77% Believe Iran is Likely to Have Nukes "Soon"

Date: 09-16-06

Seventy-seven percent (77%) of Americans believe that Iran is likely to develop nuclear weapons in the near future. Most doubt that anything can be done to prevent such a development.

These findings from the latest Rasmussen Reports poll come as officials of a United Nations' agency complained to the Bush Administration about a Congressional report on Iran's nuclear capabilities. Representatives from the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) called parts of the report "outrageous and dishonest," and suggested that misleading information about the true status of Iran's nuclear capabilities has been released to the public.

And the public is definitely interested. Seventy-one percent (71%) of respondents report following the ongoing news about Iran's nuclear program closely with a plurality of 38% saying they have been following the story "very closely." Twenty-seven percent (27%) say they haven't been following the story closely.

Sixty-four percent (64%) of those surveyed believe that Iran's nuclear forays are for the development of weapons rather than energy (7%.) This is the same impression that is conveyed in the House report, which the IAEA refutes. The U.N. committee says it has evidence that Iran's nuclear facilities are producing uranium that is below weapons-grade quality.

While convinced of Iran's ill intent, only 40% of Americans believe it is possible to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons; 35% believe it is not.

Just 26% believe that diplomatic measures can convince Iran to stop.

Among Democrats, there is virtually no difference between the number who believe Iran can be stopped (31%) and the number who say Iran can be stopped through diplomatic approaches (30%).

However, among Republicans, the picture is quite different. Most Republicans (56%) believe Iran can be stopped from developing nuclear weapons. However, just 26% of GOP voters believe that diplomacy alone will lead to a successful solution.

This national telephone survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted by Rasmussen Reports September 12-13, 2006. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.


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