- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The majority of Americans on both sides of the political aisle agree that Iran’s nuclear program, whether for energy or weapons, is the biggest threat facing the United States in the Middle East, a new poll shows.

A survey of 900 likely voters found that 93 percent of Republicans and 81 percent of Democrats want the U.S. to prohibit Iran from enriching uranium for any purpose.

“Finally, we have found an issue of substance that both Democrats and Republicans agree on,” said pollster and Republican strategist Frank Luntz, whose firm conducted the survey. “The fear of Iranian nuclear weapons unites just about everyone.”

In a blow to President Obama’s nuclear deal with Tehran, 43 percent of Democrats and 44 percent of Republicans want more sanctions on Iran and express skepticism of the six-month agreement that requires Iranians to curtail uranium enrichment for a relaxation of some economic sanctions.

Sixty-one percent of Republicans and 40 percent of Democrats called Iran the biggest threat to the U.S. in the Middle East. Fifteen percent or fewer cited Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Syria. Four percent of Democrats and one percent of Republicans feared Israel the most.

LuntzGlobal conducted the poll Saturday to Monday in conjuction with Al-Masadar.net and TheTower.org, two websites that cover Middle East news.

Ariel Cohen, an Iran expert at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, said the survey shows a trend of increasing opposition to the deal.

The “American people have better horse sense than some of our administration officials,” he said.

Mr. Cohen agreed with 95 percent of Republicans and 78 percent of Democrats in the poll who predicted that Iran will break the interim deal during negotiations on a long-term agreement to prevent Iran from processing uranium or plutonium to the strength needed to build a nuclear bomb.

“These are not the guys in white hats — not even white turbans,” he said. “If this agreement goes askew, it will be another black-and-blue for Obama’s foreign policy.”

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