Poll: 9 out of 10 Americans have unfavorable view of Iran
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Poll: 9 out of 10 Americans have unfavorable view of Iran

Gallup World Affairs survey shows Iran trailing North Korea, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya and Cuba; Israel enjoys 66% favorability

Haviv Rettig Gur is The Times of Israel's senior analyst.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei waves to a crowd after a speech in Tehran. (AP/Office of the Supreme Leader)
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei waves to a crowd after a speech in Tehran. (AP/Office of the Supreme Leader)

NEW YORK — In a further sign of the poor state of US-Iranian relations, a February Gallup poll found that nearly nine out of 10 Americans hold an unfavorable view of Iran. Only nine percent had a positive view.

The findings are being published as tensions between the United States and Iran are on the rise over the lack of progress in multilateral talks aimed at curbing Teheran’s nuclear program.

The Gallup poll measures “top-of-mind reactions toward a number of countries that are frequently in the news,” a report from the polling organization said Thursday.

Iran came in as the least favorable country out of 22 measured. Israel, at 66% favorable and 29% unfavorable, came seventh, while the Palestinian Authority was far behind, at 18, with just 15% favorable and 77% unfavorable.

“Continuing Gallup research has shown that Americans strongly favor Israel’s side of the enduring conflict between that country and the Palestinian Authority, helping explain why the latter is in this bottom group,” Gallup noted in its announcement of the survey results.

Gallup said that four countries enjoyed the most positive reactions: Canada, Great Britain, Germany and Japan.

Three additional countries, France, India, and Israel, “although they are not at the top of the list… engender attitudes from Americans that are much more favorable than unfavorable.”

The remainder had higher unfavorable ratings than favorable.

The list, in its entirety: Canada enjoyed the highest favorability rating in the survey, with 91% favorable and just 5% of Americans holding unfavorable views of their northern neighbor. Next came Great Britain (88% favorable), Germany (85%), Japan (81%), France (73%), India (68%) and Israel (66%).

Following Israel are, in order of declining favorability, Mexico (47%), Russia (44%), China (43%), Venezuela (40%), Egypt (40%), Saudi Arabia (36%), Cuba (34%), Libya (20%), Iraq (19%), Afghanistan (15%), the Palestinian Authority (15%), Syria (14%), Pakistan (14%), North Korea (12%) and Iran (9%).

As reported last month, the same “World Affairs” poll found that 99 percent of Americans believe the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program is a threat “to the vital interests of the United States in the next 10 years,” with 83% saying it was a “critical threat” and another 16% saying it was an “important, [but] not critical” one. Just 1% declined to say it was at least an important threat.

The findings on Iran correspond to past polling with similar questions. A Gallup poll conducted in early February 2012 asked Americans whom they considered to be the United States’ “greatest enemy today.” The question was open-ended. Nearly one-third, or 32%, named Iran — more than any other country.

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