Declining Support for Tough Measures
against Iran’s Nuclear Program: Global Poll
Support for tough measures against Iran’s nuclear program has fallen in 13 out of 21
countries according to a new BBC World Service Poll.
Compared to results from a June 2006 BBC World Service Poll, support for economic
sanctions or military strikes has declined significantly, including in countries that were
previously among the highest supporters of tough action.
Support for these measures has dropped 10 points in Australia (52 per cent to 42 per cent),
nine points in Britain (43 per cent to 34 per cent), nine points in Germany (46 per cent to 37
per cent), seven points in Canada (52 per cent to 45 per cent), six points in the United States
(66 per cent to 60 per cent) and 30 points in Mexico (46 per cent to 16 per cent).
Only three countries show an increase in support for economic sanctions or military strikes:
an increase of nine points among Israelis (62 per cent to 71 per cent), six points among
South Koreans (47 per cent to 53 per cent), and 12 points among Turkish respondents (21
per cent to 33 per cent).
Most interviews were conducted following the release of the US National Intelligence
Estimate that concluded Iran had stopped pursuing nuclear weapons in 2003.
Across all 31 countries surveyed in the latest poll (the 21 tracking countries plus an
additional 10 countries polled for the first time), most respondents oppose the use of
economic sanctions or military strikes.
Respondents were presented four options that the UN Security Council could use to address
the fact that Iran continues to produce nuclear fuel in defiance of the UN Security Council
resolution. The options of economic sanctions or military strikes were rejected in 27 out of 31
countries. Instead, the most preferred approaches are to either use only diplomatic efforts or
not pressure Iran at all.
On average 57 per cent favor diplomacy (43 per cent) or no pressure on Iran (14 per cent).