Americans Want A Tough Approach To Nuclear Talks

Americans Want A Tough Approach To Nuclear Talks

Mark Pfeifle, a former deputy national security adviser for strategic affairs and global outreach who led the campaign to promote President George W. Bush's "surge" of US forces in Iraq, discusses the TIPP Poll findings on the topic of nuclear deal with Iran.

Mark Pfeifle

Editor's note: tippinsights gratefully acknowledges its collaboration with the Center for Security Policy on the simultaneous and exclusive release of this important story.

President Biden has made it clear that the U.S. will re-join the 2015 Iran nuclear deal (the JCPOA) if Iran returns to compliance. An agreement could be reached within weeks, according to the New York Times. NBC News reported that the administration is considering rolling back sanctions significantly to come to an agreement.

The administration’s goal to re-enter the deal, and the offer of lifting sanctions on Iran to do so, does not have broad support among the American people.

While Americans are split on their perception of the JCPOA, a plurality thinks that it was a bad deal. Most believe that if Iran gets money, it will divert the funds to terrorism against the U.S. and Israel. Most of those following the Iran nuclear deal story want to use sanctions to compel Iran to negotiate an acceptable deal rather than revert to the 2015 deal. Further, most want Iran to release hostages before any sanctions relief is granted.  Americans also want the U.S. to maintain terrorism sanctions irrespective of the outcome of the nuclear talks.

These are the key findings of the TIPP Poll completed in late April.

American Perception Of The 2015 Deal

Just over a quarter of Americans, 27%, feel that the Iran Nuclear Deal is good for America. A significantly higher percentage, 38%, believes that the deal is bad for the U.S, while about the same number, 35%, are undecided either way.

Perception Of The 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal - Chart - TIPP

Americans Believe Iran Will Divert Funds to Terrorism

Iran's link to and active support of terrorist organizations to achieve its goals is well documented. The clerical regimes' support for the Hamas in Palestine, Hezbollah in Syria, its questioning of the 'legitimacy' of Israel, and targeting Americans worldwide have been detrimental to the peace and stability of the region.

TechnoMetrica survey found that most Americans believe that funds given to Iran will be diverted to foster terrorism. More than half of those who participated in the study on Iran, 61%, believe that the country will redirect funds to terrorist activities against the U.S. and Israel. Only a tiny minority, 17%, don't subscribe to this view.

TIPP Poll Results: American Public Opinion on Giving Iran Money - Chart

The poll found that only 41%, less than half of Americans, closely follow the issue. TechnoMetrica posed subsequent questions about the nuclear deal to those who were following the story.

Most Favor Increased Pressure Over Reverting To The 2015 Deal

While negotiations are on to reach a consensus with Iran, opinions are divided on what approach to take. While a minority believes that going back to the original JCPOA will suffice, most want stricter measures to bring Iran in line.

TechnoMetrica survey revealed that the majority of Americans favor maintaining or increasing sanctions against Iran. A considerable majority, 63%, favored America maintaining or increasing sanctions to force Iran to renegotiate the nuclear deal. About a quarter, 26% of the respondents, thought it was acceptable for the U.S. to return to the original 2015 deal. A small portion of those surveyed, 11%, were undecided on what approach to take.

To or Not to Negotiate JCPOA - Chart

Most Want Hostages Released Before Giving Iran Any Sanctions Relief

Another source of grave concern, though not directly related to the nuclear deal negotiations, is the Westerners (Americans, Britons, and Germans) who are being held hostage or imprisoned by Iran. The U.S. administrations have been working relentlessly to ensure their safe return home.

The TechnoMetrica poll found that Americans wanted the safe return of all U.S. hostages, even at the cost of the nuclear deal. A bulk of the survey respondents, 64%, believed that the U.S. should demand the release of all Americans held hostage in Iran before giving Iran any sanctions relief, even if it means Tehran won't agree to limit its nuclear program. A shade more than a quarter, 27%, felt it was more important to limit Iran's nuclear program and to achieve this goal, sanctions against the country could be lifted.

