Friday, August 19, 2022

Polls: Most Americans support Iran nuclear deal, favor sanctions removal

Most US voters still support the Iran nuclear deal and believe US’s anti-Tehran sanctions should be lifted, according to new Morning Consult polling.

However, President Joe Biden’s window of opportunity to act is shrinking as midterm elections approach and former President Donald Trump’s shadow looms large, with voters split sharply along party lines over his 2018 decision to withdraw from the Barack Obama-era deal.

The Dec. 28-29 survey shows broad support for the accord. However, framing matters greatly on the topic: While Republican voters are roughly split over the agreement in principle, they overwhelmingly back Trump’s unilateral decision to withdraw from the Obama-era deal less than three years after it was inked.

Opinions on the deal are swayed heavily by framing: 56 percent support the 2015 agreement, though partisan gaps widen over the question of whether Trump was right to withdraw from the deal, with 67 percent of Republicans supporting the withdrawal and 65 percent of Democrats opposing it.

Nearly 4 in 5 US voters said they were concerned Iran will manufacture nuclear weapons, with only North Korea and China drawing a greater share of worry.

Only 1 in 3 voters said they thought a return to the 2015 deal would prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons, if it were successfully negotiated.

Tehran denies seeking nuclear weapons, stressing it wants to master nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

Morning Consult polling shows Americans would be willing for the government to lift sanctions on Iran if that was a condition for resumed talks.

And 2 in 3 voters in the Morning Consult survey said they would support increased economic sanctions against Tehran should the talks in Vienna fail.

The eighth round of talks kicked off in Vienna in late December 2021. The negotiations seek to restore the landmark deal in its original form and bring the US back into the agreement.

Iran insists that the talks must lead to the removal of all American sanctions that were imposed against Tehran following Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from the landmark agreement in May 2018. Tehran has also demanded credible guarantees that Washington will not abandon the deal again.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has stated a good deal can be reached between Tehran and the P4+1 group of countries in Vienna if there is serious determination on the part of all sides.

“To us, it is definitely important to defend our country’s rights and interests. Negotiation is about giving something and taking something in exchange. If we have serious determination, we can reach a good deal in the shortest time possible,” he added.

The chief diplomat, however, noted Iran was not seeking to prolong the talks with the P4+1 states, namely France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China.

He also expressed satisfaction with the current state of progress in the talks and stressed the US had certain unacceptable demands earlier in the course of the diplomatic progress.

The foreign minister stated the proposals that Iran had put forward in the discussions were transparent, and that it was now the opposite parties, especially the Western side, that should show goodwill.

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