Politics

Polls: Americans willing to attack Iran

Steven Nelson Associate Editor

It’s not a case of déjà vu.

The American public again appears supportive of starting a war in the Middle East, with two polls indicating a near-majority would support a military attack on Iran to prevent the country from developing nuclear weapons.

In a Rasmussen poll released Monday, 48 percent of respondents said they would want the United States to assist Israel if it choses to unilaterally attack Iran.

A poll conducted by The Hill found that 49 percent believe the U.S. should be willing to use military force to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Only 31 percent disagreed.

The findings come in the midst of the Republican presidential race. Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have indicated a willingness to attack Iran, whereas Ron Paul has vehemently opposed a hypothetical attack and expressed concern about “war propaganda,” comparing the situation to the lead-up to the Iraq war.

Iran has a population of approximately 75 million people — more than twice the population of Iraq — and is about four times larger in area.

The Iraq War ended in December after nearly nine years of American involvement, which included thousands of American casualties and an increasingly skeptical public.

During a Feb. 5 interview with Matt Lauer, President Barack Obama said of Iran, “We’re not taking any options off the table.”

“Our preferred solution is diplomatic,” Obama said, “[but] I’ve been very clear that we’re going to do everything we can to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon and creating an arms race — a nuclear arms race — in a volatile region.”

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