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. 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 made 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 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  2. Kathy

    WE DO NOT WANT ANY MORE WARS! enough already! look at where war has taken US the people, our nation. NO, NO AND NOOOOO!!!!!!!!!

    February 15, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  3. Didlebug

    put all our money into america!! protect us....let them kill each other in the middle east forget israel.....we only look out for these countries because we make money off of them....prepare us for an attack!!! the middle east will always be backwards no war or different president can change are borders!! geez im so tired of us playing the good cop save the world crap.

    February 15, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  4. Undertaker 11

    Yes, we need to use diplomacy however, we can not make the mistakes of the past. By this I mean wait until the last second and than reallize that a military strike is the last resort because, hen the Iranian will know this as well and you will have more casulties then if you acted before it s a measure of last resort. That is one of the reasons that the casulties in Iraq were high then they would have been if the world would have acted sooner.

    February 15, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  5. C.

    If the US were to invade Iran over this, it will have to be an all or nothing propitiation. We will have to do it WWII style. The Economy shuts down and becomes war-time economy. Automotive plants become tanks plants, civilian research labs become government weapons research labs, students become drafted soldiers, engineers and scientists work for the government. And everyone has to support this.

    February 15, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  6. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    BTW, isn't a great time for Obama to slash military spending, reduce the size of our military forces and dismantle 80% of our nuclear deterent?!! Talk about giving Iran the big old GREEN LIGHT. Meanwhile they have over 1,000 short and long range ballistic missiles, some capable of hitting Israel. News reports now have them building large numbers of small suicide watercraft to attack shipping lanes in the Straits of Hormuz. Yes, we'll all be much safer with all those military budgets cuts.

    But I'm sure if oil spikes to $200 a barrel it'll help GM's electric car sales even if they are a flop. Yes, Obama is a bloody genius. At this point I'm almost wishing he does get re-elected so he will have to deal with the massive mess he has helped create in the middle east. If he loses the election, the new President will be left with no good options and a gutted military. As usual, the Democrats set up ticking time bombs and then hand them to others so they can explode in their face.

    February 15, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  7. 20072004

    When Iran has it first nuclear melt-down, they'll be screaming for assistance from the west. Did you happen to notice Ahmadinejad's sunburned face? He needs to stop sticking his head inside the reactor.

    February 15, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  8. Arkboy3

    DUMP the Theocracy called Israel! The ONLY thing Israel is good for is creating constant warfare with it's ideologies of expansion based on a WACKED -out religion!

    February 15, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  9. laura

    Ah the Chamberlain people are out in force today. We this kind of reaction 50 years ago, we would all be speaking German today.

    February 15, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  10. Anonymous

    Sorry Americans, your government does not belong to you. It has been hijacked. If you don't like it, I suggest you join OWS and take your country back.

    February 15, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  11. Didlebug

    a real war would be to fly over a few times with a couple of b2 and drop the bombs all across iran. its not a real war with us just standing around trying to protect there people!!! blow off the face of the earth....dont mess with more fake wars where we do more standing than fighting....

    February 15, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  12. hypatia

    The hell we do! We'd prefer to ignore Iran completely. If necessary, dump a few megatons on it and call it a day.

    February 15, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  13. Brooklyn Joe

    When Iran is the only Arab country in the Middle East with nuclear weapons and can bully the other oil producing neighbors it will really get interesting for the rest of the world.

    February 15, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  14. John

    The time for dealing with these thugs by military means to appease Israel must stop. Iran can not possibly pose a threat to Israel, we have built them into a super power militarily. The only ones who want war are those who will profit in some way. If Israel attacks Iran it will throw the United States into great Depression. I say that must be stopped at all costs. This is a long term process of dealing with sanctions not war. Anyone who thinks we can continue to find favor with the Arab world by bombing them into the stone age is a fool.

    February 15, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  15. Helvidious

    I'm not scared of Iran. Of losing my job, maybe. How about we fix that first, instead of throwing billions more at military adventurism. Give it a rest already.

    February 15, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  16. ChumBucket

    I'm a Right Wing Tea Party member, and I say santion the heck out of them, if there is to be some kind of military action, let it be them who fires the first shot.

    February 15, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  17. lexgreen

    When Gasoline reaches $5.00 a gallon, and there has been no depletion in supply... Americans will change their mind.

    February 15, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  18. Larry in Houston

    honestly can't blame the people in this counrty for feeling that way – why do you think people is "crossing over" from the newter – the sanitarium / & the romney – TO You Know who – ( Hint : initials is r.p. )

    VOTE Democrat 2012

    February 15, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  19. D Russell

    Iran has the right under international law to have a nuclear program. Since it signed specific accords not to produce nuclear weapons, it can only be held to that. The head of the US military, Leon Panetta has stated for the record that Iran is "not currently builind nuclear weapons". Remember, this is a man with access to NSA, CIA, NATO, and foreign intelligence saying this. The bottom line is that the US has no legal legs to stand on. The neocons however are trying very hard to start a war on Israel's behalf because they hold that nations interests to be paramount and have no respect for international law or any treaty the US has ever signed – which includes the Constitution I might add.

    February 15, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  20. W2lucky

    So what happens when Israel attacks Iran, and Iran nukes Tel Aviv? must think Israel actually listens to what we want. Wake up from your fairy tale dream.

    February 15, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  21. Voice of Reason

    I see we have a lot of Chamberlain style diplomacy in full bloom here today. Unfortunately the results will be similar except we will be dealing with nuclear instead of conventional warfare. Pick up a history book and educate yourself.

    February 15, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  22. Robert

    The issue is not Iran's "nuclear program". It is the issue of building nuclear weapons to destroy Israel and threaten the rest of us. Does anyone seriously think Iran is interested in nuclear power?

    These are crazy religious fanatics, the most dangerous of all fanatics. The Iranian people are Persians. Their dictator(s)
    are Islamic extremists who would give nuclear weapons to any proxy they could find to kill the infidels.

    This is a conflict between the dark tyranny of Islam and modern western civilization. We need to attack their nuclear facilities and decapitate the government thus giving the people who want freedom to prevail.

    February 15, 2012 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  23. Savage Eagle

    I am also not a fan of being in a War with Iran at this time. Maybe this is the war we should have been involved in the first place, but we chose to go to war with Iraq, and Afganistan. Now, we have blown our money on war, and just can not afford another war. But if a Republican gets into Office and say "we need to be involved in this war", then its just plain "BS" all this campagn deficit talk that we need to cut entitlements..Cut entitlements, but more war. If U read your history of the Spanish Empire, that is how they disentigrated.."The Sword and the Cross" all cost spread the faith!

    February 15, 2012 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  24. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    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
    80% of the Iranian people are pro-West and do not need to be bombed. They are ruled by terrorists and fanatics. Unfortunately, Obama did not help that 80% when they were being slaughtered in the streets.

    The leaders of the old Soviet Union were not religious fanatics expressing a desire to obliterate other nations. Iran has supported terrorist organzations for over 30 years and is THE major supporter of terrorism on the planet. The two situations bear no resemblance.

    Like it or not, we will get dragged into war if the shiite hits the fan over there. The only question is will we do it on OUR terms or THEIR terms. Don't be naive.

    BTW, how will everybody reading like paying $250/tank to fill up their car? Bet Obama will regret not approving that Canadian pipeline!

    February 15, 2012 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  25. Robert

    placing the word "truth" in your moniker doesn't make you honest any more than driving a Hummer makes you cool.

    February 15, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
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