Iran: Low Support Among Israelis For Solo Attack, New Poll Shows

02/29/2012 01:28 pm ET | Updated Feb 29, 2012

NEW YORK -- A new poll of Israeli public opinion found surprisingly low levels of support for a military strike against Iran -- and especially if Israel has to go it alone.

Just 19 percent of Israelis believe that Israel should strike Iran's nuclear facilities if it must do so without American support. A significantly higher number -- 42 percent -- support a military strike if Israel has American support. Thirty-four percent do not support a military strike at all.

The poll comes at a time when Israel seems increasingly primed to take military action against the nuclear installations of Iran, an action the United States has repeatedly indicated it does not support.

An Israeli parliamentarian recently told Reuters that he feared Israelis were not prepared for a war with Iran, which could possibly include a massive barrage of rockets and asymmetric attacks from Hezbollah and Hamas.

The poll, conducted by Shibley Telhami, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a University of Maryland professor, measured the opinions of 500 Israelis, with a margin of error of 4 percent. The opinions of Israeli Jews alone did not markedly differe from the broader Israeli views.

Asked about the likely outcomes of a military strike, most Israelis believed it would have a significant impact, with 44 percent believing it would lead to delays of three or more years to Iran's nuclear program. American military officials have said that military action is unlikely to fully prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, but some Israeli officials have said that even if the program was delayed, the action would be worth it.

Thirty percent of Israelis polled said they believed a military strike would either accelerate Iran's nuclear program or have no effect at all.

The poll also offered a glimpse of Israeli views on American politics, something that has received some attention during recent Republican presidential debates. When Israelis were asked about their preferences in the upcoming election, only former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, of the possible GOP nominees, had support equal to President Barack Obama. Twenty-nine percent of Israelis said they supported each of them.

Obama outpolled both former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich by wider margins: 32 percent to 25 percent versus Gingrich, and 33 percent to 18 percent versus Santorum.


06/19/2012 9:05 AM EDT

Moscow talks make little progress.

MOSCOW — A top Russian official made a last-ditch effort to save talks over Iran's nuclear program from collapse Tuesday, holding a meeting with Iran's chief envoy.

But diplomats said the negotiations remained deadlocked as they went into a second and possibly final day, with the presidents of the United States and Russia urging Iran to agree to curb nuclear activities that could be turned toward arming warheads and Iran demanding a lifting of sanctions crippling its oil industry.

Read more on HuffPost World.

06/18/2012 12:09 PM EDT

Iran, West start nuclear talks.

MOSCOW, June 18 (Reuters) - World powers began two days of talks with Iran on Monday to try to end a decade-long stand-off over Tehran's nuclear programme and avert the threat of a new war in the Middle East.

In Iran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tehran would be prepared to stop enriching uranium to a higher level - a process that could be used to make nuclear arms - if the six powers agreed to meet its needs for the fuel. But it is not clear how much influence Ahmadinejad has over the negotiations and whether his remarks reflect Tehran's position in the talks.

Read the full article on HuffPost World.

06/13/2012 6:50 PM EDT

All proposals on the table.

TEHRAN, Iran -- Proposals from both Iran and the group of six world powers will be on the table for nuclear talks in Moscow next week, not just the West's demand to halt Iran's highest level uranium enrichment, Iran's top negotiator said Wednesday.

Read more on HuffPost World.

06/08/2012 10:20 AM EDT

New round of nuke talks.

VIENNA, June 8 (Reuters) - Iran and the United Nations nuclear watchdog began a new round of talks on Friday in an attempt to seal a deal to resume a long-stalled probe into suspected atomic weapon research in the Islamic state.

Read the full story on HuffPost World.

06/08/2012 7:33 AM EDT

Ahmadinejad: 'Iran won't build nuclear bomb.'

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran's president says Iran has no intention of building nuclear weapons, but fear would not deter it if it decided to make them.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's comments suggest a toughening of Iran's position ahead of June 18-19 talks with world powers over Tehran's nuclear program.

The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany want Iran to shut down its highest level uranium enrichment facilities. Ahmadinejad's remarks suggest Iran would refuse.

Ahmadinejad made the comments during a meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Thursday in China. His remarks were posted on his website.

The U.S. and its allies suspect Iran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons. Iran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes like power generation and cancer treatment. (AP)

06/06/2012 12:03 PM EDT

Smuggling of epic proportions

The BBC reports that $20 billion worth of goods -- the equivalent of nearly 30 percent of the country’s annual official trade -- are smuggled into Iran's borders every year.

Watch the full story here.

06/03/2012 3:11 PM EDT

Clinton draws no conclusions

STOCKHOLM — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says she's not drawing any conclusions about what effect the latest hash words from Iran might have on the potential success of upcoming nuclear talks in Moscow.

Read the full story here.

05/31/2012 2:08 PM EDT

Iran's Forrest Gump.

Iranian-born Reza Baluchi is a regular Forrest Gump. Ten years ago he ran away from Iran. He’s run across the United States twice since then, once around its perimeter. Yet now he’s planning his biggest journey of all, CNN reports, a run around the world that will take him through his home country once more.

It started when he ran away from home at the age of eight. Later he ran away from his homeland, Iran, and spent seven years on a bicycle, pedaling 49,700 miles across 55 countries.

In 2002, he reached America. He now lives in a tent in Death Valley.

It's been nearly 10 years since Reza Baluchi escaped from Iran. He has run across the United States twice and around its perimeter once. He sets out on every journey with the same mission: to spread a message of world peace.

Read the full story here.

05/31/2012 2:01 PM EDT

Jackson Pollock painting returned.

After being seized by Iranian customs over a monetary dispute, a painting by Jackson Pollock has been returned to the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art in Iran, the BBC reports.

The BBC explains:

Mural on Indian Red Ground was seized by the country's customs service on 11 May after being on loan to Japan.

The service said it confiscated the work over money owed by the Ministry of Culture, which runs the museum.

The ministry said the painting had been returned "after negotiations.”

Read the full story here.

05/29/2012 7:24 PM EDT

Dissident blogger in Iran.

Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, a 26-year-old Iranian dissident blogger, has spent the past 13 months in solitary confinement at Iran’s Evin Prison, BBC Persian reports.

International Business Times reports that Maleki has written a letter to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, including the following passage:

(Read the full translation here.)

“Leader of the Islamic Republic,

We must admit that judicial independence is not possible with the existence of so many intelligence and security entities.

We must admit that the society is facing a great explosion, and the current superficial peace is basically due to oppression, intimidation, imprisonments and suppression.

We must know that the thoughts of freedom seekers cannot be enchained! Ideologies cannot be tortured! Truth cannot be suppressed!”

Read the full story here.

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