National poll gathers accurate demographic and attitudinal information about the Iranian American community
March 26th 2012, Washington, D.C. – As the prospect of a U.S. or Israeli military strike against Iran increases, the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) has, once again, commissioned Zogby Research Services to conduct a follow-up national survey of Iranian Americans to gauge their perception and views specifically on the issue of military action against Iran.
In October of 2011 PAAIA commissioned Zogby Research Services to conduct its third national public opinion survey of Iranian Americans to gather accurate attitudinal and demographic information about the Iranian American community.
The 2011 survey, which followed similar surveys commissioned by PAAIA in 2008 and 2009, are an integral component of better understanding our community and having its voice heard through the availability of on-going accurate scientific data. The 2012 survey is the fourth PAAIA-commissioned Zogby survey. It is the first national poll asking Iranian Americans specifically about a U.S. or Israeli military strike on Iran.
2012 PAAIA Commissioned Zogby National Poll Results
The results of 2012 survey indicate that two-thirds (66%) of Iranian Americans are worried that a U.S. or Israeli military attack against Iran is now more likely than ever before.
The survey shows that Iranian Americans continue to retain strong ties with the people of Iran. A total of eighty-four percent 84% of Iranian Americans have family currently living in Iran — consistent with PAAIA’s three previous survey results. Furthermore, fifty five percent (55%) of Iranian Americans believe that increased American hostilities with Iran could increase discrimination while also heightening U.S. government’s scrutiny and surveillance against them.
Almost two-thirds (63%) of Iranian Americans oppose military action against Iran’s nuclear sites or other facilities. In contrast thirteen percent (13%) indicated that they would support such an action while sixteen percent (16%) might support it under some circumstances. Those who do not have family in Iran are less likely to oppose a U.S. bombing (only 44% oppose it).
However, Iranian American opposition to military strikes against Iran does not correlate to support of the Iranian government. The 2011 PAAIA/ Zogby survey shows that Iranian Americans want the Iranian regime to change with sixty seven percent (67%) preferring a secular democratic Iran compared to only two percent (2%) preferring the current Islamic Republic. Instead opposition to military action is rooted in their concerns for the people of Iran as well as what they believe to be in the best interest of United States.
When asked about their reasons for opposition to a possible U.S. bombing of Iran, eight in ten (80%) of the respondents cited their concern for potential civilian casualties while seventy percent (70%) indicated that it is not in the best political or economic interests of the United States (similar to results of other public opinion surveys which show that a majority of Americans prefer to give sanctions and diplomacy time to work over immediate military action). In addition, more than six in ten respondents felt that military strikes would strengthen the Iranian government (63%) and would be ineffective and encourage Iran to develop nuclear weapons (62%).
Opposition to a possible Israeli military action against Iran’s nuclear sites or other facilities is even stronger with seventy percent (70%) of Iranian Americans opposed to such a scenario. Again, those who do not have family in Iran are less likely to oppose a U.S. bombing (only 49% oppose it).
When asked under what circumstances they are most likely to support a U.S. military strike against Iran, a majority of fifty seven percent (57%) of Iranian Americans indicated that they would support military action if the Iranian government were to commit mass murder of its civilian populations. In contrast, only twenty six percent (26%) of Iranian Americans would not support U.S. military strikes against Iran under any circumstances.
PAAIA’s surveys are conducted by Zogby Research Service (formally known as Zogby International), a pre-eminent polling firm, based on successful telephone interviews in English with representative sample of respondents. Zogby Research Service employs sampling strategies in which selection probabilities are proportional to population size within area codes and exchanges. The margin of error for the results of the 2011 survey are +/- 5 percentage points, which is an acceptable margin of error for a survey of this type.