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US Polls on Iran Nuclear Deal

Nearly two-thirds of Americans support an agreement with Iran that would lift sanctions in return for Tehran restricting its nuclear program, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Some 72 percent of Democrats surveyed support such a deal compared with 57 percent of Republicans. But only 36 percent of all participants are confident that such a deal would prevent Iran from attaining nuclear weapons. The poll was conducted between November 14 and 17 on the eve of new talks between Iran and the world’s six major powers.
A CNN/ORC International poll also found that 56 percent of Americans support an interim deal. The results also indicated a partisan divide, with about two-thirds of Democrats supporting a deal. Only about 45 percent of Republicans were in favor of one. The following are excerpts from both surveys. 

The Washington Post/ABC News

Question: Thinking now about the situation with Iran, would you support or oppose an agreement in which the United States and other countries would lift some of their economic sanctions against Iran, in exchange for Iran restricting its nuclear program in a way that makes it harder for it to produce nuclear weapons?

Atombehörde kritisiert Iran – Verhandlungen ‚drehen sich im Kreis‘

Die internationale Atomenergiebehörde IAEA hat ungewöhnlich direkte Kritik an der Führung in Teheran geübt – zehn Verhandlungsrunden über das umstrittene Atomprogramm haben bisher zu keinem Ergebnis geführt. ‚Um ehrlich zu sein, wir drehen uns jetzt schon seit einiger Zeit im Kreis‘, sagte IAEA-Chef Yukiya Amano zum Auftakt der Sitzung des Gouverneursrates am Montag in Wien. Dies sei nicht der richtige Weg, um solche Themen mit weltweiter Bedeutung zu besprechen.

‚Wir brauchen ohne weitere Verzögerung konkrete Ergebnisse, um das internationale Vertrauen in den friedlichen Charakter des iranischen Atomprogramms wiederherzustellen‘, sagte der japanische Atomchef. Solange sich der Iran nicht bewege, könne seine Behörde eine militärische Dimension des Nuklearprogramms nicht ausschließen.

Viele Länder verdächtigen die Teheraner Führung, unter dem Deckmantel eines zivilen Atomprogramms heimlich Atombomben entwickeln zu lassen. Weil der Iran nicht ausreichend mit den IAEA-Kontrolleuren zusammenarbeitet, kann die UN-Behörde das auch nicht mehr ausschließen.

Zuletzt waren mehrere Verhandlungsrunden auf internationaler und IAEA-Ebene ergebnislos geblieben. Dem Gouverneursrat gehören Vertreter aus 35 Staaten an. Von der Konferenz des Leitungsgremiums werden aber keine neuen Entwicklungen erwartet.

Einer der offenen Punkte zwischen der IAEA und dem Iran ist der Zugang zu einer Militäranlage in Parchin: Dort vermuten westliche Geheimdienste Atomexperimente, was der Iran bestreitet. Bisher ließ das Land trotz wiederholter Forderung keine Atomkontrolleure in die Anlage und führte dort in den vergangenen Monaten umfangreiche Um- und Abbauarbeiten durch. ‚Selbst wenn wir nun Zugang zu Parchin bekommen, könnte man dort möglicherweise nichts mehr finden‘, sagte Amano am Montag. Er betonte, dass die Vorgänge dort dennoch von großem Interesse für die IAEA seien.

 

ARD: Iran und die Sanktionen des Westens

Bastelt der Iran heimlich an der Atombombe? Diese Frage nimmt an Brisanz zu. Zwar gibt der Iran an, lediglich ein ziviles Atomforschungsprogramm zu betreiben. Unterdessen wird es eng für den Iran: Denn die wirtschaftlichen Sanktionen des Westens sind dort immer mehr zu spüren.

 

Democrats Propose Posting U.S. Diplomat in Iran

On February 15, Democrats in the House of Representatives introduced legislation that would reestablish a new diplomatic envoy to Iran. The high level envoy would be responsible for pursuing direct, sustained, bilateral and multilateral negotiations with Tehran to prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons. Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) said the United States must revise its no contact policy and “use all diplomatic tools available.” The following is a press release from her office.

            Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee introduced the “Prevent Iran from Acquiring Nuclear Weapons and Stop War Through Diplomacy Act,” which would create a high level Special Envoy to Iran. The act pushes diplomacy as a vital route to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, and directs the President to appoint a Special Envoy to pursue direct, sustained, bilateral and multilateral negotiations with the Government of Iran in order to prevent war, and support human rights.
            “The darkening clouds surrounding Iran’s nuclear program are troubling. We must use all diplomatic tools available, including engaging in direct bilateral and multilateral diplomacy.  To do that, we must lift the ‘no contact policy and begin negotiations,” Congresswoman Lee said.
            The bill calls for eliminating the State Department’s ‘no contact’ policy that prevents State Department officers and employees from making any direct contact with Iranian counterparts. The bill outlines measures to pursue opportunities to build mutual trust and to foster sustained negotiations in good faith with Iran.
            Original cosponsors include Representatives Earl Blumenauer, John Conyers, John Dingell, Keith Ellison, Rush Holt, Hank Johnson, James McGovern, Jim Moran, Betty McCollum, and Bobby Rush.
Source: USIP

 

U.S. Poll: 83 Percent See Iran as Top Threat

About 83 percent of Americans ranked Iranian and North Korean nuclear ambitions as the greatest threats to U.S. interests, according to a new poll by Gallup. The development of nuclear weapons by the two nations tied for the top spot on a list of nine potential threats.
Democrats and Republicans largely shared their concern about  North Korea. But 12 percent more Republicans than Democrats viewed Iran’s development of nuclear weapons as a critical threat. The most significant partisan split was on Islamic fundamentalism. About 70 percent of Republicans viewed it as a critical threat, while only 46 of Democrats did. The following are excerpts from the survey, with a link to the full report at the end.  

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