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Iranians Support Nuclear Program, Blame West for Sanctions, Says Poll

A recent Gallup poll in Iran reveals that Iranians support the government’s nuclear ambitions and blame the West for sanctions, writes Mohammad Ali Shabani.
EDITORS' NOTE: Reuters and other foreign media are subject to Iranian restrictions on leaving the office to report, film or take pictures in Tehran.

An election official sits in front of an image of Iranian warriors at a mosque, used as a polling station, during the parliamentary election in central Tehran March 2, 2012. Iranians voted on Friday in a parliamentary election which is expected to reinforce the power of the clerical establishment of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei over hardline politic

A recent Gallup poll shows that 63% of Iranians think their government should continue its efforts to develop nuclear capabilities — even though more than eight out of 10 say their personal livelihoods have been hurt by the West’s sanctions. At the same time, 47% of the poll’s respondents primarily blame the United States for the penalties Iran faces. In comparison, one in 10 point the finger at their own government. The poll, which was conducted between Dec. 26 and Jan. 10, bases its results on telephone interviews with 1,000 adults throughout Iran.

Those who accept the survey’s findings see it as part of a long-standing trend of popular support for Iran’s nuclear ambitions, confirmed by a series of similar polls with comparable results over the years. Those who reject the survey’s findings tend to question the accuracy of polls carried out in places like Iran and point to the limited public debate on the nuclear program within the Islamic Republic.

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