According to a new PEW survey, Pakistan is the only country polled where a majority (57%) views Iran— the country with the world’s largest Shia Muslim population— favourably.
The survey comes at a time when the deadline for Iran’s nuclear programme negotiations is approaching (June 30) and Iran’s incumbent president— Hassan Rouhani— is about to complete two years in office. On the whole, the survey concludes that an overwhelming majority of countries— 31 out of 40— view Iran unfavourably.
Countries other than Pakistan where a greater percentage of people view Iran as favourable include Ghana (44%), Vietnam (42%), and Ethiopia (27%).
Countries in the Middle East have a particularly unfavourable view of Iran, with Israel topping the list, followed closely by Jordan. In Lebanon however, voting patterns diverge along religious lines, with 95% of Lebanese Shia holding favourable views of Iran but only 5% of Sunni Muslims and 29% of Christians in the country view Iran positively.
The survey also notes that over the past few years, Iran’s perception has deteriorated in Muslim-majority countries, even in Pakistan, where most still view Iran positively.
Meanwhile, Iran’s president is also seen negatively in Middle East countries, with an average of 58% viewing him as unfavourable.