This week the Center for International and Security Studies at the University of Maryland (CISSM) released a new study on public opinion in Iran. The report explores the political atmosphere following the interim understanding between Iran and the P5+1 (Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia, and United States) announced in early April. Organizers surveyed Iranians about their opinions regarding ongoing nuclear talks and their expectations about a potential agreement. The interviews were conducted from call centers in Tehran, Iran and Toronto, Canada, in partnership with the University of Tehran’s Center for Public Opinion Research (UTCPOR) and Iran Poll, an independent polling group in Canada.
According to the report, “all thirty-one Iranian provinces were represented in the completed sample in proportions similar to their actual populations, as were rural and urban areas.” The findings reveal continued support among the majority of Iranians for the country’s nuclear program, as well as the government’s ongoing negotiations with the P5+1. The study finds that the majority of Iranians (seven in ten) believe the current round of talks will result in an agreeable deal for both sides, and suggests many expect the positive effects of an agreement to become evident within the first year.
The results also indicate that, while the majority (57%) of Iranians support the April agreement, “contrary to the U.S. position on the negotiations, six in ten (62%) respondents said their impression was that ‘all U.S. sanctions on Iran are to be lifted eventually.’” In fact, 51% of respondents said Iran should not agree to a deal unless all U.S. sanctions are removed. As the study’s researchers observed, “assumptions about whether all U.S. sanctions would be lifted are highly related to support for a deal.” “President Rouhani may have difficulty selling a deal that would significantly deviate from these expectations,” Ebrahim Mohseni, an associate with CISSM and analyst at UTCPOR, explained to Iran Primer. Nevertheless, according to the report, if the “nuclear negotiations were to fall through, Iranians would not blame the Iranian government.”
Read the full report here.