Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Iranian Public Opinion Poll on Foreign and Domestic Affairs

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Iranian Public Opinion Poll on Foreign and Domestic Affairs

Article excerpt

On Feb. 26, Iranians will cast ballots for the first time since their leaders agreed to a comprehensive nuclear deal with the West. The election will determine the composition of the Majlis (parliament) and the Assembly of Experts (responsible for electing the supreme leader).

To discuss where Iranians stand as they prepare to vote, the Woodrow Wilson Center on Feb. 3 unveiled a public opinion poll of Iranian attitudes on domestic and foreign affairs. Ebrahim Mohseni, a senior analyst at the University of Tehran Center for Public Opinion Research, shared the poll's findings.

President Hassan Rouhani remains an immensely popular figure, receiving an 82 percent favorability rating, the poll found. Respondents indicated they especially approve of his handling of security matters and his ability to improve relations with Europe. Rouhani received mixed results on the economy, however, and poor ratings on his ability to reduce unemployment.

The poll found that an overwhelming number of Iranians (87 percent) intend to vote in the upcoming elections, and that 59 percent of respondents hope candidates aligned with Rouhani are victorious. Iranians believe unemployment and the economy are the most important issues for the new parliament to tackle.

Iranians have an overall positive view of the nuclear accord, with 71 percent of respondents indicating their support for the agreement. Mohseni pointed out, however, that many Iranians have inaccurate impressions of the deal. For instance, 40 percent of respondents believe-falsely-that the deal eliminates all U. …

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