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The Iran Primer

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US Appoints Coordinator for Nuclear Deal

On September 17, Secretary of State John Kerry announced the appointment of Ambassador Stephen D. Mull as Lead Coordinator for Iran Nuclear Implementation. The following is Kerry's statement in full.

I have always said that, as important as it was to negotiate the nuclear deal with Iran, implementing it was going to be even more crucial in meeting our national security objectives. That’s why today I am so pleased to announce the appointment of Ambassador Stephen D. Mull as Lead Coordinator for Iran Nuclear Implementation. As we move past the 60-day Congressional review period, it is vitally important that we now have the right team with the right leader in place to ensure the successful implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which will make the United States, our friends and allies in the Middle East, and the entire world safer.
 
From his position at the State Department, reporting directly to Deputy Secretary Blinken and me, Steve will lead the interagency effort to ensure that the nuclear steps Iran committed to in the JCPOA are fully implemented and verified, and that we and our partners are taking reciprocal action on sanctions, following the nuclear steps. His immediate team at the State Department will consist of experts with a variety of experience relevant to his task of coordinating inter-agency implementation of the JCPOA, and within State his team will rely on support from the bureaus with lead responsibilities in relevant policy areas, such as our support of the IAEA and sanctions issues. Interagency coordination will involve the Departments of State, Treasury, Energy, Homeland Security, Commerce, Justice, and Defense, as well as others in the intelligence and law enforcement communities.
 
Steve will draw on the entire range of his 33 years of government service for this critical task. Prior to his most recent position as our Ambassador to Poland, Steve served from 2010 to 2012 as Executive Secretary of the State Department, coordinating responses to a wide range of crises and managing the Department’s support for the Secretary of State. From 2008 to 2010, Steve served as Senior Advisor to then-Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns, working on the range of issues related to Iran’s nuclear program and supporting Under Secretary Burns in his capacity as U.S. Political Director in the P5+1 negotiating process. In particular, Steve played a key role in designing United Nations Security Council Resolution 1929, which imposed additional nuclear-related sanctions on Iran, and marshalling support for its adoption by the Council. He also worked closely with the U.S. Mission to the IAEA in pressing for full accountability in Iran’s nuclear program. Steve traveled frequently to engage with foreign partners and worked across the U.S. government in support of our Iran-related efforts, an effort he takes up once again in his new role.
 
As we move forward with JCPOA implementation, the Department and the entire Administration will continue to work closely with our partners and allies in the region to deepen our security cooperation and to counter Iran’s destabilizing behavior, including its support for terrorism. These concerns and others related to Iran will continue to have the attention of the highest levels of the Department and the U.S. government.
 
Finally, I again want to thank the countless number of dedicated employees from across the U.S. government who worked tirelessly for many months on the negotiation of this agreement. This impressive interagency effort to get the right outcome that prevents Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon demands an equally rigorous implementation effort. That’s why Steve Mull is absolutely the right person to lead this effort.  
 

Mull’s Twitter handle is @SteveMullUSA. 

The Final Tally: How Congress Voted on Iran

By September 17, the deadline for Congressional action on the nuclear deal between Iran and the world's six major powers, Senate Democrats had blocked a Republican-led effort to reject the agreement. After debating a resolution of disapproval on the deal, the Senate moved to a procedural vote on September 10 to end debate on the subject, which required 60 votes. But with a vote of 58-42 in favor, Democrats filibustered the measure and prevented the resolution of disapproval from coming to a vote.

Earlier in the week, 42 Senators had declared support for the deal – more than the 34 that President Obama would need to sustain a veto, even if the resolution of disapproval were passed. But the filibuster prevented Obama from even needing to use his veto power. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) pushed for another vote on September 15, which Democrats blocked with a vote of 56-42. In a final effort to derail the deal, McConnell then scheduled a third procedural vote on an amendment that would require Iran to release American prisoners and recognize Israel's right to exist before the United States lifted sanctions. On September 17, the motion failed to pass with a vote of 53-45.
 
President Obama gave the following statement on the Senate vote.
 
“Today, the Senate took an historic step forward and voted to enable the United States to work with our international partners to enable the implementation of the comprehensive, long-term deal that will prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. This vote is a victory for diplomacy, for American national security, and for the safety and security of the world. For nearly two years, we negotiated from a position of strength to reach an agreement that meets our core objectives. Since we concluded these negotiations, we have had the most consequential national security debate since the decision to invade Iraq more than a decade ago. Over the last several weeks, the more members studied the details of this deal, the more they came out in support. Today, I am heartened that so many Senators judged this deal on the merits, and am gratified by the strong support of lawmakers and citizens alike. Going forward, we will turn to the critical work of implementing and verifying this deal so that Iran cannot pursue a nuclear weapon, while pursuing a foreign policy that leaves our country - and the world - a safer place.”
 
