National poll gathers accurate demographic and attitudinal information about the Iranian American community
April 18, 2013, Washington, D.C. – The Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) today released the findings of its fifth national public opinion survey of Iranian Americans. The 2013 survey was conducted by George Mason University in February and follows similar annual surveys commissioned by PAAIA. The surveys are an integral component of better understanding the Iranian American community and having its voice heard through the availability of on-going accurate scientific data.
PAAIA 2013 Survey Highlights
According to the survey, Iranian Americans maintain close ties to family and friends in Iran. Thirty-two percent (32%) report that they have at least one parent living in the country. Sixty-six percent (66%) of Iranian Americans surveyed stated that they communicate with their family and friends in Iran at least several times a month.
Iranian Americans want to see change in Iran. The survey indicates that from among a list of seven issues relating to U.S.-Iran relations, the greatest number of Iranian Americans, fifty-six percent (56%), cited the promotion of human rights and democracy as the most important, followed by thirty-one percent (31%) who chose promotion of regime change.
Iranian Americans differ in their views as to what would be the best course of action for the U.S. to take towards Iran. Forty-two percent (42%) believe either the promotion of regime change or the promotion of human rights and democracy would be in America’s best interest, while thirty-five percent (35%) cite diplomatic negotiations or establishing diplomatic relations. Only three percent (3%) said that military action against Iran would be the best course of action.
When asked about potential U.S. strikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities, a total of sixty-four percent (64%) of Iranian Americans said they were opposed to such strikes, while eleven percent (11%) said they would support them and seventeen percent (17%) might support them in some circumstances. Nine percent (9%) were not sure.
A solid majority of Iranian Americans—fifty-nine percent (59%)—stated they approved of President Obama’s handling of Iran’s nuclear program, although they are divided about whether U.S. policy in this area will be successful. A large majority of sixty-eight percent (68%) would support the removal of sanctions on Iran if the Iranian regime reached an agreement with the U.S. and the international community concerning its nuclear program.
Most Iranian Americans do not support opposition groups or figures in Iran. In the 2013 survey, only fifteen percent (15%) said they did so. This should not be interpreted to mean that the current Iranian regime has significant support among the Iranian American population. In fact, in the 2011 PAAIA survey, sixty-seven percent (67%) of respondents stated that they wanted to see Iran become a democracy. Only two percent (2%) said that Iran should continue to be an Islamic republic.
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