Americans want to give the recent U.S. deal with Iran a chance before passing new sanctions and are opposed to military action to stop Iran’s nuclear program, a poll conducted by Hart Research for liberal group Americans United for Chance. (Hart Research is the Democratic half of the NBC/WSJ poll.) Here's the full poll.
By a 34-22 percent margin, people are in favor of the Iran deal with 41% having no opinion or haven’t heard enough. When the terms of the deal are described, that jumps to 63-24 percent with Democrats, independents and Republicans all in favor, though the GOP is split:
Here is the description:
“Under this agreement, Iran will freeze its nuclear development program and will neutralize its entire stockpile of uranium that has already been enriched at a level that is close to what is needed to make a nuclear weapon. Iran will submit to international inspections to verify that it is living up to the terms of the agreement. In return, the United States and other countries will reduce some economic sanctions on Iran, while leaving most economic sanctions in place, and agree not to place any new sanctions on Iran while the agreement is in force. This agreement is for six months, during which time there will be negotiations to reach a long-term, comprehensive solution that would ensure that Iran's nuclear program will be exclusively peaceful. If a permanent deal is not achieved during this period, sanctions could be reinstated and toughened.”
Some disagree with the notion that this deal is a "freeze," because they say Iran could be developing without the world knowing and they don't believe any Iranian nuclear enrichment will be used for "exclusively peaceful" purposes.
But even when told the criticism that the U.S. is “giving away too much” and that Saudi Arabia and Israel are against the deal, a majority still support it, 54-41 percent.
The clear message, according to the poll -- which should send a message to wavering Democrats like Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) -- is to closely monitor how the agreement is being implemented but don’t pass new sanctions – 68-21 percent.
The poll also finds that people would support members who are in favor of the efforts to negotiate a deal with Iran (64-16 percent), wants to give the agreement a chance to work before doing anything else (58-18 percent), and supports the Obama administration’s effort to negotiate an agreement (57-23 percent).
More than two-thirds (67-25 percent) agree more with members of congress who want to give the agreement and further negotiations a chance to work versus ones who want to pass new economic sanctions. And that holds true across party lines and even with those who are strongly pro-Israel.
Strongly pro-Israel: 52-37
Americans are not in favor of military action – 27-52 percent. When read the best arguments on both sides, they are even more opposed to military action – 70-22 percent.
If Democrats are looking for talking points, the best one in favor of the deal is: “Must try to reach negotiated resolution preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon; alternative likely to be military action, U.S. in another Mideast war.”
Second-best, and a close second: “Six-month agreement is best opportunity to negotiate a permanent ban on Iran's development of a nuclear weapon; in U.S. interests to give it a chance to work.”
The least convincing argument: “Part of agreement is Iran makes important concessions beyond freezing its nuclear program; Iran agreed to dilute/neutralize entire stockpile of uranium.”
First published December 3 2013, 12:14 PM