Iranian Threat: Public Prefers Sanctions Over Bombs
President Obama’s Iran policy is widely popular, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, but few give him good ratings on dealing with Iran amid equally wide concern that the nation intends to develop nuclear weapons.
The issue has election year implications on both foreign and domestic policy fronts, with more than eight in 10 Americans believing that Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons. Back at home, rising gas prices are proving a drag on Obama’s approval rating on the economy, and providing a potent political weapon for potential Republican challengers.
“We have a window of opportunity where this can still be resolved diplomatically,” Obama argued last week after meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Americans by a more than 2 to 1 margin favor a “wait and see” approach on Iran over immediate military action, according to the new poll. Fully 64 percent say it’s more important to see if economic sanctions work, even if it allows more time for Iran’s nuclear program to progress - 26 percent support pre-emptive action to halt Iran’s progress. Majorities or pluralities across party lines prefer sanctions over immediate action, though Republicans are less supportive than Democrats or independents.