News / Middle East

The Decline of Iran in Muslim Eyes

Pollster James Zogby's latest public opinion survey shows Iran losing support among Arabs and Muslims.Pollster James Zogby's latest public opinion survey shows Iran losing support among Arabs and Muslims.
x
Pollster James Zogby's latest public opinion survey shows Iran losing support among Arabs and Muslims.
Pollster James Zogby's latest public opinion survey shows Iran losing support among Arabs and Muslims.
Mohamed Elshinnawi
Iran, once admired by many many in the Middle East for resisting U.S. influence in the region, is rapidly losing support among the Arab and Muslim public, according to a new public poll.

The survey was conducted by the Zogby Research Service of Washington D.C., for the Arab American Institute. It measured public attitudes about Iran and its nuclear program in 20 Arab and Muslim countries.

According to the data, there was a collapse of support for Iran in most Arab countries in 2012 compared to 2006. In previous polls, Iran was admired by the “Arab street” for its opposition to the United States and Israel. In only six countries — Yemen, Kuwait, Lebanon, Iraq, Algeria and Libya — did a majority view Iran favorably.

The most negative views of Iran were held in Saudi Arabia (84 percent), Qatar (79 percent), Turkey (77 percent), Azerbaijan (75 percent), Jordan (74 percent) and Pakistan (71percent) as well as Palestinians (70 percent), according to the poll.

“Syria is the nail in the coffin of Iran’s favorable rating in the region, but also the Iranian involvement in Bahrain and Iraq played a role,” said pollster James Zogby. “Iran used to be seen as a resistance to the West, but now is looked at as a provocative meddlesome noise.”

Haleh Esfandiari, director of the Middle East program at the Wilson Center, where the polling results were made public, said the findings are bad news for the Iranian regime.

“These numbers will have a sobering effect on the Iranian government,” said Esfandiari. She said a turning point in the of support for Iran came in 2009, when Tehran harshly put down pro-democracy demonstrators who accused the government of rigging that year's presidential elections.


Iran’s Nuclear Program

On the question of Iran's nuclear program, the Zogby poll found that more than three-quarters of respondents in Bahrain (78 percent), the United Arab Emirates (80 percent), Oman (80 percent), Saudi Arabia (89 percent), Qatar (92 percent) and Kuwait (97 percent) agreed that “the Middle East would be more secure if it were a nuclear free zone.” Non-Arab Muslim nations registered similar attitudes: Azerbaijan (86 percent), Pakistan (85 percent) and Turkey (82 percent).

The only countries in which respondents said the Middle East would be more secure if Iran had nuclear weapons were Yemen and Libya.


Zogby said the polling results could be useful for U.S. policy-makers.

“The U.S. should focus on the fact that the Iranian threat is not to Israel, it is to the entire region,” he said. “The degree to which the story becomes about Israel, the Iranian regime wins; the degree to which it becomes about Iran and the region, the Iranian regime loses.”

Sanctions or Military Action

The Zogby poll showed there is a widespread support for sanctions to stop Iran should it persist in advancing its nuclear program.

“There is no country in which a strong majority supports military action against Iran to stop its nuclear program,” Zogby said. He added, however, that “the percentage of those who would support military strikes has increased since 2006, with a deep division among Sunni and Shia communities on this question. A majority of Sunnis in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Azerbaijan would support the military option.”

But Marc Lynch, a Middle East scholar at George Washington University, said the numbers should not be interpreted as a “green light for military intervention.”
Zogby agreed, saying that any U.S. strike on Iran would dramatically increase support for Tehran and opposition to the United States.

“Military action would be fatal in terms of the isolation that Iran is experiencing right now,” he said. “It will undo the growing isolation that took place over the last five years.”

The Zogby survey covered 20,000 people over a period of several weeks beginning last September. The new polling included Turkey, Pakistan and Azerbaijan as well as the Gulf states, Egypt, Sudan and the nations of the Maghreb.

For more details:
http://www.wilsoncenter.org/sites/default/files/iranpollresultsreport.pdf

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More