New Poll: Majority of Americans Support All Measures, Incl. Military Strikes, to Stop Iran Gaining Nuclear Weapon
February 24, 2012


Nearly 2/3 Americans believe sanctions will not work






A new poll has shown that a majority of the American public (58%) supports tough measures – including the possible use of military force – to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Only 30% say it is more important to avoid a military conflict with Iran, even if it means that country develops nuclear weapons. The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted during February 8-12, 2012, among 1,501 adults, also found that 


  • Nearly four-in-ten Americans (39%) say the U.S. should support Israel if it takes military action against Iran to prevent it becoming a nuclear power, as opposed to a mere 5% who believe that the U.S. should oppose military’s action;


  • 64% of Americans think that tougher economic sanctions will not work in getting Iran to relinquishing up its nuclear program, as opposed to only 21% who think they will. (In October 2009, 58% of Americans did not believe that sanctions would stop Iran (Pew Research Center for the People & the Press poll, ‘Public Takes Strong Stance Against Iran’s Nuclear Program,’ February 15, 2012).


These results are consistent with several earlier polls:


  • August 2011: 64% of Americans would approve of a military strike upon Iranian nuclear facilities in the event that international sanctions fail to stop Iran from continuing its nuclear weapons program, as opposed to 23% who would not approve such action (McLaughlin & Associates & Caddell Associates National Survey, August 10, 2011).


  • December 2009: 61% of Americans support the United States coming to the military defense of Israel if it strikes Iranian nuclear facilities and Iran retaliates; more than two-thirds of Americans – 68% – support the United States coming to Israel’s military defense if Iran uses Hamas and Hezbollah to strike Israel, and Israel then attacks Iran in response (Israel Project December National Survey, December 14-16, 2009).


  • May 2009: 71% of American voters say the U.S. will not be safe with a nuclear Iran and 79% say it is likely that Iran will provide nuclear weapons to terrorists to attack an American city. 80% say it is likely that Iran will launch a missile attack on Israel, 77% say it is likely that Iran will use the threat of nuclear attack to provide a shield for Hizballah and Hamas terrorists to attack Israel, and 82% say the U.S. should be concerned about the security of Israel. 57% say Israel would be justified in attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities given that Iran has publicly threatened to annihilate Israel (McLaughlin & Associates National Survey Results, ‘American voters still see terrorism as a very serious threat to the United States,’ May 8-9, 2009).




ZOA National Chairman of the Board Dr. Michael Goldblatt said, “The results in this poll show the American public to possess an increasingly realistic sense of the looming danger posed to America, Israel and the democratic world generally by an Iranian regime intent on obtaining nuclear weapons.


“The American public wants to achieve the ending of the Iranian nuclear weapons program peacefully, but is deeply skeptical that negotiations will actually produce this vital result. That is why we are seeing today majority support for military action against Iran’s nuclear facilities, should this be the only avenue remaining to achieve the desired goal.”


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