Most Americans unhappy with US handling of Iran, terror

Fox News survey finds 51% believe Obama administration ‘too soft’ on Tehran; over 60% say US fight against Islamic extremism going badly

President Barack Obama speaks during a joint news conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, April 17, 2015. (photo credit: AP Photo/J. David Ake)
President Barack Obama speaks during a joint news conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, April 17, 2015. (photo credit: AP Photo/J. David Ake)

A majority of Americans disapprove of US President Barack Obama’s handling of the Iranian nuclear issue and his administration’s approach to combating terrorism, a new poll found.

According to a survey released by Fox News on Friday, 57 percent of those polled said they were unhappy with “the job Barack Obama was doing” on Iran, compared to 32% who approved and 11% who did not know. Some 65% said they felt Iran posed a real security threat to the United States.

Fifty one percent of respondents said the Obama administration was “too soft” on Iran in negotiations to curb its nuclear program, while 34% believed it was “striking the right balance.”

Similarly, of those polled, 50% said negotiating with Iran was the “wrong thing” to do “because Iran can’t be trusted to honor any agreement so a deal won’t stop them from getting nukes.” Forty percent felt negotiating with Tehran was the right thing to do; 10% did not know or had mixed answers.

On terrorism, 53% said they disapproved of the US was handling the issue, 40% approved and 7% said they did not know.

Over 60% of respondents believed the US fight against Islamic extremists was going “very badly” or somewhat badly” and 81% said the terror group the Islamic State posed a real threat to US national security.

Among issues respondents said were the most important for Congress to work on was the economy and jobs, at 29%, and terrorism at 14%; Iran did not feature on the list.

The poll was conducted among 1,012 respondents and had a margin of error of 3%.

Of the respondents, 42% said they voted Democrat, 38% Republicans, 17% independent while 3% refused to say or did not know.

Iran and the US-led P5+1 world powers were set to negotiate a final accord by a June 30 deadline, having reached what has been described as a “historic” political framework for a potential deal earlier this month in Lausanne, Switzerland. The framework has been highly controversial and has exposed differing interpretations about what the deal would entail, including on restrictions on centrifuges, R&D, inspections and the lifting of sanctions. There have also been contradictory statements by the US and Iran on the initial agreement, which is not a signed text.

Under the deal, Iran is expected to curb its enrichment activities while leaving some 6,000 centrifuges — about 1/3rd of its current stock — spinning, and open itself up to a strict international monitoring regime.

Iran has repeatedly stonewalled the United Nations’ nuclear monitoring agency from fully investigating the scope of its nuclear ambitions.

AFP contributed to this report.

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