Majority in US Want Congress to OK Deal

Majority in US Want Congress to OK Deal Majority in US Want Congress to OK Deal

A new survey shows that a majority of Americans want the US Congress to uphold the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran.

According to the survey from the University of Maryland, 55% of respondents said Congress should get behind the agreement, despite some concerns, the Hill reported on Tuesday.  

Meanwhile, 23% said lawmakers should instead ratchet up sanctions, and 14% wanted US officials to go back to the negotiating table.

In a key statistic for Democratic backers of the agreement, 61% of independents recommended that Congress approve the deal, along with 72% of Democrats.

Just 33% of Republicans expressed support, highlighting the partisan divide that has erupted over the agreement, which sets temporary limits on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.  

The poll was conducted online, and the participants went through an in-depth process of listening to arguments from both sides. People were subjected to a detailed list of critiques of the agreement, followed by rebuttals to those arguments with reasons to get behind the deal.

The most convincing criticisms focused on the lack of so-called “anytime/anywhere” inspections of Iranian facilities, the fact that limits on Iran’s nuclear development “will go away” in 15 years and Iran’s ability to use the money that it receives under the deal to increase backing for its regional allies. A majority of Democrats said those arguments were either “somewhat” or “very convincing”.

“There is a lot of concern about key terms of the deal, especially the limits on inspections and the release of frozen funds to Iran,” Steven Kull, the director of the university’s Program for Public Consultation, said in a statement.

“Standard polls are reflecting these concerns, but when voters think through the issue, they conclude taking the deal is better than any of the alternatives.”

The 702 registered voters who participated in the survey comprised a representative sample of American voters, the university said. The poll was conducted from Aug. 17 to 20.