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U.S. Relations with Iran and Syria

U.S. Relations with Iran and Syria

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Published by: CBS_News on Sep 24, 2013
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11/03/2013

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CBS News/New York Times PollFor release: Tuesday, September 24, 20136:30 PM ETU.S. Relations with Iran and Syria
September 19-23, 2013
More Americans disapprove (44%) than approve (39%) of how President Barack Obamais handling relations with Iran. Also, just 22% expect U.S. relations with Iran to improve.
 Americans overwhelmingly (82%) approve of the U.S.-Russia deal to get Syria to turnover chemical weapons – but only one-third think Syria will comply.
Most Americans remain opposed (57%) to air strikes against Syria.
U.S. – Iran Relations
More Americans disapprove than approve of how President Obama is handling relations withIran. The poll was completed in advance of the President’s speech to the United Nations, inwhich he addressed U.S. – Iranian relations.
Pres. Obama’s Handling of Relations with Iran
 Approve39%Disapprove44Dont know17 As is the case on many issues today, there are sharp partisan splits: most Democrats approve(68%), while few Republicans (16%) do. Americans don’t foresee relations with Iran improving any time soon. Only 22% expect relationsto improve in the next few years, while more expect them to stay the same or worsen.
Expect U.S. – Iranian Relations in Coming Years to…
 AllRepsDemsIndsGet better22%11%36%20%Stay same41354343Get worse32511932Republicans in particular expect things to worsen; Democrats are more positive. Americans may find it hard to judge whether the recent outreach from President Obama to thenew Iranian president will lead to improvement. A plurality of 38% says they don’t know what willcome of that effort, 30% say it will make at least some difference in relations, and 30% think itwon’t matter much.
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The Syrian Crisis
 Although they have doubts it will work, Americans overwhelmingly favor the deal reachedbetween the U.S. and Russia for Syria to turn over its chemical weapons.
U.S. – Russia Agreement to Deal with Syria’s Weapons
Favor82%Oppose15On this, Democrats and Republicans agree.But Americans remain skeptical that Syria will comply: two-thirds think it is unlikely that Syria willactually turn over all its chemical weapons to inspectors.
Do You Think Syria Will Turn Over All Chemical Weapons?
Very likely 8%Somewhat likely25Not very likely35Not at all likely31 Americans still would not support airstrikes against the Syrian government, even if Syria fails tocomply -- an option that the U.S. says remains on the table if the diplomatic solution ultimatelyfails.
Military Air Strikes Against Syria
Use airstrikes regardless 5%Use airstrikes if Syria doesnt comply34Not use airstrikes at all57 Underlying these views, a large majority continues to believe in principle that the U.S. doesn’thave a responsibility to do something about the fighting in Syria. As was the case earlier thismonth, majorities of Democrats and Republicans don’t view this as a U.S. responsibility, andthere has been little shift in the public’s views about this in recent weeks, or over the longer term.
Does the U.S. Have a Responsibility in Syria?
Now9/6-8/20136/2013 4/201312/2012Yes26%28%28%24%27%No6865616262Most Americans don’t differentiate in how civilians are killed: 68% say the internationalcommunity should respond to all civilian killings the same, while 25% say civilian killings fromchemical and biological weapons warrant a stronger response than killings using conventionalweapons.
The President’s Handling of Syria
Most Americans continue to say the Obama administration has not clearly explained their goalsin Syria, though the percentage who says it has done so has risen in recent weeks.
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Has Obama Administration Explained U.S. Goals in Syria?
Now9/6-8/2013Yes28%14%No6479The President’s approval rating on Syria has seen a small uptick to 37% from 33% two weeksago, but remains mostly negative: 52% disapprove.
President Obama’s Job Rating on Syria
Now9/6-8/2013 Approve37%33%Disapprove5256The President’s rating on foreign policy overall is more negative than in July, before theescalation of U.S. involvement in the Syria crisis. Just 40% approve of his handling of foreignpolicy, while 49% disapprove – the highest disapproval he has ever received on this measure.
President Obama’s Job Rating on Foreign Policy
Now7/2013 Approve40%43%Disapprove4944 _________________________________________________________________________ 
This poll was conducted by telephone from
September 19-23
, 2013 among
1,014
adultsnationwide. Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News/The New York Times by SocialScience Research Solutions of Media, PA. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standardland-line and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plusor minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher. Interviews were conducted inEnglish and Spanish. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Councilon Public Polls.
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