Iranians back nuclear deal, but expect too much: poll

Poll reveals 56 percent of Iranians are not aware their government has agreed to limit its nuclear research

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Most Iranians back the nuclear deal Tehran signed with world powers, but partly because they wrongly believe it marks an immediate end to all U.S. sanctions, a poll has revealed.

A study by the University of Maryland and Toronto-based IranPoll.com found that 76 percent of Iranians polled support the deal to end their isolation in return for international oversight of their nuclear program.

But this support may prove weaker that it appears, as Iranians appear to have a number of false impressions about the agreement, particularly in that they think it puts a rapid end to international economic sanctions.

In fact, the U.S. and some other powers have only agreed to lift penalties imposed on Iran in direct response to worries about its nuclear program, and only then when it has upheld its end of the bargain.

Other sanctions imposed because of Iran’s alleged support for terror groups or political meddling in its region will remain, even after Tehran allows inspectors to verify tight controls on its nuclear facilities.

But 56 percent of Iranians, according to the survey, are not even aware their government has agreed to limit its nuclear research and 77 percent think sanctions relief will come about before such controls are verified.

Meanwhile, large majorities of Iranians expect to see better access to imported medicine and medical technology, more foreign investment and lower unemployment within a year of the deal being signed.

Ebrahim Mohseni, a research associate at the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM), said the high expectations Iranians hold for the deal may lead them to be disappointed.

“It may dissipate as Iranians become more familiar with Iran’s commitments under the deal and particularly if the deal does not soon produce tangible improvements in people’s lives,” he said.

The telephone poll of 1,000 Iranians was conducted between August 8 and 18, by IranPoll.com, an independent Canadian research firm that maintains the largest private bank of Iranian polling data.