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Bomb Iran if needed - US poll

23 November 2011, 17:00

Washington - Fifty percent of Americans believe military action should be taken to stop Iran's nuclear programme if sanctions do not work, a national poll released on Wednesday said.

The Quinnipiac University survey also found that more Americans disapprove, by 50% to 44%, of the job President Barack Obama is doing - although more people than not approve of the way he has handled foreign policy, including his management of thorny US relations with Tehran.

Some 55% of respondents said the United States should not take immediate military action against Iran, with 36% in favour.

The number in favour of using force increases to 50% however if sanctions fail, with 38% against.

"Americans are very concerned about the development of an Iranian nuclear programme and don't think the current policy of economic sanctions is effective," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac Polling Institute.

The Quinnipiac survey also found that 46% of voters believed the US should support Israel if it attacks Iran, with 6% saying Washington should oppose Israeli action and 44% saying the US should stay neutral.

Bright spots for Obama

The poll found that two in three Americans (60% versus 33%) believe economic sanctions against Iran are currently ineffective.

Foreign policy, particularly Obama's handling of Iran, are bright spots for the US president.

While voters said, but a margin of 48% to 45% that he does not deserve a second term, they felt more charitably towards him on foreign policy, which garnered 49% approval against 45% disapproval.

The president's handling of Iran meanwhile won the support of 48% of respondents, compared to 45% who disapproved.

This week, Britain, Canada and the United State announced new sanctions on Iran, citing a report by the UN atomic energy watchdog this month suggesting Tehran was researching nuclear weapons.

Britain said it was "ceasing all contact" between its financial system and that of Iran. The US and Canada said they would also clamp down on the sector, including on Iran's central bank.

The Quinnipiac poll was conducted by telephone among 2 552 registered voters between November 14 and November 20 and had a 1.9% margin of error.


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