CNN Poll: Americans favor diplomacy against Iran
February 15th, 2012
10:32 AM ET
8 years ago

CNN Poll: Americans favor diplomacy against Iran

Washington (CNN) - A majority of Americans don't want the U.S. to take military action to force Iran to shut down its nuclear program, according to a new national survey.

A CNN/ORC International poll released Wednesday indicates that only 17% of the public wants the U.S. to use force, with 60% saying diplomatic or economic action against Iran is the right response, and 22% saying no action should be taken at this time.

See full results (pdf)

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The poll's release comes on the same day that Iran touted its mastery of the nuclear fuel cycle, with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, clad in a white lab coat, on hand to load domestically made fuel rods into the core of a Tehran reactor. State-run Press TV broadcast live images of the event, hailed by the Iranians as a major scientific advancement for the Islamic republic.

The first Iranian made nuclear fuel rods, produced by Iranian scientists at the Natanz facility in central Iran, are to be used at the Tehran Nuclear Research Center, which Iran says is used primarily for medical purposes.

Iran's latest activities have spiked tensions with Western powers, which believe Iran's atomic ambitions are focused on building a bomb. In December, the United States as well as several other nations announced increased sanctions against Iran in an international effort to tighten the screws around the suspected nuclear weapons program.

The survey indicates that men are slightly more willing to use military force than women, but that option is unpopular with both genders. Only 21% of men support military action against Iran; for women, that figure drops to 14%.

"This is one issue on which Republicans and Democrats agree," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Republicans are a little more likely than Democrats to prefer military action, but a majority of Republicans, independents and Democrats say they favor economic and diplomatic efforts over a military option."

The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International, with 1,026 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

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Filed under: Iran • Uncategorized
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. Al-NY,NY

    the chicken hawks in the GOP are itching for a fight. They will complain till they are blue in the face that Obama is "not doing enough" "appeasing them""letting our ally Israel stand alone"–THAT'S a good one, etc

    February 15, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  2. Expat American

    President McCain would already have American troops on the ground in Iran and shifted his 100-year plan eastward.

    February 15, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  3. george of the jungle

    the president is doing a good job the last thing we need is another war. Hopefully we won't get dragged into one by Isreal

    February 15, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |

    We favor diplomacy over a foreign policy based on false accusations and blatant lies. Sanctions work. Give them a try before you start a shock and awe campaign.

    February 15, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  5. dreamer96

    I thought at one point Russia agreed to supervise and handle, and dispose of the waste, of Iran's nuclear reactors..and not let Iran enrich the 5% reactor material to the 90+% needed for weapons...and to let in international observers at reactors...and cameras...but that fell apart...

    February 15, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  6. phoenix86

    Probably pretty similar if a poll had been taken in the late 1930's about taking action against Hitler. Six years and 30 million deaths later, you would think that people would have learned their lesson. Apparently not.

    February 15, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  7. Rick McDaniel

    Americans are really foolish, when it comes to the mid-east. They have no concept at all, of what they are dealing with, nor how vicious Iran really is.

    Still, they are going to learn......the hard way.

    February 15, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  8. Ellen

    Then why don't our politicians listen? Only Ron Paul is saying to use diplomacy, and he's being marginalized as "crazy."

    February 15, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  9. Sandy

    Yet another issue with the Republicans on the wrong side. Try diplomacy first!

    February 15, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  10. Joi Gibson

    Somebody might want to tell those warmonger Republican candidates that the American people – which they love to spout about – do not want any more war. That is not so hard to understand. Diplomacy takes time, but is well worth the effort. These Republican candidates need to understand the military is not some abstract entity, they are people, who, quite frankly, have done more than their fair share. Enough with the saber rattling.


    February 15, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  11. steven harnack

    Comparing Iran to Germany in the 30s is like comparing a person with a cold with a person who has bubonic plague. The people in Iran don't want conquest or war, they just want protection from that loud 17% who keep screaming for Iranian blood.

