Nearly two thirds of Americans oppose withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal to negotiate a better one, according to a new survey from the University of Maryland’s Program for Public Consultation (PPC). “Though President-elect [Donald] Trump campaigned on ripping up the deal and seeking to negotiate a better one, the majority of Americans would rather continue with the deal as long as Iran continues to comply with its terms,” said PPC Director Steven Kull.
The respondents were first presented with the main terms of the deal between Iran and the world’s six major powers. Then they were asked to evaluate arguments for and against withdrawing and seeking to renegotiate. Both arguments were found convincing by majorities. But 69 percent of respondents said Iran was unlikely to agree to renegotiate the deal and make more concessions.
The survey was conducted Dec. 22-28, 2016 with a sample of 2,980 respondents drawn from Nielsen-Scarborough’s probability-based national panel (which was recruited by mail and telephone using a random sample of households). The margin of error is +/- 1.8 percent. The following are key results.
Q27. This was not a good deal because it allows Iran to still conduct some uranium enrichment, letting it get more skilled at the process. Furthermore, after 10-15 years many limits on Iran are ended, leaving it free to enrich uranium to a higher level. This makes it more possible that Iran will suddenly violate its agreement to not build nuclear weapons and try to quickly build a nuclear weapon. It is better for the US to withdraw from the deal, try to get other UN Security Council members to withdraw as well, and then renegotiate the deal to put greater limitations on Iran. How convincing do you find this argument?
Q28. Iran has dramatically reduced its nuclear program, making it impossible for it to build a nuclear weapon. We should keep a close watch to ensure that Iran is abiding by the deal, but as long as it does we should uphold our end of the bargain. Other UN members strongly oppose the US pulling out, so if we do others are not likely to follow, leaving the US isolated. This will give Iran an excuse to say that the US acted in bad faith, pull out of the deal and renew its nuclear program at a higher level, increasing the danger that it will make a nuclear weapon.
How convincing do you find this argument?
Q29. If the US were to withdraw from the deal, how likely do you think it would be that other UN members would agree to withdraw from the deal and seek to renegotiate the deal with Iran?
Q30. If the US were to withdraw from the deal, how likely do you think it would be that Iran would agree to renegotiate the deal and make more concessions?
Q31. So now, in conclusion, in regard to the UN deal on Iran’s nuclear program, do you think the US should:
1. Withdraw from the current deal and seek to negotiate a new deal
2. Continue with the deal as long as Iran complies with the terms
Click here for the questionnaire.