The editorial continued that Iran should concentrate “on preventing the rise of any consensus against Iran” and “focus on the disagreement between Trump’s administration and Europe, hoping that if one day the nuclear deal is to end prematurely [due to US actions], Europe and Iran will be together. US isolation can seriously challenge and even eliminate the return of sanctions.”
While the Maryland poll revealed Iranian dissatisfaction with the economy, a slight majority of 56.5% was still optimistic that living conditions would improve, 10 points less than in June 2016. Rouhani remained popular, with the support of 68.7% of those surveyed, and was favored to beat Tehran Mayor Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, a possible rival candidate, by 48.5% to 31.8% in upcoming presidential elections.
Ghalibaf, who ran for the presidency four years ago but lost, had an impressive favorability rating of 72.6% in the latest poll. The survey was taken before a catastrophic fire and collapse of the Plasco Building, an iconic Iranian high-rise from the 1960s, on Jan. 19, which has led to calls for Ghalibaf to resign to take responsibility for lax safety standards.