Majority of Americans support Iran talks: Poll

Majority of Americans support Iran talks: Poll
Tue Oct 1, 2013 10:26:26

A new poll shows that most of the Americans support increased diplomacy with Iran, a crucial public backing as the US begins upping its engagement with the Islamic Republic.

According to the CNN/ORC International survey, which was conducted from September 27-29, 76 percent of those who responded said they favor direct diplomatic negotiations. Only twenty percent disagreed with that notion and said they opposed talking to the leaders in Tehran. Even more promising for political advisers in the Obama administration, the issue isn’t split along partisan lines, with a majority of Republicans also in favor of talks.

“Large majorities in all major demographic categories favor negotiations with Iran over their nuclear program, including 87% of Democrats and 68% of Republicans,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “This is nothing new for the US public — in 2009, virtually the same number of Americans said they favored negotiations with Iran.”

The United States believes that the Iranian government has not yet made the decision to develop a nuclear weapon, but Iran insists that its program is purely peaceful and that nuclear enrichment is its right under international law.

The new poll came out the day that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was due to visit the White House for meetings with President Barack Obama.

Senators who take the lead on Iran issues are also expressing their doubts about engaging with Iran, threatening even more sanctions even as the White House seems poised to pivot towards talks that would relieve the embargoes already in place.

Nonetheless, President Barack Obama appears to be moving forward apace with diplomacy. On Friday, Obama announced that he had spoken on the phone with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani, the first time leaders of the two countries had done so since 1978 when President Jimmy Carter spoke to the Shah of Iran last.

Secretary of State John Kerry, who met with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif last week, told 60 Minutes on Sunday that he sees the chances of a solution to the Iranian nuclear issue coming as soon as three- to six-months from now.

“It’s possible to have a deal sooner than that depending on how forthcoming and clear Iran is prepared to be,” Kerry said. “If it is a peaceful program, and we can all see that – the whole world sees that – the relationship with Iran can change dramatically for the better and it can change fast.”


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