Iran Nuclear NewsMany countries support military action on Iran: poll

Many countries support military action on Iran: poll


AFP: Majorities in many Western and some Muslim countries are willing to consider military action against Iran to prevent the Islamic republic from obtaining nuclear weapons, a global poll showed Thursday.

WASHINGTON, June 17, 2010 (AFP) – Majorities in many Western and some Muslim countries are willing to consider military action against Iran to prevent the Islamic republic from obtaining nuclear weapons, a global poll showed Thursday.

The Pew Research Center’s poll conducted in 22 countries found majorities or pluralities in 16 countries endorsing the possibility of military intervention.

Americans are among the most supportive of a military option to deal with Iran with 66 percent of those who oppose a nuclear-armed Iran saying they would consider the use of force, a figure second only to Nigeria’s 71 percent.

Among Europeans, the views are more mixed. In France, 59 percent said they would consider the use of military force to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, but a sizeable minority of 41 percent rejected this option.

Support for the military option is softer in Germany (51 percent), Spain (50 percent) and Britain (48 percent), while significant numbers (39, 34 and 37 percent, respectively) said it is more important to avoid a military conflict with Iran, even if it results in a nuclear-armed Tehran.

In the Muslim world, there is support for the use of military action to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons in Egypt (55 percent), Jordan (53 percent) and Lebanon, with 44 percent supporting such a notion and 37 percent opposed.

In Turkey, 37 percent of those surveyed said avoiding a military conflict with Iran should be the priority while 29 percent would consider the use of military force.

Pakistanis meanwhile largely support Iran’s purported efforts to acquire nuclear arms: 58 percent favor and just 10 percent oppose Iran acquiring such weapons, the poll showed.

Of the Pakistanis who oppose a nuclear-armed Iran, 34 percent said avoiding a conflict with Iran should be the priority and just 21 percent would endorse taking military action.

Russians were divided on the use of force, with 32 percent in each camp, while the Chinese poll respondents favored avoiding a clash by a margin of 43 to 35 percent; in Japan the priority of avoiding conflict was endorsed by 55 percent to 34 percent.

The poll also showed widespread negative views of Tehran’s Islamic regime and broad support for efforts to prevent the country from arming itself with atomic weapons.

“There is widespread opposition to Iran acquiring nuclear weapons and considerable support for tougher economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic,” Pew said in its Global Attitudes Project poll.

The poll found strong opposition to the Iranian nuclear effort and support for stronger sanctions in Spain (79 percent), Britain (78 percent), Germany (77 percent) and France (76 percent), as well as 67 percent in Russia and 58 percent in China.

Some 86 percent in Germany expressed an unfavorable view of Iran, with the figure 81 percent in France and 75 percent in Japan.

Iran had a positive image only in Pakistan and Indonesia in the poll, which surveyed 24,000 people in 22 countries between April 7 and May 8.

European leaders on Thursday backed new sanctions on Iran, going further than new UN and US punitive measures, in the wake of a fourth set of sanctions approved by the UN Security Council slapped over Iran’s refusal to halt suspect nuclear activities.

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