In the House, some opponents of the deal, led by Peter Roskam (R-IL) and Mike Pompeo (R-KS), proposed shifting strategies and voting on three separate measures.
 
  1. H. Res 411 claiming that Obama did not submit all the elements of the deal to Congress, as required by the Iran Nuclear Review Act
  2. H. Res 3460 to prevent Obama from lifting sanctions on Iran
  3. H. Res 3461 to approve the deal
 
The House passed the first two resolutions on September 10 and 11. The third resolution failed to pass, with a vote of 162-269. But the resolutions were largely symbolic, as President Obama had enough support to ensure the deal would survive. McConnell also said that the Senate would not debate House legislation without “enough co-sponsors to override a presidential veto.” Although 25 House Democrats opposed the deal, House opponents still fell short of a veto-proof majority.
 
The following are statements from key Senators and members of Congress on the votes surrounding the deal.
  
Senate
 
Supporters
Opponents
 
Leadership
 
Minority Leader Harry Reid
 
“The Senate has spoken with a clarion voice and declared that the historic agreement to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon will stand.”
Sept. 10, 2015, according to the press 
             
 
"The Republicans have lost...we should move on to something else."
—Sept. 16, 2015, according to the press
 
Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL)
 
Committees
 
Chris Murphy (D-CT)
 
“There’s a cost to the international credibility of the country and this president if a motion of disapproval passes the House and the Senate. There is some harm to the country’s standing if we have to go through the charade of the veto.”
Aug. 27, 2015, according to the press
 
Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
 
“I voted to support the Iran nuclear deal today because it is my firm belief that the test of a great nation is not how many wars we can engage in, but how we can use our strength and our capabilities to resolve international conflicts in a peaceful way.”
Sept. 10, 2015, in a statement
 
Claire McCaskill (D-MO)
 
"They are not willing to do a vote on the merits because they’re gonna lose a vote on the merits. So they’d rather hide behind this silly argument that somehow this is a filibuster."
Sept. 10, 2015, according to the press
 
Gary Peters (D-MI)
 
"This is one of those votes of conscience where you have to look in the mirror and feel comfortable with what you're doing and have no regrets…This is one you will remember the rest of your life."
Sept. 10, 2015, according to the press
 
 
 
Leadership
 
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
 

“The Senate should not hide behind procedure...The American people were led to believe that negotiations with Iran would be about stopping its nuclear program, but that’s not what the deal before us would do.”
—Sept. 8, 2015, in a floor statement
 
"At the very least we should be able to provide some protection to Israel and long-overdue relief to Americans who've languished in Iranian custody for years," in reference to McConnell's amendments proposed on September 16
—Sept. 16, 2015, according to the press
 
Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX)
 
Committees
 
Bob Corker (R-TN)
Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
 
“[Voting on a resolution of disapproval] opens the door for the next president to look at this in a very different way. Bipartisan majorities in the House and Senate will have disapproved of what was negotiated”
Sept. 9, 2015, according to the press
 
Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
 
"While I came to a different conclusion than many in my own caucus, I recognize for them, this is a vote of conscience…Just, as it is, for me."
Sept. 10, 2015, according to the press
 
Lindsay Graham (R-SC)
 
"Sen. [Harry] Reid has come out of nowhere to change what was the common understanding of how we would proceed…We're more worried about protecting Barack Obama from having to veto this than you are about having a debate on the floor of the Senate."
Sept. 10, 2015, according to the press

Ted Cruz (R-TX)
 
"If this deal goes through, we know to an absolute certainty people will die. Americans will die, Israelis will die, Europeans will die.”
Sept. 9, 2015, at an anti-deal rally with Donald Trump
 

Dan Coats (R-IN)

“Moving forward is a violation of the law...That will be tested in the courts.”
Sept. 15, 2015, according to the press

 
 
House
 
Supporters
Opponents
 
Leadership
 
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
 
"This is historic, this is grand, this is visionary, this is about peace. Some of our members are saying this is the first time since I've been here I've been able to vote for peace rather than against war.”
Sept. 10, 2015, according to the press
 
 
Committees
 
Adam Schiff (D-CA)
Ranking Member of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
 
