Ahmadinejad. Is he concerned as well?
Photo: AFP

94% of Iranians: We have right to develop nuclear plan

BBC poll shows nearly all Islamic Republic's residents support development of nuclear industry, but only half of those questioned agree with the idea of their country being able to build atom bomb

Iranian citizens are more concerned about their country's finances than tension with the West or political reform, according to a British Broadcasting Corporation survey published Wednesday as the BBC launches its Persian-language television channel for Iran and the wider region.


The poll, which surveyed a total of 4,163 people at the end of November, suggests that residents think unemployment, poverty and high inflation are Iran's biggest issues.


It also found there is strong support among Iranian citizens for the country having its own nuclear industry, in accordance with the Iranian government's stance.


The respondents were asked for the two most important issues facing Iran today, and 45% of them said unemployment and poverty. Only 1% said hostile relations with the United States, and a similar number said lack of democracy or need for political reform.


Another issue which appears to be undisputable in Iran is the country's right to develop its own nuclear industry, with 94% of those surveyed agreeing with this claim. However, only half of those questioned were comfortable with the idea of their country being able to build nuclear weapons.


The BBC's Iran analyst, Sadeq Saba, said that the main findings do not make good reading for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who came to power three years ago promising to improve economic conditions, and according to the poll - has failed. Ahmadinejad is expected to run for re-election in June.


The only good news for the Iranian authorities in this poll, the analyst said, is the fact that more than half of Iranians think that their country is heading in the right direction.


The survey shows that many people are happy that security in Iran is generally good and they haven't faced the same predicament as the Iraqis and the Afghans.


The poll also found 41% of Iranians think Barack Obama being US president will improve relations between the two countries.


פרסום ראשון: 01.14.09, 10:57
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