Demand for Hostage release Iran Nuclear Deal- Chart

The U.S. Should Maintain Terrorism Sanctions On Iran Irrespective Of The Outcome Of The Nuclear Talks

The U.S. has imposed sanctions on Iran for pursuing nuclear activities and for abetting terrorism. In the TechnoMetrica survey, most Americans view terrorism and nuclear deal talks as separate issues. While more than half, 56%, wanted America to maintain terrorism sanctions on Iran irrespective of the outcome of the nuclear negotiations, and smaller section, 35%, favored lifting both nuclear sanctions and terrorism sanctions on the country to limit its nuclear program.

Americans Want Terrorism Sanctions On Iran To Remain - Chart

What Should The U.S. Do If Iran Nuclear Talks Fail?

The TIPP Poll also asked how the U.S. should respond if the talks fail.  The following summarizes the responses:

  • 31% said increase sanctions
  • 19% reengage in diplomatic discussions
  • 16% attempt to disrupt Iranian nuclear production (physically)
  • 13% allow another country, such as China or Russia, to facilitate the terms and outcomes
  • 11% allow Israel to take command
  • 10% not sure

One-half of Americans, regardless of party affiliation or ideological leaning, support one of the top-two approaches.

Americans would like to see the Vienna talks yield a comprehensive nuclear deal that will effectively curb Iran’s nuclear arms ambitions. The question is, how much to cede to or appease the regime to bring it in compliance with international goals.

About The Survey

TechnoMetrica conducted The TIPP Poll, an online survey from April 28 to April 30.  The nationwide study had a sample of 1,300 Americans, 18 or older, and TechnoMetrica's network of panel partners provided the study sample. Upon the study completion, TechnoMetrica weighted the study dataset by gender, age, race, education, and geographical region to mirror known benchmarks such as the U.S. Census. The credibility interval (CI) for the survey is +/- 2.8 percentage points, meaning the study is accurate to within ± 2.8 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Americans been surveyed. Subgroups based on gender, age, ethnicity, and region have higher credibility intervals due to smaller sample sizes.  The credibility interval (CI) for the subset of Americans following the Iran story is larger +/- 4.2 percentage points.

Mark Pfeifle was deputy national security advisor for strategic communication and global outreach at the White House from 2007 to 2009. Mark was the lead interagency coordinator for communication implementation, leading the successful effort to promote the “surge” of U.S. forces into Iraq in 2007, initiatives to de-legitimize al Qaeda, stop Iran from enriching uranium, denuclearize North Korea and advocate for freedom, liberty and human rights for those suffering under brutal dictatorships. In the private sector, Mark led initiatives for National Sheriffs’ Association, U.S. Space Command, U.S. Homeland Security Department’s S&T Human Factor Division and U.S. Central Command. Pfeifle was awarded the US Army’s Outstanding Civilian Service Award for “dramatically improved communication planning and support of the Global War on Terror” in 2009.

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TIPP Takes

Putin Hails Ties At Launch Of Work On Nuclear Plants In China

President Vladimir Putin Of Russia Clapping
President Putin
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that Moscow-Beijing relations had reached their "highest level in history" as he and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping launched via videoconference work on Russian-built nuclear power plants in China.
  • The Kremlin said in a statement that the heads of state initiated work on pouring concrete into new units of the Tianwan and Xudabao nuclear power plants.
  • Built jointly with Russia, the Tianwan plant has been operating since 2007, while the Xudabao station is still under construction.
  • He said that the new units will be functional by 2026-2028 and that Russia and China are prepared to further develop nuclear power plants through joint construction.
  • Russia has sought influence and closer diplomatic ties via its nuclear power stations, which have a price advantage over Western competitors.
  • In recent years, Moscow has notably pushed for greater clout in Africa, signing preliminary agreements on nuclear projects with a host of countries including Egypt, Nigeria and Sudan.

