Iran General NewsGlobal attitudes toward U.S. improve; Iran ranked worst in...

Global attitudes toward U.S. improve; Iran ranked worst in poll

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Bloomberg: Attitudes toward U.S. influence on the world have improved in the past year, according to an annual survey of people in 34 countries. Iran scored worst in the poll. By Robin Stringer

April 2 (Bloomberg) — Attitudes toward U.S. influence on the world have improved in the past year, according to an annual survey of people in 34 countries. Iran scored worst in the poll.

Respondents who said the U.S. has a negative influence decreased to 47 percent from 52 percent, while 35 percent said it had a positive effect, up from 31 percent, the poll of 17,457 people for the British Broadcasting Corp.’s World Service showed. It was the first improvement in perception of the U.S. since the survey by GlobeScan and the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland began in 2005.

“It may be that as the U.S. approaches a new presidential election, views of the U.S. are being mitigated by hope that a new administration will move away from the foreign policies that have been so unpopular in the world,” PIPA director Steven Kull said in a statement on the BBC’s Web site. Respondents were asked to rate 13 countries and the European Union.

Iran had the most negative rating in the 2007 poll, unchanged from 2006 at 54 percent. Israel, the nation viewed most negatively in 2006, was ranked after Iran in the new poll. Some 52 percent of respondents viewed Israel negatively, compared with 57 percent in 2006. Pakistan’s 50 percent put it in third place in negative ratings for 2007, the first year it was included.

“The poll suggests that Iran continues to pay a price for its nuclear standoff with the United Nations,” GlobeScan President Doug Miller said in the statement.

Iran was viewed positively by 20 percent of respondents. Israel’s positive rating was 19 percent. Some 18 percent rated Pakistan positively.

Germany Is First

Germany, also rated for the first time in the 2007 survey, was viewed most positively, with 56 percent expressing approval, compared with 18 percent seeing it negatively. Japan was second, with 56 percent approval and 21 percent negative. The country with the most improved perception was Russia, with respondents’ positive impressions climbing to 37 percent from 29 percent.

The participants were asked in telephone or in-home interviews to rate Brazil, Britain, China, France, Germany, India, Iran, Israel, Japan, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, the U.S. and the European Union, as having a mainly positive or negative influence in the world. GlobeScan coordinated the research between October and January.

About 500 people were polled in each of the 34 countries surveyed. They include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, El Salvador, France, Germany, Ghana, Britain, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Panama, the Philippines, Portugal, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and the U.S.

The margin of error for each country ranges from 3.4 to 4.6 percent, according to the statement.

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