Fifty percent of Americans believe military action should be taken to stop Iran’s nuclear program if sanctions do not work, a national poll released on Wednesday said.
The Quinnipiac University survey also found that more Americans disapprove, by 50 percent to 44 percent, of the job President Barack Obama is doing — although more people than not approve of the way he has handled foreign policy, including his management of thorny US relations with Tehran.
Some 55 percent of respondents said the United States should not take immediate military action against Iran, with 36 percent in favor.
The number in favor of using force increases to 50 percent however if sanctions fail, with 38 percent against.
“Americans are very concerned about the development of an Iranian nuclear program and don’t think the current policy of economic sanctions is effective,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac Polling Institute.
“Voters are not yet to the point that they want the US military to stop it, but 50 percent say that if the sanctions eventually prove to be ineffective then they would support the use of force,” he added.
The Quinnipiac survey also found that 46 percent of voters believed the United States should support Israel if it attacks Iran, with six percent saying Washington should oppose Israeli action and 44 percent saying the US should stay neutral.
The poll found that two in three Americans (60 percent versus 33 percent) believe economic sanctions against Iran are currently ineffective.
Foreign policy, particularly Obama’s handling of Iran, are bright spots for the US president.
While voters said, but a margin of 48 percent to 45 percent that he does not deserve a second term, they felt more charitably towards him on foreign policy, which garnered 49 percent approval against 45 percent disapproval.
The president’s handling of Iran meanwhile won the support of 48 percent of respondents, compared to 45 percent who disapproved.
This week, Britain, Canada and the United State announced new sanctions on Iran, citing a report by the UN atomic energy watchdog this month suggesting Tehran was researching nuclear weapons.
Britain said it was “ceasing all contact” between its financial system and that of Iran. The United States and Canada said they would also clamp down on the sector, including on Iran’s central bank.
The Quinnipiac poll was conducted by telephone among 2,552 registered voters between November 14 and November 20 and had a 1.9 percent margin of error.