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Posted by on Mar 17, 2015 in Iran, Israel, Politics | 1 comment

Poll: Iran negotiations popular

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A new poll finds widespread support for the administration’s negotiations with Iran:

Washington (CNN)Americans broadly back direct negotiations with Iran about that country’s nuclear program, according to a new CNN/ORC poll.

And although about half (49%) say some Republican senators went too far by sending a letter to Iran’s leaders warning that any agreement with the Obama administration would require Senate approval, only about one-third (39%) think the letter hurt U.S. efforts to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

Secretary of State John Kerry has been meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in Switzerland in an attempt to reach an agreement that would loosen sanctions on Iran in exchange for greater transparency around their nuclear programs.

Direct diplomatic negotiations with Iran are broadly popular, 68% favor them, while 29% oppose them. That support cuts across party lines, with 77% of Democrats, 65% of Republicans and 64% of independents in favor of diplomacy between the U.S. and Iran in an attempt to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

This gives evidence that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech didn’t sway the American public – and that once again far right Republicans and the Republican’s talk show wing is out of step with the bulk of the American public. MORE:

Negotiations were ongoing when a group of 47 Republican senators signed on to a letter to Iran’s leaders, written by freshman Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, which stressed that any agreement the Obama administration reached with Iran would require Senate approval.

All told, 49% of Americans say the letter went too far, while 39% think it was an appropriate response to the way negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program were going. Opinions on the letter were divided along partisan lines, with 67% of Democrats saying it went too far while 52% of Republicans called it appropriate. Among independents, 47% thought it went too far, 42% that it was appropriate.

Just 18% of Americans think the letter helped U.S. efforts to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons, while 32% thought it hurt those efforts. More, 44%, said the letter had no impact on the U.S. negotiations. A plurality of Republicans, 50%, said it had no impact, 24% that it helped, 21% that it hurt. Among Democrats, 44% said it had no impact, 30% that it hurt and 22% that it helped.

If Netanyahu loses his re-election bid, his speech will be seen as a)a gambit that backfired in Israel since he had been ahead in the polls until he made the speech, and, b)failed with the American public.

graphic via shutterstock.com