A majority of Americans (59 percent) view Iran as a threat to the United States, and 41 percent believe it is the nation that poses the single greatest danger, a new UPI/Zogby Interactive poll shows.
Many of the Americans polled identify Iran as the greatest threat to the U.S. compared with North Korea (14 percent), Iraq (4 percent) and Afghanistan (4 percent).
Nearly three in four (73 percent) believe that Iran is providing military assistance to Iraqi insurgents, and more than half (56 percent) believe Iran is directly involved in attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq.
Nearly half (45 percent) would disagree that Iran’s help to the Iraqi insurgency would be a sufficient cause for the U.S. to take military action directly against Iran. However, more than a third (37 percent) favor U.S. action against Iran.
The latest UPI/Zogby poll shows that, if the U.S. were to announce that it possesses evidence that Iran has been supporting the Iraqi insurgency, a majority (60 percent) said they would believe the government’s claims. However, 36 percent said they would not be credible.
The vast majority of Republicans (94 percent) would find such intelligence credible, but Democrats are more skeptical – only 29 percent said they would feel the same. More than half of independents (59 percent) said they would believe the government’s claims.
There is also concern about Iran’s motivations for attempting to develop a nuclear program — 39 percent believe Iran would develop a weapon for their own military purposes while 18 percent believe Iran would develop a weapon to sell to terrorist organizations. But nearly a third said Iran aims to balance the nuclear threat posed by other regional nuclear states, such as Israel and Pakistan — just 6 percent said Iran seeks to develop nuclear capability as a means of generating energy.
A majority (64 percent) believes the U.S. has a responsibility to ensure Iran has limits on its nuclear capability.