Why Iranian Public Opinion Is Turning Against the Nuclear Program

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad inspects the Natanz nuclear facility

It’s been a busy few weeks for our non-proliferation programme, with developments in Iran and North Korea; and research analyst Dina Esfandiary is the latest to have a major feature published. In the Atlantic, she writes that, with sanctions biting in Iran, opinion polls suggest that the public’s support for Tehran’s nuclear programme is weakening. ‘Western officials and media outlets often say that it wouldn’t matter if the regime changed because support for the program cuts across political lines,’ she writes. However, recent polls – ‘assuming they’re accurate’ – indicate three things about Iranian public opinion: ‘There seems to have been a significant drop in Iranian support for a nuclear energy program, more Iranians are aware of how sensitive the issue is … and less than half of those polled are in favour of developing a nuclear weapon.’

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