By Barbara Slavin, for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iran Business News.
If Donald Trump preserves the Iran nuclear deal, that will surprise many Iranians.
That’s one finding of a new poll by the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM) & IranPoll.com, which have repeatedly surveyed Iranian public opinion in recent years.
Of 1,000 Iranians polled from Dec. 10-24 last year, a month after Trump’s election, 77.5% were not confident that the United States would live up to its obligations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Only 19% said they believed the United States under Trump would continue to comply with the JCPOA.
The figures are a sharp change from the 45% confident and 41% not confident in a poll conducted by CISSM in September 2015, shortly after the successful conclusion of the nuclear negotiations. The new poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2%.
During the campaign, Trump harshly criticized the Iran deal. He told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in March that the JCPOA was “catastrophic for America, Israel and the whole of the Middle East,” and said, “My first priority is to dismantle this disastrous deal on Iran.”
However, since the election, Trump has scarcely mentioned the agreement. Several of his nominees for senior Cabinet posts, including Defense Secretary James Mattis, as well as Sen. Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, have suggested that the JCPOA might be reviewed and enforced more stringently, but not scrapped.
Iranian officials, in turn, have said they are not open to changing the agreement, which was reached in difficult and lengthy negotiations with the United States, Britain, Germany, France, China and Russia and codified into international law by the UN Security Council.