Poll: Iranians mixed on nuke development

Feb. 15, 2012 at 10:32 AM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- Iranians are split in their support of the development of Iran's nuclear capabilities, both for power and for military use, a Gallup Poll said.

The poll, however, found Iranians are more likely to approve of Iran developing its nuclear power capabilities for non-military use than for weapons. The survey found 57 percent of Iranians support nuclear power capabilities for non-military use. Forty percent approved of the development of nuclear weapons and 35 percent disapproved. The remaining 25 percent had no opinion either way.

Nearly half, 46 percent, said they approve of Iran cutting diplomatic relations with countries that impose economic sanctions. Thirty-one percent said they disapprove of cutting ties, the U.S.-based polling firm said Wednesday.

Iranian adults with higher education are more likely to oppose developing Iran's nuclear power for military purposes and are more likely to oppose cutting ties with countries that impose economic sanctions on Iran.

Gallup said many experts fear that hostile actions taken against Iran will only strengthen the regime internally. "Western governments looking for long-term change in Iran should consider how the people of Iran will perceive their actions, particularly when a sizable minority of Iranians do not want to cut ties with these nations," the poll's authors wrote.

The findings are based on telephone interviews with approximately 1,000 adults, aged 15 and older. The poll, conducted Dec. 16, 2011-Jan. 10, 2012, in Iran, has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.

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