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Majority backs force to stop Iran from getting nukes

A solid majority Americans backs the use of force to stop Iran from getting nukes according to a new Pew poll

A new Pew poll finds that a solid majority (61 percent) of Americans would support the use of force if that is necessary to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons. Just 24 percent say it is more important to avoid a military conflict with iran, even if that means Iran gets the bomb.

I find this troubling. What do you think?

Most Americans, including most Republicans, approve of the Pres. Obama’s new policy of direct engagement with Iran to try to prevent the larger confrontation, but, other than Democrats, Repubs and independents are pessimistic that the talks will do the job.

Here’s the full text of the email from Pew chief Andrew Kohut announcing the poll result:

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The public approves of direct negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, although most Americans are not hopeful the talks will succeed. And a strong majority – 61% – says that it is more important to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, even if it means taking military action. Far fewer (24%) say it is more important to avoid a military conflict with Iran, if it means that the country may develop nuclear weapons.

There is broad willingness across the political spectrum to use military force to prevent Iran from going nuclear. Seven-in-ten Republicans (71%) and two-thirds of independents (66%) say it is more important to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, even if it means taking military action. Fewer Democrats (51%) express this view; still, only about three-in-ten Democrats (31%) say it is more important to avoid a military conflict with Iran, if it means Tehran may develop nuclear weapons.

The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Sept. 30-Oct. 4 among 1,500 adults reached on cell phones and landlines, finds substantial public support for non-military strategies aimed at persuading Iran from going ahead with its nuclear program. Yet there is considerable skepticism that these efforts – tougher international sanctions as well as direct talks with Iran – would succeed in getting Iran to drop its nuclear program.

More than six-in-ten Americans (63%) approve of the United States negotiating directly with Iran over the issue of its nuclear program, while 28% oppose such talks. Yet a clear majority (64%) says they will not work in getting Iran to give up its nuclear program, compared with just 22% who say they will work.

 The public also overwhelmingly approves of tougher economic sanctions against Iran; fully 78% approve, while just 12% disapprove. But again, most Americans (56%) say that tougher economic sanctions would not work in getting Iran to drop its nuclear program.

And here’s a link to the full poll writeup.