A grim new poll from Gallup shows an overwhelming majority of Americans, indeed 99 percent of them, believe that Iran’s civilian nuclear program is a threat “to the vital interests of the United States.”
The poll reflects the near complete saturation of American opinion with politicians’ claims of the “threat” posed by Iran’s civilian program, in spite of repeated reports conceding that Iran isn’t presently developing nuclear weapons and that it may indeed never choose to do so.
This disconnect from reality is underscored when compared with other questions in the same poll, with only 97 percent viewing North Korea’s actual nuclear weapons a threat, despite North Korea itself spending a large amount of time trying to convince people that it is a threat.
This was the first time Gallup specifically asked about either nation’s nuclear program, and previously had only asked about their respective militaries. Past polls have showed Americans believing Iran to be their “greatest enemy,” though its military was not perceived as an enormous threat in and of itself.
The poll will likely be a complicating matter for the P5+1 talks with Iran later this month, as Iran is hoping to negotiate a solution which will end international military threats against it, but the popular sentiment seems to be clearly averse to Iran keeping its civilian program.