The majority of Americans do not believe the Obama administration has been aggressive enough in its effort to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, and overwhelmingly reject the terms outlined in the prospective deal it is pursuing with Tehran, a poll found recently.
According to a survey conducted ahead of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s March 3 speech to the US Congress, 57 percent of American voters asked said that the United States was not doing enough to stop Iran from advancing toward a nuclear bomb.
The poll, commissioned by Fox News, found 84% of voters thought it was a bad idea to allow the Iranians to obtain nuclear weapons in 10 years, in return for agreeing to freeze their program now.
Some 55% of the 1,011 polled said it would be a “disaster” if Iran obtained nuclear weapons, while 40% categorized it as “a problem that could be managed.”
Last week, Netanyahu delivered a speech to US lawmakers warning of the dangers posed by Tehran’s apparent pursuit of nuclear weapons.
In his speech, Netanyahu called the emerging deal “very bad” and said it “paves the path” for Iran to get a bomb.
The poll found 56% of voters thought it was a good idea for House Speaker John Boehner to independently invite Netanyahu to Washington to address lawmakers without the approval of the White House, versus 27% who disagreed with the move. Fifty-five percent also agreed with the Israeli prime minister.
In response to the controversial speech, which some 55 Democratic lawmakers boycotted, President Obama confirmed to Reuters that the emerging nuclear deal included a “sunset clause,” a provision that phases out any restrictions on its nuclear program over time.
“If, in fact, Iran is willing to agree to double-digit years of keeping their program where it is right now and, in fact, rolling back elements of it that currently exist… if we’ve got that, and we’ve got a way of verifying that, there’s no other steps we can take that would give us such assurance that they don’t have a nuclear weapon,” he said while rebuffing Netanyahu’s address.
Nearly two thirds of voters (65%) said they supported the US using military force if necessary to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
Some 41% thought the Obama administration “is not supportive enough” of Israel, while another 35% say the Washington’s support is “just right.”
Finally, a 59% majority said that Obama was a weak negotiator with foreign leaders, up from 54% from last year.
The poll was carried out by Republican and Democratic research groups and had a margin of error of three percentage points.
It was released on March 4.