Arab majority backs nuclear Iran: poll

August 7, 2010

According to a poll published recently by the Washington Times a vast majority of the Arab world has a positive view of a “nuclear armed Iran”.

The new poll on this hypothetical situation shows that the percentage of the Arab world that thinks a nuclear-armed Iran would be good for the Middle East has doubled since last year and now makes up the majority.
Iran has repeatedly denied being in pursuit of nuclear arms. Being a member of the Non Proliferation Treaty, Iran’s nuclear facilities are regularly monitored by IAEA inspectors and cameras. Most importantly the Leader of the Islamic Republic has declared development of nuclear arms as “haram” (forbidden according to sharia).
The survey was conducted by University of Maryland professor Shibley Telhami in conjunction with the polling firm Zogby International. According to the findings the percentage of respondents who positively view nuclear armed Iran doubled since last year.
The 2010 Arab Public Opinion Poll shows 57 percent of the interviewees believe that Iran’s nuclear program aims to build a “bomb”, but also view that goal positively. This figure nearly doubled the 29 percent polled in 2009.
The percentage of those who view an Iranian “nuclear bomb” negatively fell by more than half, from 46 percent to 21 percent.
Iran is an advocate of peace in the region and the world. In April Tehran hosted an international conference under the slogan of “nuclear energy for all, nuclear weapons for none.”
According to the Washington Times report other polls conducted in the Muslim world reflected similar views. The poll also found rapidly diminishing support for U.S. President Barrack Obama in the Muslim world.
Obama’s favorable ratings fell from 45 percent in 2009 to 20 percent this year, while the unfavorable rating nearly tripled, from 23 percent to 62 percent.
It was also reported that sixty-one percent of respondents cite the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as the issue with which they are most disappointed by the Obama administration, while 27 percent choose Iraq and 4 percent Afghanistan.
Telhami, who has been conducting the poll since 2003, made the study from June 19 to July 20, surveying 3,976 respondents from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.). The large sample gives the poll a margin error of 1.6 percentage points