“For the Democrats on the Committee, the [intelligence community’s] assessments and insights into Iran’s nuclear program have given us the confidence that this agreement will realistically cut off Iran's path to the bomb for at least the next decade and a half…As Members in the House continue to review the deal, we encourage them to review the classified assessments for themselves.”
Sept. 9, 2015, in a statement, after all Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee announced support for the deal
 
Louise Slaughter (D-NY)
 
"We are yet again thrown into chaos by a majority chasing its tail in a last-minute meeting, throwing together three bills that might as well be scribbled on the back of a cocktail napkin...Meanwhile, the Senate has declared that they are not changing course, and in the end, we will be left with nothing."
Sept. 9, 2015, according to the press
 
Dan Kildee (D-MI)
 
Senator McConnell’s amendment contradicts what for years has been a bipartisan effort to secure the release of four American prisoners in Iran. His amendment is sadly counterproductive and does nothing to help bring Amir Hekmati or the other innocent Americans being held home. The fate of Amir and the other imprisoned Americans in Iran should never be partisan issue.”
Sept. 16, 2015, in a statement
 
 
Leadership
 
Speaker John Boehner (R-OH)
 
"This is a bad deal with decades-long consequences for the security of the American people and our allies, and we'll use every tool at our disposal to stop, slow and delay this agreement from being fully implemented."
Sept. 10, 2015, according to the press
 
 
Committees
 
Mike Pompeo (R-KS)
 
"I think the president has broken the law — that is, he hasn't complied with his obligations under the legislation allowing Congress to review the deal.”
 
"If Obama lifts sanctions against Iran without Congress’ approval, "the American people will be furious and properly so because they will have a president who is brazenly violating the law with knowledge and intent."
Sept. 9, 2015, according to the press
 
Peter Roskam (R-IL)
 
"It is a scandal that the administration has not disclosed this information," referring to Iran’s agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Sept. 9, 2015, according to the press
 
Steve Israel (D-NY)
 
“As a strong and visible opponent of the Iran deal, I’m outraged by the last-minute decision of House Republican leaders to inject irresponsible partisan politics into the upcoming vote. This three-bill gimmick is designed to play political games instead of allowing a thoughtful debate on the merits of the Iran deal.”
Sept. 10, 2015, in a statement
 
 
 

 

Iranian Officials on US After the Deal

Despite the nuclear deal, top Iranian officials insisted that Tehran and Washington are not moving towards rapprochement – or cooperating on any other issues. “We allowed negotiations with the U.S. only on the nuclear issue for certain reasons, in other areas we did not and will not allow negotiations with the U.S.,” Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei explained in a speech on September 9. In August, 202 lawmakers issued a joint statement saying “we should never stop confronting arrogance and hegemony.” They cited the United States as a “perfect example of arrogance in the world.”

At the same time, a few other leaders suggested that the two countries could engage on other issues or begin to improve their relationship. “We are capable of settling other regional and global issues through negotiations as well,” President Hassan Rouhani said in July, according to Iranian media. “I am telling U.S. authorities and politicians that you should decide and make a major shift in policy.” In September, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said proper implementation of the nuclear deal could “create an opportunity for the U.S. to at least restore some Iranians' lost confidence.”
 
The following are excerpted remarks from Iranian officials, military leaders and clerics.
 
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
 
 
“Of course, methods of hostility and harming might be modernized; however, the political, economic and cultural officials should be careful in order not to be trapped by the enemy's pre-determined plan and that any decision willingly or unwillingly should not help hostile policy of the bullying powers.”
—Aug. 26, 2015, in a meeting with President Hassan Rouhani and his cabinet
 
“They [Americans] thought this [nuclear] deal - and it is not clear if it will be passed in Iran or in America - will open up Iran to their influence. ... We waste no efforts to shut ways of infiltration into the country. We'll allow neither economic, nor political, nor cultural intrusion of U.S.”
 
“The US is fully devoid of human ethics and embarks on wickedness and crime with no bridle and under the guise of attractive words and smiles.”
 
“Creating killer, insolent and tyrant Takfiri groups, which Americans have admitted to their role in creating them, is the most important tool for stoking seemingly religious divisions among nations, which unfortunately, some naïve Muslims have been fooled by this conspiracy and plot due to their lack of insight and they have been embroiled in the enemy’s plot.”
—Aug. 17, 2015, in a speech
 
President Hassan Rouhani
 
“We solved the nuclear issue at the negotiating table. We are capable of settling other regional and global issues through negotiations as well.”
 
