Poll: Voters Overwhelmingly Support Upping Sanctions on Iran

Only 14 percent of voters want a senator who would reduce sanctions on Tehran


Americans overwhelmingly support stronger sanctions on Iran and believe Tehran is using the negotiations to stall for more time to develop its nuclear program, according to a new poll released Wednesday by Luntz Global:

Fully 77% of Democrats and a near unanimous 96% of Republicans would rather vote for a senator who favors sanctions, including “increased pressure on Iran until Iran accepts a final agreement that removes their ability to build nuclear weapons.” Only 14% of voters would prefer a senator who wants to reduce pressure on Iran in the context of negotiations.


Drilling down into how Americans think negotiations should be conducted, a broad majority (77%) supported continuing to negotiate “while imposing sanctions and increas[ing] financial pressure and sanctions.” Only 23% supported continuing to negotiate “while reducing sanctions and financial pressure on Iran.”

The poll, conducted for Al-Masdar.net and TheTower.org, also found widespread skepticism of Iran’s intentions during its nuclear negotiations with world leaders:

Just 7% trust the Iranian claim that their nuclear program is exclusively peaceful, 77% who are afraid of Iran’s intentions. 86% of voters—a 78% among Democrats and 95% among Republicans—think Iran will break its promises during the negotiation, while only 14% say they will keep them. Only 16% believe Iran is “negotiating in good faith and will eventually give up their ability to make nuclear weapons.” The vast majority (84%) think Iran is instead using negotiations “to stall as they continue to develop their ability to make nuclear weapons.”

Americans are also strongly opposed to the acceptance of a so-called Iranian “right to enrichment.” The Obama administration has said it is prepared to allow Iran to continue to enrich uranium at limited levels:

Regarding where negotiations should end up, Americans very bluntly don’t want Iran to have substantial nuclear capacity now or ever.  86% overall—81% of Democrats and 91% of Republicans—think the United States should prohibit Iran from possessing enrichment capabilities.

The poll queried 900 likely voters between Dec. 7 and Dec. 9. It was released as a bipartisan group of senators pushes ahead with new Iran sanctions legislation, in the face of opposition from the Obama administration.