Iranian People Would Be Willing to Get Rid of Nuclear Weapons Making Capacity

In Foreign Affairs, Iranian election aftermath, neoconservatives, nukes on October 6, 2009 by Editor Z

Image: World Public

Next time a neoconservative tries to persuade you that an invasion or ‘military strike’ is beneficial to the United States and is necessary; one may want to examine this data from a new world public opinion survey (H/T Washington Independent). Considering this is a nation’s whose regime and titular ‘president’ have such an authoritarian approach towards dealing with those in power, it amazes me that Iranians would be brave enough to voice such an opinion.

A new poll finds that two-thirds of Iranians would favor their government precluding the development of nuclear weapons in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions against Iran.

Only one-third would be ready to halt enrichment in exchange for lifting sanctions. However, another third, while insisting on continuing enrichment, would agree to grant international inspectors unrestricted access to nuclear facilities to ensure that that there are no bomb-making activities.

The WPO poll also finds that six in 10 Iranians believe that economic sanctions, imposed by the United States and the United Nations over fears that Iran’s nuclear program might produce an atomic weapon, are having a negative impact. Seven in 10 say they believe sanctions will be tightened if Iran continues its current nuclear program.

As the Washington Independent points out, Iran is far from a democracy and doesn’t necessarily appraise the wishes of public opinion. Having said that, the citizens of Iran polled say that their desire to compromise and conclude this standoff in a course of action that does not involve the use of force is congruent with ours.

Sanctions, the bedlam that was a product of the June Iranian elections, and the continued bellicosity of Ahmadinejad and intransigence of the Ayatollahs place the governing structure of the Islamic Republic in a vulnerable and precarious position.

Comparatively, while Iranian opinion in the streets seems to be in favor of negotiating away the ability to construct nuclear weapons, the U.S Public seems to be in favor of using military force to thwart Iranian attempts at developing a nuclear weapons program, at least according to one poll (although a vast bi-partisan majority still back direct talks with Iran).

But right now a military strike would be a victory short-lived, only cause the government to enhance its efforts to reconstitute a nuclear program, drive them to even greater extremes, further destabilize neighboring countries where U.S and International forces are stationed and weak regimes are installed in power, and despite the actions of the Iranian regime over the past months, solidify the Iranian populace around their “leader” in a show of nationalism and deflate the dissident movement at a juncture when the U.S and other countries should be exploiting schisms in the Iranian state.

And quite simply laid out for those who have little doubt, if you disapproved of the government and then a foreign government came and launched an attack on your country would you be more likely to coalesce around your country (via 9/11) or run into the arms of the foreign land that authorized the strike?



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