"I am telling U.S. authorities and politicians that you should decide and make a major shift in policy.”
—July 26, 2015, in a speech acccording to ISNA and the Tehran Times
 
 
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
 
“Our people have lost confidence in the U.S. policies and proper implementation of the nuclear agreement would create an opportunity for the U.S. to at least restore some Iranians' lost confidence.”
—Sept. 1, 2015 to reporters in Tunis
 
 
 
Parliamentary Speaker Ali Larijani
 
“We have seen how the United States adopted different schemes to extend its influence in the country, we have experienced its actions against the will of our nation.”

“You noticed how they [Americans] managed to maintain networks of influence in the armed forces, among our politicians and academics and businessmen.”

"So the warning by the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution should be deemed as a realistic and accurate one and people should be sensitive about it."
—Aug. 19, 2015, during a session of parliament
 
“There are practical ways of course [to free Americans held in Iran]. For example, there is a number of Iranians in prison here [in the United States]. Definitely for matters of this sort, one can come up with solutions. I think your politicians know about those ways… That's one way [prisoner exchange]. There are other ways that the judiciary systems of the two countries can come up with. It is the judiciary that has to decide about it.”
Sept. 4, 2015, in an interview with NPR
 
Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Commander Mohammad Ali Jafari
 
“The enmity against the Iranian nation by the U.S. has not lessened, and it has been increased."
 
 “We should not be deceived by the U.S. It wants to infiltrate into Iran, resorting to new instruments and method.”
Sept. 1, 2015, in remarks via the Revolutionary Guards website and the Associated Press
 
“The IRGC is strongly standing beside the brave and faithful people of Islamic Iran and thanks to this resistance, sympathy and unity of words and with God's help and assistance, we will not allow the hegemonic powers to exercise influence on our country in any area.”
—Aug. 20, 2015, in a speech
 
Assembly of Experts Chairman Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi
 
“We have to be careful for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) not to change [our] foreign policy. Iran considers the U.S. as its top enemy and the crimes it is committing are uncountable.
 
“We have to tell the U.S. that they will definitely take to their grave the dream of Iran becoming their consumer market. … We are not to talk about bilateral and trilateral relations and the gradual flow of their companies into Iran.”
—Sept. 1, 2015 in an address to the Assembly of Experts
 
Senior Advisor to the Supreme Leader Ali Akbar Velayati
 
“The Islamic Republic of Iran is the first power in the region and it plays an important role in supporting the resistance line against the U.S. hegemony and Zionists' expansionism, and it will not allow the U.S. to influence the region for different reasons.”
 
“First the U.S. influence in allied and friendly countries is not acceptable to Iran, and Tehran doesn’t allow Washington to spread its clout in those states again; second, if the Americans influence the regional states, the way will be paved for their penetration in other countries.”
—Aug. 20, 2015, according to the press
 
“We have never been optimistic about the U.S. officials, and the measures and steps that they have taken are in line with their own interests.”
Sept. 3, 2015, in remarks to Fars News Agency
 
202 Members of Parliament
 
“We feel obliged to defend the thoughts of Imam Khomeini, who said shouting 'down with America' will bring about its collapse, and the ideas of Imam Khamenei who also said by this agreement they were seeking to infiltrate into the country; we want to entirely block this possibility, and we would not allow neither America's economic influence nor its political and cultural influence to be inflicted upon our country. On the basis of the Quran’s principles, we should never stop confronting arrogance and hegemony, and currently America is a perfect example of arrogance in the world.”
—Aug. 19, 2015 in a joint statement
 
Basij Force Commander Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi
 
“The White House always supports the world dictators, and our hostility towards the U.S. is profound and may not be resolved through talks.”
 
“The Zionist regime [Israel] is now surrounded by resistance groups and all U.S. bases in the regional states are within the range of the missiles of the Islamic Revolution forces.”
—Aug. 30, 2015 in an interview with al-Alam news
 
“No doubt, Iran's nuclear issue is not the cause of the U.S. problem with us; they actually have a problem with Iran's Islamic establishment in essence.
“The Americans see themselves as the owner of the world and therefore, they don't sit silent when they see independent nations like the Iranian nation.”
—Sept. 10, 2015 in a speech
 
IRGC Political Deputy Brigadier General Rasoul Sanaei Rad
 
“The U.S. is seeking to exploit the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) as a way of gaining influence upon Iran, which can have multiple economic, political, and cultural aspects.
“If we fail to be careful enough, the U.S. will immediately penetrate into our country, and greed is a decisive factor for Americans to seek influence on Iran.”
—Sept. 2, 2015, in remarks via Mehr News Agency
 
Brigadier General Ahmed Vahidi, President of the Strategic Defense Studies Center
 
“By weakening and eliminating the Resistance Axis, America is looking for influence in the region; therefore, strengthening the resistance front would be a natural and logical strategy to confront the U.S. policies in the region.”
 
