A sizable majority of US citizens oppose the idea of pre-emptive strikes on Iran, and massively disapprove of Trump’s policy towards the Islamic Republic, a survey has revealed as tensions continue to flare in the Gulf.
Some 60 percent of Americans believe that the US should not attack Iranian armed forces first, while a measly 12 percent supported carrying out a pre-emptive attack, according to a Tuesday poll by Reuters/Ipsos. That’s despite 53 percent of American adults referring to Iran as a “serious” or “imminent” threat. That figure, overlooked by many mainstream media outlets, was almost as large as the number of American adults (51 percent) who believed their country is set to go to war against Iran in the next few years.
Nerves in the troubled Gulf region were put more on edge last week after Donald Trump delivered a veiled threat to Iran via Twitter, saying that any conflict with the US would mean “the official end of Iran.” During two years of his presidency, he also quit the hard-fought 2015 nuclear deal and re-imposed sweeping sanctions on Iran’s economy.
Now, nearly half – 49 percent – of Americans were notably unappreciative of Trump’s handling of Iran.
US-Iran tensions were fueled by a string of American military deployments this month. The Pentagon has already sent an aircraft carrier strike group, a squadron of B-52 bombers, and a battery of Patriot missiles to the Middle East, stirring up fears of a looming conflict.
Iran was skeptical about the US’ willingness to engage in an all-out military confrontation, saying Washington lacked both the political will and military assets. In the meantime, Tehran stated that while it does not want war, it remains ready for any eventuality.