    February 15, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  12. Thomas

    @Rick McDaniel ,Americans are really foolish, when it comes to the mid-east. They have no concept at all, of what they are dealing with, nor how vicious Iran really is.

    Still, they are going to learn......the hard way.

    Please state what country you are from, the last time we avoided diplomacy we embarked on a ten year Easter egg hunt for none existent WMD's. Syria and Iran will change , better it's an inside job , done by there own people.

    Then we as Americans can support by attraction .

    February 15, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  13. Tony in Maine

    @ phoenix

    I'm assuming you're volunteering to be in the first wave into Iran. Otherwise, please have your testosterone levels checked – I think they are governing your brain.

    February 15, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  14. carrie

    Surprise surprise ....diplomacy vs war! Novel idea or what most sane people want anyway. We are not all war mongers! Just widh the GOP would come to realize diplomacy good....war bad!!

    February 15, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  15. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Under Obama's watch the middle east has turned into an even bigger mess than it already was. Egypt is now in the hands of radicals, Syria is in flames with thousands dying with many more to join them. Soon the middle east will turn into a giant catastrophic mess and oil prices will spike to $200-300 a barrel. Maybe THAT will get the attention of Americans?

    Obama's response will be to blame George Bush.

    February 15, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  16. logicnLA

    They needed apoll to know this? Most common sense people want talk before war.

    February 15, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  17. gg

    well said steven h

    February 15, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  18. sonny chapman

    Hey "Truth", do you think that we can bomb the Iranian PEOPLE into submission ? We outlasted the Soviet Union w/their super arsenal of nukes. If we don't let the Israelis & Neo-Cons drag us into a "Stupid War", it'll work out as well as these things can work out.

    February 15, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  19. guest

    It doesn't matter what American citizens want. It's all about what AIPAC wants.

    February 15, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  20. smokeee


    February 15, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  21. Wi guy

    Let's be honest, the average american citizen (much less any other civilian in the world) doesn't have enough information to know what's REALLY happening over there. Therefore they shouldn't have any say in what's happening. In fact, as an American citizen it's time everyone learns they are not in a pure Democracy. We are a REPUBLIC. That means we have elected officials that make decisions for the greater whole. Deal with it. You direct opinion doesn't matter. Feed it up the food chain and let our elected officials work it out like our constutition says they should.

    February 15, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  22. Rosslaw

    We need a surge in Iran composed of chicken hawks who think war with Iran is a great idea and that we should not ever withdraw from Iraq or Afghanistan. Yessiree, we need C5A's taking off from Andrews Air Force base every five minutes packed to the gunnels with fire-breathing, "I'll tear them apart with my bare hands" chickenhawks who will lead the invasion of Iran. It would be great to watch and do wonders to improve the nation's DNA.

    February 15, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  23. ObamaJoe

    People ,,,,,realized the truth ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,we are here not to fight,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,we are here to learn love each other,,,,,,,,,,,,

    February 15, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  24. AZLib

    This is really none of our business. Israel is NOT the 51st state, We are not the worlds police force. Iran does not have a history of attacking other countries, Iran does not have a blue water navy or missles that can hurt the US. Iran has not make threatening remarks to the US... Why is this even on our radar? Talk about supporting terrorist organziations looks like Israel is doing that now ... so both are guilty. I'm sorry, take it to the UN or anywhere else. Let Europe or Russia fix the problem, better yet let Iran and Israel sit down at the peace table and talk. But whatever they do it does not require the US to get involved... No money, no military and no american children's lives... to either side!

    February 15, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  25. Robert Jay

    diplomacy yes – only if Iran shows respect to the world requirements- otherwise overwhelming / catostraphic force!
    Who would we be if diplomacy was followed with Japan and Germany – I don't see Japan and Germany thumbing their nose or threating the world anymore – anyone care to guess why? We need to find our will again and get over politically correct before we are consumed or some idiot destroys the world for his /her ideology

    February 15, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
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