“Currently the Islamic Republic of Iran is taking measures to confront the massive terrorism which has been brought by the West particularly the US.”
 
“We should avoid the America’s influence in the region because based on Imam Khomeini’s remarks, the US is the Great Satan and its influence will bring us numerous problems.”
—Aug. 29, 2015, in remarks via Mehr News Agency
 
Khamenei’s Deputy Representative to the Revolutionary Guards Abdullah Haji Sadeqi
 
“We might have agreed on the nuclear issue, but this does not mean the end of fight or reconciliation with the global arrogance [the United States].”
—Aug. 26, 2015 in a speech
 
Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Movahedi Kermani
 
“Americans know that if they want to renew their political hegemony, they will have to opt for the cultural hegemony and are, thus, thinking of carrying out such an absurd idea.”
 
“They will remain our enemy as long as Islam prevails, because the U.S. feels hostility towards Islam.”
 
“The U.S. and its allies should know that we will not stop supporting the [anti-Israeli] resistance and Palestine.”
—Aug. 20, 2015, in a sermon at Friday prayers
 
“[Reaching a] nuclear deal with the P5+1 [world’s six major powers] does not mean reconciliation with US.”
—Aug. 21, 2015, in a sermon at Friday prayers
 

Photo credits: Javad Zarif by Robin Wright, Ali Jafari via President.ir; Yazdi via Assembly of Experts website, Velayati by http://en.kremlin.ru/ via Wikimedia Commons; Larijani by Harald Dettenborn [CC BY 3.0 de (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/de/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Poll: Iran's Minorities on the Deal

Around 76 percent of Iranians approved of the nuclear deal between Iran and the world's six major powers, according to a new poll released by iPOS (Information and Public Opinion Solutions). This figure was up from 63 percent in May.

The poll asked respondents the following question:

"As you may know, Iran and the West announced that they had come to agreement regarding the nuclear program. When we talk to people some say they favor a deal, some say not. What do you think? Would you say you favor a deal between Iran and the West or not?"


Support for the deal varied among Iran's ethnic groups. Although a majority of all ethnicities approved of the agreement, support was highest among Iranian Kurds. Around 86 percent of Kurds approved of the deal, slightly more than the average for all Iranians.


The survey also found higher levels of support among Iranians Sunnis than Iranian Shiites. Around 82 percent of Sunnis supported the deal, compared to 75 percent of Sunnis.

 

Click here for the full results

 

US Public Opinion on Iran Deal

Polls have differed in their findings regarding public opinion on the Iran nuclear deal. Many surveys conducted soon after the July 14 announcement of an agreement found that a majority of Americans supported the deal. But since then they have varied widely. This is a compilation of major polls.

Gallup
 
A poll conducted February 3-7 showed that 30 percent of Americans approved of the nuclear deal while 57 percent disapproved. Approval varied significantly by party affiliation. Only 9 percent of Republicans approved of the deal, compared with 30 percent of independents and 51 percent of Democrats. 
 
 
The poll, conducted February 3-7, had a sample size of 1,021 adults.
 
Click here for more information.

 

CNN / ORC International Poll
 
A poll conducted September 4-8 found that some 49 percent of Americans thought Congress should reject the deal. But the results also showed that support for the deal was up six percent compared to August, when the same questions were posed to random sample. In September, some 47 percent of respondents thought Congress should approve the agreement and four percent had no opinion.
 
As you may know, the U.S. Congress must approve the agreement the United States and five other countries reached with Iran that is aimed at preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons before it can take effect. Do you think Congress should approve or reject the deal with Iran?
 
 
Sept. 4-8
Aug. 13-16*
July 22-25
Approve
47
41
44
Reject
49
56
52
No opinion
4
2
5
*Asked of half sample
 
 
 
 
Suppose such an agreement is approved and Iran violates its terms. If that happens, do you think the United States should or should not take military action against Iran?
 
 
Sept. 4-8
Apr. 16-19
Should take military action
64
61
Should not take military action
34
36
No opinion
2
3
 
If the agreement is approved, how likely do you think it is that Iran will violate the terms of the agreement?
 
