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WASHINGTON – United global front against Iran? The residents of several Arab countries, headed by Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon, support tough sanctions against Iran as well as a military effort to curb Iranian nukes, a new poll says.
The Pew Research Center poll encompassed 25,000 respondents in 22 states. The only country in the region where residents said military action should not be taken to hinder Tehran's nuclear aspirations was Turkey.
According to the poll, the attitude to Iran and its President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is negative in 18 of the 22 states included in the survey, including many Muslims ones. In 16 states, respondents said that as a last resort the nuclear threat should be addressed militarily.
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The attitude to Iran is negative among Germans (86%), the French (81%), and Spaniards (73%), among other nationalities. Elsewhere, 63% of Jordanian respondents and 60% of Lebanese respondents also expressed negative sentiments towards Tehran. Iran does enjoy favorable sentiments in Pakistan (72%) and in Indonesia (62%).
Unique Lebanese caseMeanwhile, the objection to a nuclear Iran encompasses the residents of 21 of the 22 states included in the survey. The only exception was Pakistan. Elsewhere, 98% of Germans, 96% of Japanese, 90% of Brits, 81% of Russians, and 65% of Chinese respondents object to a nuclear Iran.
The same picture emerged in Muslim states, where 66% of Egyptians, 64% of Lebanese, 63% of Turks, and 53% of Jordanians also said they oppose a nuclear Iran.
In Lebanon, while 91% of Shiites support a nuclear Iran, 88% of Sunnis and Christians object to it.
Finally, in 16 of the 22 states included in the survey, respondents said they prefer a military strike over the prospect with a nuclear Iran. In the US, for example, 66% of respondents said they prefer a military strike compared to only 24% who objected to it.
In Egypt, 55% respondents supported a military strike on Iran, compared to 16% who objected to it. In Jordan, the figures in favor of an Iran strike are 53-20% respectively. Only in Turkey, more people said they would accept a nuclear Iran that respondents who preferred military action.