Fewer Iranians Seem to Want Nuclear Weapons « The Washington Independent
WPO says 2/3 of Iranians say they would support their country forgoing weaponization in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions. And they opposed developing “an atomic bomb” 58-38 percent.
What’s maybe most interesting about this — because who knows what telephone polls in an authoritarian country actually represent — is that these numbers are better than last year, when 51% supported developing a nuclear weapon. Reported support for nuclear power dropped from 89% to just over 50%.
I don’t have a good explanation for this. The first thought that pops into my head is that public support is now running counter to whatever the regime’s priorities are, and those priorities include a nuclear program that pits Iran against the world. But I don’t really know. Nor does it follow that this data favors Robert Gates’ point last night, when the defense secretary wondered what it would take to change Iranian calculations that he believes places the pursuit of a nuclear weapon within the Iranian national interest. After all, Iran is not a democracy. I bring this up because it’s long been the case that an Iranian nuclear program, at least for peaceful energy generation, was a consensus position, and now that consensus appears to be eroding.