 
Sept. 4-8
Extremely likely
37 percent
Very likely
23 percent
Somewhat likely
30 percent
Not at all likely
10 percent
No opinion
*
 
The poll, conducted September 4-8, had a sample size 1012.
 
Click here for more information.
 
Pew Research Center
 
A poll conducted September 3-7 found that public support for the nuclear deal fell to 21 percent, down from 33 percent in July. Disapproval slightly increased from 45 to 49 percent. About 22 percent expressed no opinion in July compared to 30 percent in September.
 
 
 
 
The poll, conducted September 3-7, had a sample size of 1,004 adults.
 
Click here for more information.
 
University of Maryland/ Voice Of the People
 
A poll released on September 1 showed that 55 percent of registered voters think the United States should approve the deal. Although the participants were concerned about the agreement’s terms, a majority did not see a better alternative. They gave their final recommendation after evaluating critiques of the deal’s terms, including rebuttals, as well as pros and cons of alternative courses of actions. The survey was conducted by the University of Maryland’s Program for Public Consultation (PPC) and its Center for International and Security Studies (CISSM). It was co-sponsored by CISSM and Voice Of the People.
 
What do you think would be best for the United States to do?
 
 
Approve of the agreement
Ratchet up sanctions, until Iran gives up enrichment
Renew negotiations
Use or threaten the use of military force
Don’t know
National
55 percent
23 percent
14 percent
7 percent
2 percent
Republican
3
36
20
9
4
Democrat
72
14
8
6
<1
Independent
61
18
15
4
2
 
Would you recommend that your Members of Congress APPROVE or NOT APPROVE the agreement that limits Iran’s capacity to enrich uranium to the low level necessary for nuclear energy, requires it to accept intrusive inspections, and lifts sanctions on Iran once it deeply reduces its stockpile of enriched uranium and its number of operating centrifuges?
 
 
Approve
Not Approve
Refused/Don’t know
National
52 percent
47 percent
1 percent
Republican
30
69
1
Democrat
69
32
 
Independent
60
39
1
 
These are some of the key questions that the poll posed with the responses.
 
Here is an argument saying that it [the deal] will increase the chances [of Iran getting a nuclear weapon]:
 
This deal increases the chance that Iran will end up with a nuclear weapon. The deal does not fully remove Iran’s capacity to develop nuclear weapons. Most of the centrifuges will simply be stored away. More important, limiting Iran’s enrichment to the 3.67% level does not mean that its progress toward a nuclear weapon will be completely stopped. They will be able to continually refine their know-how on enrichment and do other types of research and development. After eight and a half years they will also be able to produce some more advanced centrifuges. Thus, should Iran decide to break out of the agreement, it will be able to simply kick out the UN inspectors, restart its centrifuges and move toward getting a nuclear weapon even faster than it could now.
 
 
Very convincing
Somewhat convincing
Total convincing
Somewhat unconvincing
Very unconvincing
Total unconvincing
Refused/
Don’t know
National
38 percent
30 percent
68 percent
18 percent
12 percent
30 percent
3 percent
Republican
57
27
84
9
4
13
4
Democrat
23
34
57
26
16
42
1
Independent
31
29
60
20
16
36
5
 
Here is a rebuttal:
 
This deal reduces the chances that Iran will end up with a nuclear weapon. It puts in place a permanent intrusive inspection regime so we will know exactly what the Iranians are doing, and it blocks all their paths to a nuclear weapon. It reduces their stockpile of enriched uranium by 98% and their number of centrifuges by two-thirds. If Iran sticks with the deal, we’ll know they aren’t making a nuclear weapon. If they try to break out of the deal, with more intrusive inspections, we will have much better means to spot it immediately, and it will be so completely clear that we will be better able to mobilize the world against them. Either way we come out ahead of where we are now.
 
 
Very convincing
Somewhat convincing
Total convincing
Somewhat unconvincing
Very unconvincing
Total unconvincing
Refused/
Don’t know
National
25 percent
31 percent
56 percent
17 percent
24 percent
41 percent
2 percent
Republican
12
25
37
25
37
62
2
Democrat
42
35
77
9
11
20
2
Independent
18
35
53
18
25
43
5
 
Another debate is about whether the US should hold out for a better deal with Iran. Here is an argument saying that it should have: Surely, the US could have gotten a better deal. When the deal was reported in Tehran, people were cheering in the streets. Clearly they feel that they got the better of us and were relieved at the possibility of the sanctions coming off. They need this deal more than we do. If we had simply walked away from the table the Iranians would have begged us to come back, and they would have been ready to make more concessions.
 
