Most Iranians Support Defense, Regional Policies

Most Iranians Support Defense, Regional PoliciesMost Iranians Support Defense, Regional Policies
90.7% of those polled believe the US did not lift the sanctions it is committed to and is also frustrating the benefits of lifting the restrictions

Iranians' support for the country's ballistic missile program and its backing of regional allies remains strong and recent protests were about economics not a revolution, according to a survey released on Friday.

The poll of 1,002 Iranians was conducted by IranPoll in cooperation with the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland from January 16 to 24, the Jerusalem Post reported.

IranPoll is an independent private public opinion research and consultancy company with global office in Toronto, Canada, and partner offices in nine Iranian cities, focusing exclusively on Iran.

The poll found that 70.1% of Iranians opposed agreeing to rolling back Tehran's ballistic missile tests under threat from US President Donald Trump to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal if it does not.

Sixty-three percent of Iranians believe the International Atomic Energy Agency cannot check the country's military sites.

The Trump administration has been trying to persuade the European nations that negotiated the Iran nuclear agreement to accept side deals under which they would join the US in reimposing sanctions if Iran continues ballistic missile testing or refuses United Nations inspections of sensitive sites.

Iran says its missiles are for defensive purposes only and that its military sites are outside the purview of the IAEA.


A staggering 90.7% of those polled believe the United States did not lift sanctions it committed to lift or is indirectly frustrating the benefits of lifting sanctions, with 74.8% of Iranians saying the nuclear deal did not improve living conditions.

86.4% had low confidence or were not confident at all that Washington would live up to its obligations in reducing sanctions under the accord.

67.4% of those polled said the Iran deal proves that Tehran should not make concessions to reach understandings with world powers.

A majority of 52.8% believe Iran should withdraw from the deal if the US pulls out of it but Europe and other parties to the deal stick to it.  

A large 64.4% majority said Iran should not agree to Trump's demand to extend nuclear deal restrictions.

All of this suggests that there is little Iranian domestic support for the government to agree to new concessions to the West even as there are finally signs that Europe may support aspects of Trump's desires to limit Iranian ballistic missile testing and regional activities.

***Regional Allies

 Many commentators have said recent protests in Iran showed that the common Iranian was sick of money being spent on military altercations outside of the country.

But the poll said 64.7% have a very favorable or somewhat favorable view of Lebanon's Hezbollah, and 48.5% supported maintaining full assistance to the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while only 30% want that assistance somewhat reduced and only 14.8% want it ended.


***Economic Woes

Moving over to the Iranian protests, most of those surveyed said their complaints related to the economy.   

A growing majority of Iranians say the economy is bad, 69%, up from 63% in June, and getting worse—58%, up from 50% in June.

Large majorities sympathize with complaints voiced by some protestors that the government is not doing enough to help the poor (73%), that it should do more to keep food prices from increasing (95%), and that it should compensate people who lost money when some financial institutions in Iran collapsed (81%).

***Financial Corruption

An overwhelming majority (96%) want the government to do more to fight financial and bureaucratic corruption.

Sixty-three percent say that domestic economic mismanagement and corruption have greater negative effects on their county's economy than sanctions do.

In contrast, a majority of Iranians opposed fundamental changes to their political system and Iranians disagreed with protests directed against religious practices by a majority of 59.3% to 36.4%.

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