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One in 10 backs military strikes over Iran nuclear crisis: poll

AFP | September 21 2006

Roughly one in 10 people around the world favours military action against Iran to stop the Islamic republic developing nuclear weapons, a BBC World Service poll said Thursday.

The biggest group, 39 percent, wants to see the international community pursue diplomacy if Iran continues to produce nuclear fuel, and 10 percent do not want to see Iran pressured at all, the poll said.

The average support for military action was 11 percent. The highest levels were in Iraq (34 percent), Israel (30 percent) and the United States (21 percent), according to the survey of people in 25 countries.

The largest majorities in favour of a diplomatic approach were in Muslim countries -- Egypt (73 percent), Indonesia (72 percent) and Turkey (60 percent).

Only 17 percent of those asked believe that Iran is producing nuclear fuel only for energy reasons and 60 percent think it is also trying to build nuclear weapons.

It added that 52 percent want a new United Nations effort to prevent more countries developing nuclear fuel which can be enriched for use in weapons.

The survey of 27,407 people was conducted between May and July for the BBC World Service by international polling firm GlobeScan alongside the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA).

GlobeScan president Doug Miller said: "The poll reveals a worldwide mandate for stricter international controls on the production of nuclear fuels that could be used in weapons.

"At the same time, our Turkey and Egyptian findings suggest a sense of nuclear entitlement for peaceful purposes among have-not countries particularly in the Muslim world.

"Diplomats have their work cut out for themselves."

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