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Only 10% in U.S. See Iran as Immediate Threat

Angus Reid | March 20, 2007

Very few Americans believe Iran represents a danger for their country, according to a poll by New York Times and CBS News. Only 10 per cent of respondents think Iran is a threat to the United States that requires military action now, down 11 points since mid-February.

Conversely, 65 per cent of respondents think Iran is a threat that can be contained with diplomacy now, while 18 per cent say the country is not a menace to the U.S. at this time.

After being branded as part of an "axis of evil" by United States president George W. Bush in January 2002, Iran has contended that its nuclear program aims to produce energy, not weapons. In June 2005, former Tehran mayor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won Iranâ€ôs presidential election in a run-off over Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani with 61.6 per cent of all cast ballots.

In December 2006, the United Nations (UN) Security Council unanimously voted to impose sanctions against Iran after it failed to stop uranium enrichment. On Jan. 2, Ahmadinejad declared, "Let the world know that from the Iranian nationâ€ôs point of view, this resolution has no validity. I want (the United States) to know that the Iranian nation has humiliated you many times, and it will humiliate you in future."

On Mar. 14, Ahmadinejad again dismissed the UN sanctions, saying, "Issuing such torn pieces of paper will not have an impact on Iranian nationâ€ôs will (to obtain nuclear technology). What is the aim of issuing such resolutions? Today we are mastering the nuclear fuel cycle completely."

Polling Data

Which comes closer to your opinion: Iran is a threat to the United States that requires military action now, Iran is a threat that

Mar. 10

Feb. 27

Feb. 11

Threat requiring action now

10%

15%

21%

Threat that can be contained

65%

56%

57%

Not a threat at this time

18%

20%

14%

Not sure

7%

9%

8%

As you may know, members of the Bush administration have accused Iran of supporting Iraqi insurgents by supplying them with weapons to use against American forces. When members of the Bush administration talk about Iranâ€ôs involvement in Iraq, do you think they are telling the entire truth, mostly telling the truth but hiding something, or are they mostly lying?

Telling entire truth

14%

Mostly telling truth

56%

Mostly lying

24%

Not sure

6%

Source: The New York Times / CBS News
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,229 American adults, conducted from Jan. 20 to Jan. 25, 2006. Margin of error is 3 per cent.

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