A wide majority of Americans would approve of a military offensive against Iran if there was no alternative in stopping their nascent nuclear program, a Pew Research Center poll released Friday said. In the 21-nation survey, 11 other countries polled would also back such a military option.
"Among those who oppose Iran acquiring nuclear weapons, Americans are the most willing to take military action if necessary to prevent an Iranian nuclear weapons program," a Pew press released stated. Sixty-three percent of Americans would back a military option if there way no other way.
Britain and Germany's feeling remain constant at 51 and 50 percent in favor of such a last resort, while 51 percent of French citizens also agree. However, French feeling in favor of a military option has dropped eight percentage points from 2010, representative of a widening dislike of French participation in foreign conflicts such as in Afghanistan.
The Czech Republic and Brazil were the second two countries most in favor of a military option, while Russia and China remained outliers among European nations and major developing countries. Only 30 percent of Chinese and 24 percent of Russians are in favor of a last-ditch military option.
"Roughly four-in-ten Russians (41%) and Chinese (39%) want to avoid war, even if that means Tehran gets the bomb. But 36% of Russians and 31% of the Chinese volunteer that they reject both options or have no opinion," the release said, citing widespread disagreement among Chinese and Russian publics on the subject.
The survey, conducted under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates International, in March and April of this year, also shows the continual widespread worry surrounding Iran's nascent nuclear program.
Only Pakistan, a fellow Muslim nation with a nuclear program operating outside of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, polled as being on the favorable margin for the Islamic Republic acquiring nuclear capability. However, 39 percent also said didn't know how they felt and 11 percent said they were opposed.
The poll also looked at sentiments in fellow Muslim-majority country Lebanon. Although only 35 percent polled as in favor to a nuclear armed Iran, the split among Muslim sects proved to be striking. Over 70 percent of Lebanon's Shia population are in favor of Iran obtaining the bomb, a notable fact considering Iran's official religion is the Shia sect of Islam.
On the reverse side, more Christian Lebanese were favorable than Sunni Muslims, at 35 versus 5 percent, representing the deep-seeded animosities between the two sects if Islam, even across country lines.
Overall, over 90 percent of Americans, British, Germans and French polled as opposed to a nuclear Iran while 77 percent of Russians and 54 percent of Chinese are opposed.
This divergence is the main reason for disagreement among these parties in negotiations with Iran, collectively known as the P5+1 (five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany).
The P5+1 is currently charged with discussing Iran's nuclear program and encouraging dialogue, but the disagreements among the parties have so far only led to deadlock. The next P5+1 talks with Iran are scheduled to take place next week in Baghdad.
At a meeting with the Group of Eight countries this morning at Camp David, U.S. President Barack Obama said, "We are hopeful about the discussions that will be taking [place] in Baghdad, but all of us are firmly committed to continuing with the approach of sanctions and pressure, in combination with diplomatic discussions."
by RTT Staff Writer
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