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A majority of Iranians blame U.S. for sanctions, still support nuclear program: Gallup poll
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c_330_235_16777215_0___images_stories_famous_02_am32.jpgTEHRAN – The sanctions imposed on Iran over its nuclear program do not seem to have been successful at turning Iranian public opinion against the nuclear program and against the country’s leaders, the Washington Post reported on Friday, citing a new Gallup poll.    
 
Last year, the Washington Post’s Karen DeYoung and Scott Wilson reported that the Obama administration sees public discontent as an intended effect of the sanctions. But an overwhelming majority of Iranians told Gallup that Iran should continue its nuclear program, even when the question was specifically phrased to remind them that economic sanctions are a direct result of that program.
 
According to the Washington Post, Gallup asked, “Given the scale of the sanctions against Iran, do you think Iran should continue to develop its nuclear power capabilities, or not?” Almost two-thirds of respondents, 63 percent, said yes. Only 17 percent said no; 19 percent said they didn’t know or refused to answer. 
 
The poll also found that Iranians are almost five times as likely to blame the United States for sanctions as they are to blame their own government. Even fewer blame Europe or the United Nations, though both are instrumental in the economic sanctions. Pollsters asked, “Which of the following groups do you hold most responsible for sanctions against Iran?” Out of the seven choices, the most popular by far was the United States, with 47 percent. Only 10 percent blamed the Iranian government; 9 percent said Israel; 7 percent each named “Western European countries” and the United Nations. Three percent said “someone else,” zero said “no one,” and 17 percent declined to answer. 
 
According to the Washington Post, the results of the poll show that the sanctions do not seem to be rallying Iranians against their leaders or the nuclear program, but rather reinforcing popular antagonism toward the United States. This poll suggests that nuclear development and defiant foreign policy will continue to be winners.
 
Gallup says this poll is based on phone interviews with 1,000 Iranian adults and cites a margin of error of 2.8 percent. 
 
According to the Washington Post, these results seem broadly consistent with past polling. A 2010 RAND poll found that 87 percent of Iranians and a March 2012 Gallup poll found 57 percent of Iranians support a civilian nuclear program. 
 
It’s worth noting that the March 2012 poll did not mention sanctions when asking if Iranians supported the nuclear program. According to the Washington Post, it seems striking that asking about nuclear development in the specific context of sanctions does not seem to have reduced public support for the program, and may even have increased it a bit.
 
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Last Updated on 10 February 2013 17:26