Few Americans Express Confidence in United Nations to Handle Iran

by Joseph Carroll

Only one in three support military action against Iran if diplomatic efforts fail

GALLUP NEWS SERVICE

PRINCETON, NJ -- A recent USA Today/Gallup poll finds that just 33% of Americans say they are confident in the United Nations to handle the situation relating to Iran's nuclear program. At the same time, only one in three Americans would support the United States taking military action against Iran if all economic and diplomatic efforts fail to get Iran to shut down its nuclear program. Republicans and Democrats are equally likely to express confidence in the United Nations; liberals and moderates express a higher level of confidence than do conservatives. Conservatives and Republicans are more inclined to support military action than are liberals, moderates, and Democrats.

Americans' Confidence in the United Nations

The poll, conducted April 28-30, finds that one in three Americans are "very" (5%) or "somewhat" confident (28%) in the United Nations to handle the situation relating to Iran's nuclear program. Sixty-seven percent are "not too" (36%) or "not at all" confident (31%). Americans now express less confidence in the United Nations on this issue than they did in February, when the percentage very or somewhat confident was 47%.

Republicans (33%) and Democrats (36%) show similar levels of confidence in the United Nations to handle the situation in Iran. Among independents, 29% express this level of confidence.

The results for this question vary by self-described political ideology. Twenty-three percent of conservatives say they are at least somewhat confident in the United Nations to handle the situation regarding Iran's nuclear program. This sentiment is higher among moderates, at 36%, and among liberals, at 42%.

Public Support for Military Action Against Iran

The poll also asked Americans whether the United States should take military action against Iran if all economic and diplomatic efforts fail to get the Middle Eastern nation to shut down its nuclear program. Only 36% of Americans support taking military action against Iran under these conditions, while the majority of Americans, 57%, oppose it.

Earlier this year, Gallup found that most Americans supported the use of economic and diplomatic efforts to force Iran to halt its nuclear program, but roughly a third said they would support military action if those efforts did not work. (An additional 9% supported taking military action regardless of whether diplomatic or economic efforts succeeded.)

One reason support for military action against Iran may be low is that most Americans do not perceive the country as an imminent threat to the United States. Over the past several years, Gallup has found that few Americans -- no more than one in five -- say Iran poses an immediate threat to this country; most feel Iran poses a long-term but not an immediate threat. Americans may also be reluctant to favor additional military action given the United States' current involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The latest poll finds that Republicans are much more likely than independents or Democrats to support military action against Iran if all economic and diplomatic efforts fail. A majority of Republicans, 54%, support taking military action if these efforts fail, compared with 33% of independents and only 25% of Democrats.

Self-described conservatives are more likely than moderates or liberals to support military action, with support levels at 49% among conservatives, 32% among moderates, and 24% among liberals.

Survey Methods

Results are based on telephone interviews with 1,011 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted April 28-30, 2006. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

How confident are you in the United Nations to handle the situation relating to Iran's nuclear program -- very confident, somewhat confident, not too confident, or not at all confident?

Very
confident

Some-
what
confident

Not too
confident

Not
at all
confident

No
opin-
ion

2006 Apr 28-30

5%

28

36

31

1

2006 Feb 9-12 ^

8%

39

27

24

2

^ WORDING: How confident are you in the United Nations' ability to handle the situation in Iran -- very confident, somewhat confident, not too confident, or not at all confident?

Suppose all economic and diplomatic efforts fail to get Iran to shut down its nuclear program. If that happens, do you think the United States should -- or should not -- take military action against Iran?

Yes, should

No, should not

No opinion

2006 Apr 28-30

36%

57

6

Get Articles in Related Topics:


Gallup http://www.gallup.com/poll/22723/Few-Americans-Express-Confidence-United-Nations-Handle-Iran.aspx
Gallup World Headquarters, 901 F Street, Washington, D.C., 20001, U.S.A
+1 202.715.3030