8 out of 10 Americans Fear Iran will Have Nuclear Weapons Soon
Nearly eight out of 10 Americans (78%) think Iran is likely to soon develop nuclear weapons, and over half say the Iranians will not halt their program no matter who is elected president, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.
Forty-three percent (43%) of Likely Voters think it is possible to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, but 52% believe Iran is not likely to stop if McCain is elected to the White House. Even more (61%) say the same if Obama becomes president.
Sixty-three percent (63%) say the goal of Iran’s uranium enrichment program is to develop nuclear weapons, as opposed to 12% who believe the Iranian government’s claim that it is for energy purposes alone.
Iran boasted last week that it had launched several new missiles, including one capable of striking Israel, but the video of the purported launchings was later proven to be a fake.
A Rasmussen Reports survey following the so-called missile launchings found that 71% of voters viewed Iran as a serious threat to the United States and 46% felt American should intervene militarily if Iran attacked Israel.
Republican presidential candidate John McCain called for a continued hardline against Iran until it gives up its nuclear program, including tough economic sanctions. His Democratic opponent, Barack Obama, reiterated his belief in direct meetings with the Iranian leadership along with possible sanctions.
A Rasmussen Reports survey last month found 45% of likely voters agreed with Obama that it was a good idea for the U.S. president to meet with the leader of Iran, but 59% said the meeting should not take place until Iran stops developing nuclear weapons.
In the new survey, 57% of Republicans believe it is possible to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, compared to only 38% of Democrats and 35% of unaffiliated voters.
Fifty-two percent (52%) of Republicans also think Iran is likely to halt its nuclear program if McCain is elected president, but only 24% of Democrats and unaffiliated voters agree. Perhaps indicative of the general belief that McCain has more foreign policy expertise than his opponent, only 40% of Democrats think Iran is likely to stop developing nuclear weapons if Obama is elected, a view shared by 11% of Republicans and 24% of unaffiliated voters.