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Iran Strikes Have Little Support in Europe and U.S., Poll Finds

Leon Mangasarian, Bloomberg

Nov. 9, 2007 (Bloomberg) -- A poll conducted in five European countries and the U.S. found low support for the use of military strikes against Iran to halt its nuclear program.

The Harris Interactive Survey said using force against Iran is backed by just 8 percent in France, 7 percent in Germany, 8 percent in Italy, 8 percent in Spain, 11 percent in the U.K. and 21 percent in the U.S.

Diplomatic efforts aimed at stopping Iran's uranium enrichment program were supported by 50 percent in France, 51 percent in Germany, 52 percent in Italy, 53 percent in Spain, 44 percent in the U.K. and 36 percent in the U.S., the poll showed.

The U.S. and other western governments suspect Iran's program is aimed at developing nuclear weapons. Iran, which has the world's second-largest oil and natural gas reserves, says it wants the technology to generate electricity. While the U.S. has refused to rule out a military response, it has consistently promoted diplomatic efforts to pressure Iran.

A majority in all six countries surveyed backed a withdrawal of U.S. and other coalition troops from Iraq. Ninety percent of French nationals support an Iraq pullout, as do 75 percent of Germans, 82 percent of Italians, 84 percent of Spaniards, 82 percent of U.K. nationals and 67 percent of Americans.

The poll showed a decline in all six nations of the number of people who are ``optimistic'' about their ``personal situation in general.''

Sixty-two percent of French respondents were ``optimistic,'' down from 72 percent in a similar poll conducted Nov. 30-Dec. 9, 2006. The proportion of Germans who are optimistic was 61 percent (compared with 73 percent in 2006), 44 percent of Italians (67 percent), 64 percent in Spain (85 percent), 47 percent in the U.K. (66 percent) and 68 percent in the U.S. (81 percent).

The poll was conducted for France 24 television and the Paris-based International Herald Tribune newspaper Oct. 3-15. It surveyed 6,645 people aged 16 to 64 in France, Germany, Spain, the U.K. and the U.S. and aged 18 to 64 in Italy. Harris did not specify margins of error.

To contact the reporter for this story: Leon Mangasarian in Berlin at lmangasarian@bloomberg.net .

:: Article nr. 38044 sent on 09-nov-2007 15:29 ECT


Link: www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601102&sid=aDbUOBRP7L_k&refer=uk

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