In the poll, Iranians said they approved of the JCPOA by a margin of 55.4% to 33.6%, a significant decrease since August 2015 when 75.5% approved and 20.6% disapproved of the deal. A major reason for the decline is Iranian dissatisfaction with economic progress since the agreement came into full implementation a year ago.
Indeed, only 35% of those polled in December said that the economy was in good shape; 72.6% said that the economy had not improved despite sanctions relief under the JCPOA.
While a slim majority (51.7%) of Iranians said the United States had lifted nuclear-related sanctions as specified in the deal, they said that the US was finding other ways to keep the negative impact of the sanctions. A large majority — 82.2% — told pollsters that the United States was still trying to prevent other countries from establishing normal ties with Iran.
Middle East and Iran analysts said the poll results are in line with anecdotal evidence of Iranian dissatisfaction with current economic conditions.
“The poll results demonstrate declining Iranian confidence in the JCPOA not because of the agreement itself but rather because many Iranians feel they are not getting the economic benefit they expected — and they believe are owed — from the United States,” Paul Pillar, a former Middle East expert on the National Intelligence Council, told Al-Monitor.
Pillar added, “The pessimism that Iranians express about future prospects for the accord is an unsurprising reflection of much of what members of the Trump administration and the Republican majority in Congress have been saying about the JCPOA and about finding new ways to inflict economic punishment on Iran.”