Poll shows majority support for interim Iran deal

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A poll showed majority support for the Obama administration strategy of easing sanctions on Iran in exchange for a partial rollback of its nuclear program.

A CNN poll released Thursday and conducted by ORC international showed 56 percent of respondents favored “an interim deal that would ease some of those economic sanctions and in exchange require Iran to accept major restrictions on its nuclear program but not end it completely and submit to greater international inspection of its nuclear facilities” and 39 percent opposed.

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The poll, based on phone interviews between Nov. 18-20 of 843 respondents, has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

A Washington Post-ABC poll published Nov. 19 showed 64 percent of respondents supporting a deal “in which the United States and other countries would lift some of their economic sanctions against Iran, in exchange for Iran restricting its nuclear program in a way that makes it harder for it to produce nuclear weapons” and 30 percent opposed.

Unlike the CNN poll, the Post-ABC poll did not specifically address the crux of the difference between the Obama administration and Israel: Whether Iran should suspend all or some of its nuclear activities in an interim deal.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, backed by some U.S. lawmakers, has insisted that Iran must totally dismantle its nuclear program and end all enrichment in exchange for any easing of sanctions.

A third round of talks between Iran and major powers is underway in Geneva this week.

The Post-ABC poll also showed that only 36 percent of respondents were confident that such a deal would stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, while 61 percent were not confident.

This poll was conducted Nov. 14-17 over the phone and reaching 1,006 respondents. It too had a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.