By Andrew Cawthorne – 06.16.2016The US and its allies are on the verge of a new nuclear arms race with Iran over its nuclear programme.
The US has threatened military action against Tehran and it has made a string of provocative statements about US intentions to “end the Middle East as we know it”.
But as a recent poll showed, there is little public support for war with Tehran, with only 28 per cent of respondents in a Washington Post-ABC News poll supporting military action, and only 33 per cent against it.
The same poll revealed a majority of respondents (57 per cent) who are in favour of diplomacy and a political settlement in Iran believe that “Iran will act responsibly to prevent an attack by US forces”.
There is a sense that a military attack is inevitable if Iran goes to war, particularly given that the US has already conducted hundreds of drone strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities in the past decade.
But there is also a sense of the US is acting in the interests of international stability and peace, given that it has been the main US military backer of Iran’s nuclear programme for decades.
This view is reinforced by the fact that the poll was conducted in the wake of the assassination of former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009, and the election of President Hassan Rouhani in 2012.
So while the US may have to deal with Iran militarily over its programme, it has little to lose by backing diplomatic means to prevent a military conflict.
A lot more is at stake here than the future of a single country, the poll found.
A large majority of Americans believe that diplomacy and diplomacy alone is the best way to resolve conflicts.
They are far more likely to say diplomacy will lead to a peaceful resolution to conflicts than to a military one, with 58 per cent saying that the two are related.
The poll also revealed a clear generational divide over how best to handle Iran’s new nuclear weapons programme.
Sixty-two per cent said that US policies are the best option to deal and protect against Iran’s programme, with just 22 per cent believing that US policy must be changed to address the threat.
These numbers echo findings from a survey conducted in April this year, which found that 62 per cent think the US should “use diplomacy” to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.
The US has been working on diplomacy for decades, but it appears that the public is increasingly turning away from the idea.
This poll is the first time that the Pew Research Center has asked respondents about the use of force.
It is not the first to look at the public’s views of US military options in a global conflict, and its results show the growing support for military force among Americans.
As part of this poll, we asked respondents a series of questions about whether or not they believe the US military should be used to stop a nuclear attack.
We asked: “Do you believe the United States should use military force to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability?”
Do you think that US military force should be deployed to prevent Iranian nuclear weapons from being acquired?
“Would you support the use, or support the non-use, of military force against Iran to prevent the country from acquiring nuclear weapons?”
“If the United Nations Security Council voted to impose a permanent arms embargo on Iran, what would you support?”
Should the United Kingdom support military force, or should Britain withdraw from the United Nation Security Council?””
Do any of you think it is necessary to invade Iran to deter the country’s nuclear weapons program?
“This poll was also conducted in English, French and Spanish.
The full poll can be found here