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Most Think Iran Unlikely to Honor Nuclear Weapons Deal

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Despite the opposition of most members of Congress, the Obama administration appears to have maneuvered its nuclear weapons deal with Iran into reality. But most voters still don’t trust Iran to play ball.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 62% of Likely U.S. Voters think Iran is unlikely to uphold its end of the deal that ends some economic sanctions on that country in exchange for cutbacks in the Iranian nuclear weapons program. This includes 39% who say it’s Not At All Likely. Thirty-five percent (35%) believe Iran is likely to honor the deal, but only eight percent (8%) consider it Very Likely. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

This is even more skepticism than voters expressed in April as details of the plan began to emerge.

Just 23% believe the treaty the administration has negotiated with Iran will make the Middle East safer. Forty percent (40%) say the agreement will put the region more at risk, while 27% think it will have no impact on the safety and security of the Middle East. These attitudes are basically unchanged from two months ago.

Most voters still think Congress needs to approve any deal with Iran before it goes into effect, but only 32% want their congressional representatives to approve the plan the administration has negotiated.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on September 8-9, 2015 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Echoing concerns raised by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and many congressional Republicans, a plurality (44%) of voters said earlier this year that the administration’s deal with Iran puts Israel more at risk. Only 16% think it makes Israel safer.

Voters under 40 express more confidence in the agreement than their elders do. Younger voters are also less worried that it will put the Middle East more at risk.

Sixty-six percent (66%) of Republicans and 40% of voters not affiliated with either major political party think Iran is Not At All Likely to uphold its end of the deal. Just 14% of Democrats agree. 

A plurality (43%) of voters in President Obama’s party believes the agreement will make the Middle East safer. Sixty-eight percent (68%) of GOP voters believe the deal puts the region more at risk, a view shared by just 17% of Democrats and 38% of unaffiliateds.

Even among voters who think the agreement will make the Middle East safer, only 21% say Iran is Very Likely to honor it. Seventy-five percent (75%) of those who believe the deal puts the region more at risk say Iran is Not At All Likely to comply.

Among voters who say the deal will have no impact on the safety and security of the Middle East, seven percent (7%) say Iran is Very Likely to uphold it, while 27% say Tehran is Not At All Likely to do so.

The United Nations Security Council quickly endorsed the agreement, but that made the deal more attractive to just 24% of all U.S. voters. Thirty-three percent (33%) had a more unfavorable opinion of the deal as a result of the U.N. endorsement.

Sixty-two percent (62%) of all Americans consider Iran an enemy of the United States, although that’s down from 83% in 2012.

Nearly half (47%) of voters still think U.S. involvement in Middle East politics is bad for the United States. Thirty-four percent (34%) think it’s good for this country, while five percent (5%) say it has no impact.

Fourteen years after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, concern that the terrorists have the upper hand in the ongoing War on Terror remains near a record high.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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