 
Very convincing
Somewhat convincing
Total convincing
Somewhat unconvincing
Very unconvincing
Total unconvincing
Refused/
Don’t know
National
23 percent
31 percent
 54 percent
 24 percent
 20 percent
44 percent
2 percent
Republican
35
37
 72
 15
 10
25
4
Democrat
13
26 
 39
 32
 28
60 
 <1
Independent
21 
29 
 50
 24
 23
47 
 2
 
Here is a rebuttal:
 
It is always an appealing fantasy that with a little more pressure one could get a better deal. In Tehran, some Iranians are also complaining that Iran could have gotten a better deal. Though many average people in Tehran were cheering, the hardliners were not happy with the deal and the Supreme Leader seems to have come around only begrudgingly. When we put more pressure on them in earlier negotiations, they did not come back with more concessions, but rather, greatly accelerated their nuclear program.
 
 
Very convincing
Somewhat convincing
Total convincing
Somewhat unconvincing
Very unconvincing
Total unconvincing
Refused/
Don’t know
National
21 percent
34 percent
55 percent
 23 percent
 20 percent
43 percent
1 percent
Republican
33
39 
 31
 28
59
2
Democrat
37 
38 
75
 15
 10
25 
Independent
19 
31 
50 
 25
 24
49 
The poll, conducted August 17-20, had a sample size of 702.
 
Click here for more information.
 
 
Reuters Poll
 
A Reuters poll conducted August 20-27 showed an increase in Republican opposition to the nuclear deal. Some 54 percent of Republicans said they oppose the agreement, compared to 45 percent in July. Democratic opposition remained the same from July to August at 16 percent. But Democratic support for the deal fell to 46 percent from 52 percent.
 
All respondents:
• Oppose the deal: 31 percent
• Support the deal: 29.9 percent
• Don't know: 39.1 percent
• Some 63 percent of Americans said Iran could not be trusted to fulfil its obligations under the agreement.
 
Republicans
Oppose the deal: 54 percent
Support the deal: 19 percent
• Some 71 percent of Republicans said they would be less likely to vote for their representative in Congress if he or she supported the deal.
 
Democrats
Oppose the deal: 16 percent
Support the deal: 46 percent
• Some 17 percent of Democrats said they would be less likely to vote for their representative in Congress if he or she supported the deal.
 
The poll, conducted August 20-27, had a sample size of 2,015.
 
Click here or here for more information.
 
 
Quinnipiac University National Poll
 
A poll conducted August 20-25 showed that 55 percent of American voters opposed the nuclear deal.
 
Do you support or oppose the nuclear deal with Iran?
 
 
Total
Republican
Democrat
Independent
Support
25 percent
4 percent
46 percent
24 percent
Oppose
55
87
25
59
Don’t know/No answer
20
9
 
17
The poll was conducted from August 20 to 25 and had a sample size of 1,563.
 
Click here for more information.
 
 
CNN / ORC International Poll
 
A poll conducted August 13-16 showed that Americans were split on how they view the nuclear deal. Some 50 percent favored an agreement that would ease economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for Tehran’s acceptance of major restrictions on its nuclear program. About 46 opposed such an agreement. But 56 percent thought Congress should reject the final deal.
 
As you may know, the U.S. and other countries have imposed strict economic sanctions against Iran while that country has nuclear facilities which could eventually allow it to produce its own nuclear weapons. Do you favor or oppose an agreement that would ease some of those economic sanctions and in exchange require Iran to accept major restrictions on its nuclear program but not end it completely and submit to greater international inspection of its nuclear facilities?*
 
Favor: 50 percent
Oppose: 46 percent
No opinion: 4 percent
 
As you may know, the U.S. Congress must approve the agreement the United States and five other countries reached with Iran that is aimed at preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons before it can take effect. Do you think Congress should approve or reject the deal with Iran?**   
          
Approve: 41 percent
Reject: 56 percent
No opinion: 2 percent
 
Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling the U.S. relationship with Iran?
 
Approve: 38 percent
Disapprove: 60 percent
No opinion: 3 percent
 
*Results based on 500 interviews
**Results based on 501 interviews

The poll, conducted August 13-16, had a sample size of 1,001. The sample also included 897 registered voters.
 
Click here for more information.
 
