran, and/or impose new sanctions on Iran for its alleged support of terrorism or human rights abuses. Iran and other P5+1 partners could interpret these efforts as violations of the deal’s terms.

As with other PPC polls, the new survey provided respondents with background and basic information about the JCPOA and its implementation. They were then asked to evaluate arguments for and against withdrawing from the deal and seeking to renegotiate it (“very” or “somewhat convincing,” or “very” or “somewhat unconvincing”). Overall, 52% of respondents found the arguments in favor of withdrawal and renegotiation either somewhat (39%) or very (24.1%) “convincing,” while 63% found the arguments in favor of sustaining the agreement convincing (24.1%, very and 39% somewhat).

Bearing in mind the information they’d received and assessments they’d made up to that point, respondents were then asked how likely they believed it would be that other UN members would also agree to withdraw from the deal and seek its renegotiation. Overall, a 58% majority said that they believed other UN members would indeed follow the U.S.

However, when then asked how likely they believed it would be that Iran would agree to renegotiate the deal and make additional concessions, nearly 70% (68.8%) of respondents said that such a new agreement was either “not very” or “not at all” likely.

In light of all of the above, respondents were asked as a final question whether they thought the U.S. should withdraw from and renegotiate the deal or “continue with the deal as long as Iran complies with the terms.”

Overall, 63.7% of respondents—including 40.4% of Republicans—opted to continue the deal.

Share RightWeb

Featured Profiles

The brainchild of Sears-Roebuck heiress Nina Rosenwald, the Gatestone Institute is a New York-based advocacy organization formerly chaired by John Bolton that is notorious for spreading misinformation about Muslims and advocating extremely hawkish views on everything from Middle East policy to immigration.


Conrad Black is a former media mogul closely connected to rightist political factions in the United States who was convicted in July 2007 for fraud and obstruction of justice and later pardoned by his friend President Trump.


David Friedman is U.S. Ambassador to Israel under Donald Trump. He is known for his extreme views on Israel, which include opposition to the creation of a Palestinian state and support for Israeli settlements.


Jason Greenblatt is the Special Representative for International Negotiations for President Donald Trump primarily working on the Israel-Palestine conflict.


The neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies has re-established itself as a primary driver of hawkish foreign policy, especially in the Middle East, during the Trump administration.


Rupert Murdoch is the head of News Corp, the parent company of Fox News, and a long-time supporter of neoconservative campaigns to influence U.S. foreign policy.


Shmuley Boteach is a “celebrity rabbi” known for his controversial “pro-Israel” advocacy.


For media inquiries,
email rightwebproject@gmail.com

From the Wires

A series of escalations in both word and deed have raised fears of U.S.-Iranian military confrontation, either direct or by proxy. It is urgent that cooler heads prevail – in European capitals as in Tehran and Washington – to head off the threat of a disastrous war.


Vladimir Putin excels at taking advantage of mistakes made by Russia’s adversaries to further his country’s interests. Donald Trump’s Iran policy has given Putin plenty of opportunity to do that.


The Trump administration’s claims about purported Iranian threats have been repeated by credulous reporters and TV news programs far and wide.


This is the cartoon that the international edition of the New York Times should have run, at least as regards U.S. policy toward Iran.


The assault on Tripoli by Khalifa Haftar, Libya’s renegade general and leader of the self-anointed Libyan National Army (LNA), has forced an indefinite postponement of key UN peace efforts in the country even as the Trump White House announced that the president recognized Haftar’s “important” role in fighting terrorists.


With all eyes focused these days on Donald Trump and his myriad crimes, John Bolton’s speeches are a reminder that even worse options are waiting in the wings.


Advocates of cutting U.S. aid to Israel rather than using it as leverage must understand how this aid works, how big a challenge it represents for advocacy, and how to make a potentially successful argument against it.


RightWeb
share