Americans Feel Less Safe after Killing of Soleimani
Results of a Chicago Council Survey find that more Americans think the January 3 drone strike that killed Iranian Quds Force Commander Quasem Soleimani has made the United States less safe.
On January 3, the United States launched a drone strike in Iraq that killed Iranian Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani, ramping up tensions between Washington and Tehran. Results from a just-completed Chicago Council survey show that more Americans think the strike has made the United States less safe than more safe, and more name Iran as the country posing the greatest threat to the United States than any other country. If Iran restarts development toward a nuclear weapon, the US public prefers diplomacy, but more Americans now support military action against Iran.
More Americans believe the killing of Soleimani makes the United States less safe (47%) than more safe (28%), with 22 percent saying it made no difference.
The percentage of Americans saying Iran is the country that poses the greatest threat to US security increased from 10 percent in February 2019 to 34 percent in January 2020.
The US public is more concerned about the threat from Iran’s nuclear program (61% critical threat) than it is about Iran’s influence in the Middle East (50% critical threat).
If Iran restarts development toward a nuclear weapon, two in three Americans would support the United States rejoining a nuclear agreement with Iran (66%); even larger majorities support diplomacy (85%) and sanctions (77%) to pressure Iran.
Majorities also support cyberattacks (65%) and airstrikes (56%) against Iranian facilities if Tehran restarts nuclear weapons development.
If Iran attacks US military or diplomatic personnel in the region, majorities would back cyberattacks (67%), airstrikes against Iranian military facilities (68%), and targeted assassinations of Iranian military personnel (57%). Half would favor sending US troops to destroy Iranian military facilities (51%).