Officials Scared After Sister Of North Korean Leader Has Their Colleagues Executed

Kim Yo Ung Sister Of North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un
Kim Yo Jong
  • Two North Korean government officials told Radio Free Asia (RFA) that they are terrified after a series of executions carried out on the orders of leader Kim Jong Un's powerful sister, Kim Yo Jong.
  • Kim Yo Jong's rise to power in her own right since her brother's rule began in 2011 culminated in her becoming an alternate member of the Politburo in April 2020.
  • According to a source who spoke to RFA last week, residents and officials are angry that the executions were carried out on Kim Yo Jong's orders.
  • Kim Jong Un's efforts to consolidate his leadership following the death of his father, Kim Jong Il, in 2011 were aided by political purges.
  • After seizing power, he quickly eliminated political rivals, the majority of whom were top officials under his father's rule, including his uncle Jang Song Theak, who was once North Korea's second in command.

Philippines Refuses To Recognize China Fishing Ban In Disputed Sea

Philipino Coast Gaurd Observing Chinese Fishing Fleet In South China Sea
Philippines Coast Guard 
  • Now the shoe is on the other foot.
  • The Philippines refused to recognize China's "unilateral imposition" of a "fishing moratorium" in the South China Sea.
  • "The Philippines strongly urges China to desist from any action and activity that infringes on Philippine sovereignty, sovereign rights, jurisdiction, in contravention of international law," said the Department of Foreign Affairs statement.
  • China has consistently refused to recognize the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) that affirmed the sovereign rights of the Philippines to maritime resources in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ), effectively quashing Beijing's claim to the territory with its nine-dash claim.
  • The Philippines has filed several diplomatic protests against China for its alleged incursions into the West Philippine Sea.

Turkish Military Digs Deeper Into Iraqi Kurdistan

Turkish Military Personnel, Turkish Badge On Uniform
Turkish Military Flag/Patch
  • Turkey launched Operation Claw-Lightning and Claw-Thunderbolt against the PKK on April 23.
  • Turkey's latest cross-border operations against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in Iraqi Kurdistan is the latest phase of a multi-year campaign into that region, throughout which Turkey has been expanding its network of military bases and positions there.
  • It is estimated that the Turkish military maintains approximately 40 bases and positions within the boundaries of Iraqi Kurdistan.
  • Turkey has expanded its network of bases in Iraqi Kurdistan, which have been there in smaller numbers since the 1990s.
  • The latest Turkish military expansion into the Metina region will further reduce the PKK's ability to cross back and forth over Turkey's southern border.

Ceuta: Spain Sends Troops As 8,000 Migrants Enter Enclave

Location of Cueta Spain On Map In relation to Morrocco
Location of Cueta Spain
  • Spain has deployed troops after record numbers of migrants entered its north African enclave of Ceuta from Morocco.
  • Some 8,000 people have reached Ceuta in two days, Spanish officials say. The Spanish troops have been deployed to the beach to help border police at Ceuta's main entry point - Tarajal, on the enclave's south side.
  • They say the migrants, including around 1,500 minors, mostly from Morocco, either swam around the border fences that jut out into the sea or walked across at low tide.
  • Dramatic scenes were captured offshore as families waded through the water and officers from Spain's Guardia Civil went into the sea to rescue young children.
  • Spain says around half of the migrants have been sent back to Morocco. Footage of the beach showed that nearly all migrants had been cleared.

Paris Summit Mobilises Finance, Vaccines For Africa' New Deal'

Location of Cueta Spain
Africa New Deal
  • French president calls for waiving COVID vaccine patents so Africa could begin producing its own jabs after talks with African leaders in Paris.
  • There have been nearly 130,000 coronavirus deaths among African populations during the pandemic, compared with almost 3.4 million worldwide.
  • The signatories said they would now push for the rapid general allocation of $650bn worth of special drawing rights (SDRs) by the IMF to all its members, of which approximately $33bn would go to Africa.
  • SDRs are a reserve asset used to bolster the financial position of IMF members, based on a basket of currencies, which can be converted for much-needed dollars.
  • The United States has been pushing for such an IMF payout to counter the economic impact of COVID-19, including for low-income countries.


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