Last week, President Barack Obama announced that the U.S. and Iran had reached a framework for a historic nuclear agreement. Standing in the White House Rose Garden, Obama stressed that the tentative deal is America's best option and that it is "not based on trust." But his attempt to reassure the public has had limited success.
An Economist/YouGov poll conducted this past weekend found that while Americans support the nuclear negotiations, they still distrust Iran and many doubt that any good outcome will be reached.
Sixty-one percent -- including majorities of Democrats, Republicans and independents -- back negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program.
But Americans remain skeptical about the chances of a successful deal. Sixty-six percent -- again including majorities of Democrats, Republicans and independents -- said they do not trust the government of Iran to comply with any agreement. Only 1 in 4 trust that Iran will follow through on a deal.
A March study from Pew likewise found that 63 percent of Americans did not think Iran was serious about addressing nuclear concerns.
This distrust on nuclear issues conforms with an overall negative perception of Iran. Forty-four percent described Iran as an enemy, while nearly 8 in 10 felt it was at least unfriendly to the U.S., according to YouGov. Gallup found similar results in February with 84 percent of Americans expressing an unfavorable view of Iran. According to Gallup, that number has remained relatively unchanged over the last quarter-century.
In the YouGov survey, Americans also seemed divided on whether the framework agreement will lead to a final deal -- the deadline for that is June 30. Only 38 percent said a final deal is "very likely" or "somewhat likely," while 46 percent think it's "somewhat unlikely" or "very unlikely." Democrats were more than twice as likely as Republicans to be hopeful about a final deal.
Moreover, even if a deal based on the framework agreement is reached, Americans are split on what to make of it. Thirty-six percent are unsure if they support the current agreement, 35 percent support it, and 30 percent oppose it.
They are more confident, however, on what to do if Iran fails to abide by a nuclear agreement. Forty-seven percent support military action if Iran fails to follow through on the deal, while 28 oppose it. Republicans are almost twice as likely as Democrats to favor military intervention.
The Economist/YouGov survey consisted of 1,000 completed interviews conducted April 4-6 among U.S. adults, using a sample selected from YouGov's opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population.