 
Public Policy Polling Survey
 
A survey conducted July 23-24 found that 54 percent of Americans strongly supported or somewhat supported the deal. A slight majority also though Congress should allow the agreement to be implemented.
 
Q: The US and other countries have reached an agreement to place limits on Iran’s nuclear program in order to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. In exchange for limiting its nuclear program, Iran would receive gradual relief from US and international economic sanctions. The International Atomic Energy Agency would monitor Iran’s facilities and if Iran was caught breaking the agreement, the current economic sanctions would be imposed again. Would you say you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose, or strongly oppose this agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear program?
 
  • Strongly support: 35 percent
  • Somewhat support: 19 percent
  • Somewhat oppose: 6 percent
  • Strongly oppose: 32 percent
  • Not sure: 8 percent
 
Q: Do you think your members of Congress should vote to allow this agreement to go forward and closely monitor how the agreement is being implemented, or do you think your members of Congress should vote to block the agreement and prevent it from being implemented?
 
  • Members of Congress should vote to allow the agreement to go forward and closely monitor how the agreement is being implemented: 54 percent
  • Members of Congress should block the agreement and prevent it from being implemented: 39 percent
  • Not sure: 7 percent
 
The poll was conducted July 23-24 on behalf of Americans United For Change. The sample consisted of 730 registered voters.
 
Click here for more information.
 
 
Washington Post-ABC News Poll
 
A poll conducted from July 16 to 19 found that found that a majority, 56 percent, of Americans supported the deal. But nearly two thirds were not confident that the agreement will prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
 
Q: The U.S. and other countries have announced a deal to lift economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for Iran agreeing not to produce nuclear weapons. International inspectors would monitor Iran’s facilities, and if Iran is caught breaking the agreement economic sanctions would be imposed again. Do you support or oppose this agreement?
 
  • Support: 56 percent
  • Oppose: 37 percent
  • No opinion: 7 percent
 
Q: How confident are you that this agreement will prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons?
 
  • Very confident: 6 percent
  • Somewhat confident: 29 percent
  • Not so confident: 22 percent
  • Not at all confident: 42 percent
  • No opinion: 1 percent
The poll, conducted July 16-19, had a sample size of 1,002. 
 
Click here for more information.
 
 
YouGov Poll
 
A poll conducted July 14-16 found that 43 percent of Americans supported the deal while 30 percent opposed it. Some 26 percent were undecided.
 
Q: Several world powers, including the United States, have reached an international agreement that will limit Iran’s nuclear activity in return for the lifting of major economic sanctions against Iran. Do you support or oppose this agreement?
 
  • Support: 43 percent
  • Oppose: 30 percent
  • Not sure: 26 percent
 
Q: How confident are you that the agreement will prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon?
 
  • Very confident: 5 percent
  • Somewhat confident: 18 percent
  • Not so confident: 27 percent
  • Not confident at all: 32 percent
  • Don’t know: 18 percent

The poll, conducted July 14-16, had a sample size of 1,000.
 
Click here for more information.
 
 
LA Jewish Journal Survey
 
A poll conducted July 16-20 found that that 49 percent of American Jews supported the deal, while 31 percent opposed it.
 
Q: As you may know, an agreement was reached in which the United States and other countries would lift major economic sanctions against Iran, in exchange for Iran restricting its nuclear program in a way that makes it harder for it to produce nuclear weapons. Do you support or oppose this agreement, or don’t know enough to say?
 
 
American Jews
All Americans
Support
49 percent
28 percent
Oppose
31 percent
24 percent
 
The survey, conducted July 16-20, had a sample that included 505 non-Jewish interviews and 501 Jewish interviews.
 
Click here for more information.
 
 
J Street Poll
 
A poll conducted July 21-23 found that 60 percent of American Jews either strongly supported or somewhat supported the deal. J Street used the same question wording as an earlier Washington Post-ABC News Poll, which found that 56 percent of Americans supported the deal.
 
Q: The U.S. and other countries have announced a deal to lift economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for Iran agreeing not to produce nuclear weapons. International inspectors would monitor Iran’s facilities, and if Iran is caught breaking the agreement economic sanctions would be imposed again. Do you support or oppose this agreement?
 
  • Strongly support: 18 percent
  • Somewhat support: 42 percent
  • Somewhat oppose: 16 percent
  • Strongly oppose: 24 percent
The poll, conducted July 21-23, had a sample size of 1,000.
 
Click here for more information.
 

 

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