Americans to support strike against Iran if nuclear claims proven

General view of Bushehr nuclear power plant, 1,200 km south of Tehran(Reuters / Stringer Iran)
A majority of Americans would back a US strike against Iran if given evidence that Tehran was building nuclear weapons, even if it led to a surge in fuel prices.

­A Reuters/Ipsos poll showed Tuesday that 56 per cent of Americans would support US military action against Iran if it was proven that the country had a nuclear weapons program underway, while 39 nine per cent of Americans were against military intervention.

The same poll showed that 53 per cent of Americans would still back a military solution even if it led to higher fuel prices, though 42 per cent would oppose it.

But even more Americans – 62 per cent – were in favor of Israel taking military action against Iran for the same reasons, according to the same poll.

The poll also indicated that those who supported a military solution were more likely to be Republican. Seventy per cent of Republicans would back a strike, compared to only 46 per cent of Democrats and 51 per cent of Independents.

Iran is one of the central issues in the upcoming US presidential elections. Republicans have traditionally accused Democrat President Barack Obama, who has backed crippling economic sanctions against the country, for being too soft on Iran.

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, one of the contenders for the Republican presidential nomination, spoke before the powerful pro-Israeli lobbying group AIPAC.

If Iran doesn't get rid of nuclear facilities, we will tear them down ourselves,” he warned.

Obama said he was in favor of having all options on the table when dealing with Iran, and called on Israel to postpone a possible pre-emptive strike and give sanctions time to work.

A number of sanctions against Iran have been in effect in the US, with the most recent series adopted in 2010. They punish companies and individuals who aid Iran’s petroleum sector.