September 29, 2017 | By Dina Smeltz

Arrested Development

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. REUTERS/Bria Webb

In President Trump's first major speech before the United Nations General Assembly last week, he described the nuclear agreement with Iran as an "embarrassment" to the United States. The next day said he announced that he had reached a decision about whether the United States would continue to participate or withdraw from the agreement, but he did not reveal which position he will take. Meanwhile, in testimony on September 26 before the Senate Armed Services committee, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said that Iran was complying with the agreement and that pulling out of the deal would make it more difficult to reach agreements with other countries (let’s say North Korea as an example). 

Chicago Council Surveys conducted over the last several years (2014-2017) show a remarkable stability of American opinion towards the Iran nuclear deal, both before and after the agreement was officially signed. As in previous surveys, six in ten (60%) say that the United States should participate in the "agreement that lifts some international economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for strict limits on its nuclear program for at least the next decade," unchanged from 2016 (when it was also 60%), with large partisan divides – also as in previous polls. See the full report here

About

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs highlights critical shifts in American public thinking on US foreign policy through public opinion surveys and research conducted under the Lester Crown Center on US Foreign Policy. 

The annual Chicago Council Survey, first conducted in 1974, is a valuable resource for policymakers, academics, media, and the general public. The Council also surveys American leaders in government, business, academia, think tanks, and religious organizations biennially to compare trends in their thinking with overall trends. And collaborating with partner organizations, the survey team periodically conducts parallel surveys of public opinion in other regions of the world to compare with US public opinion. 

The Running Numbers blog features regular commentary and analysis from the Council’s public opinion and US foreign policy research team, including a series of flash polls of a select group of foreign policy experts to assess their opinions on critical foreign policy topics driving the news.

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| By Dina Smeltz, Sara McElmurry

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