Four out of five American voters see Iran’s nuclear weapons program as a threat to the United States and its NATO allies, according to a new poll commissioned by The Israel Project and published on Tuesday.

The poll of 800 likely voters in the upcoming US presidential election found that 39 percent considered the Iranian nuclear weapons program a very big threat and 41% thought it was a moderate threat to the United States and NATO member nations. Only 12% said it was not much of a threat and six percent said it was no threat at all.

Sixty percent say Iran’s nuclear program poses a very big threat to Israel and another 27% say the program is a moderate threat. Iranian leaders have frequently vowed to wipe Israel off the map.

Opinions on the usefulness of sanctions remained unchanged since the last Israel Project poll in February, with 67% of respondents considering it unlikely that sanctions and diplomacy will prevent Iran’s development of nuclear weapons capabilities; only 30% thought that sanctions were likely to achieve results.

Eighty percent of likely voters believe Iran is building nuclear weapons, despite the Tehran government’s constant denials. Only 10% said they thought it is not. Moreover, there was a high level of consensus across party lines on this, with 72% of Democrats, 81% of independents and 89% of Republicans convinced the Iranians were building nuclear weapons.

There was also strong support for tough economic sanctions against Iran, with 78 percent of likely voters – including 75% of Democrats and 86% of Republicans – backing such measures. Eighty percent of those polled said they would support sanctions even if they caused hardships to Iranian civilians.

Most of those who participated in the poll believe the US should side with Israel rather than the Palestinians. (courtesy: The Israel Project)

Most of those who participated in the poll believe the US should side with Israel rather than the Palestinians. (courtesy: The Israel Project)

The poll found support for Israel remains high, with 61% saying the United States should side with Israel in its conflict with the Palestinians and only 7% saying it should back the Palestinians.

The poll, conducted by polling firm Public Opinion Strategies on July 18-19, carried a statistical margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.