Angus Reid Global Monitor
October 1, 2008

Most adults in the United States believe there is no need to launch military action against Iran right now, according to a poll by CBS News and the New York Times. 61 per cent of respondents believe Iran can be contained with diplomacy, and 20 per cent believe it is not a threat to the U.S. at this time.

Only 10 per cent of respondents consider Iran a threat to the United States that requires military action now.

After being branded as part of an "axis of evil" by U.S. president George W. Bush in January 2002, Iran has contended that its nuclear program aims to produce energy, not weapons. In June 2005, former Tehran mayor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won Iran’s presidential election in a run-off over Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani with 61.6 per cent of all cast ballots.

In December 2006 and March 2007, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) imposed sanctions against Iran after it failed to stop uranium enrichment—a process needed both to make nuclear weapons and produce electricity.

In October 2007, Bush announced a new set of unilateral sanctions against Iran, which include the designations of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps as a "proliferator of weapons of mass destruction" and of the elite Quds Force as a "supporter of terrorism." The resolution has significant economic implications for Iran.

On Sept. 23, Ahmadinejad addressed the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, and declared: "American empire in the world is reaching the end of its road, and its next rulers must limit their interference to their own borders. (…) A few bullying powers have sought to put hurdles in the way of the peaceful nuclear activities of the Iranian nation by exerting political and economic pressures against Iran."

Polling Data

Thinking about Iran, which comes closer to your opinion? Iran is a threat to the United States that requires military action now; Iran is a threat that can be contained with diplomacy now; or Iran is not a threat to the United States at this time.


Sept. 2008

Sept. 2007

Military action






Not a threat






Source: CBS News / New York Times
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 936 American adults, conducted from Sept. 21 to Sept. 24, 2008. Margin of error is 3 per cent.

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