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Politics & Policy

Some Friendly Wording for the Iran Deal on the Washington Post’s Poll Question

Here’s how the Washington Post worded a poll question on the Iran deal: “As you may know, the U.S. and other countries have announced a deal to lift economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for Iran agreeing not to produce nuclear weapons. International inspectors would monitor Iran’s facilities, and if Iran is caught breaking the agreement economic sanctions would be imposed again. Do you support or oppose this agreement?”

The Iran deal is complicated, and this wording just happens to emphasize the more appealing parts and neglects the unappealing parts. For example, the deal “lifts economic sanctions”… and gives Iran access to $55 billion to $150 billion in unfrozen assets, and the question doesn’t say that the administration admitted the influx of funds to Iran will mean more money going to terror groups.

The question mentions “international inspectors” but doesn’t clarify that the deal doesn’t allow inspection of Iranian military sites, or that inspectors will have to wait 14 to 24 days to enter certain sites

As for the section that “economic sanctions would be imposed again,” that’s not likely to happen. Here’s the take of Suzanne Maloney of the Brookings Institution:

“With the nuclear deal, the Iran sanctions regime that has existed since 2010 will evaporate, and the likelihood that it will ever be made whole again is slim to none, short of some truly epic Iranian provocation.”

With that wording, 51 percent of respondents support the deal, 41 percent oppose it.

With a different wording — “As you may know, the U.S. and other countries have announced a deal to lift economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for Iran agreeing not to produce nuclear weapons. Do you support or oppose this agreement? Do you feel that way strongly or somewhat?” — public opinion shifts to 45 percent support, 44 percent opposition.

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