June 11, 2019
The majority of Zamaneh Media Panelists, who mostly live in Iran, think that the way to get out of the current diplomatic crisis is “the negotiations with the United States”, although the country’s leaders have not yet decided to do so. At the same time, more than two thirds of the panelists identify with this political slogan: “No to War, No to the Iranian Regime!”
Zamaneh media has recently launched an opinion panel for Iran. In just a few weeks following the launch, hundreds of our readers have joined the panel and are participating in the surveys. They come from different backgrounds and live predominantly inside Iran
In our first survey, we asked our panelists about their views on the current Iran-U.S. diplomatic crisis. We wanted to find out how they see the possibility of negotiations between the two rivals, what could be the alternatives and which side might be responsible for the failure of such talks. We also asked our panelists that what they support in this situation.
Month of May; the eventful month:
The survey was conducted at the end of May 2019. The month of May was very eventful for the US-Iran relationship. Tensions were raised in all directions due to the rhetoric of leaders following on from mysterious and timely attacks on four ships and oil tankers in the Persian Gulf in the territorial waters of the United Arab Emirates east of the emirate of Fujairah.
Let’s take a look at what happened in the month of May:
- On May 5, The White House announced that the Pentagon is sending the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier to the Middle East.
- On May 7, The US announced that B-52 bombers are being deployed to the Persian Gulf.
- On May 8, Iran said that is ready to increase the enrichment of uranium and heavy water production.
- On May 12, Saudi Arabia said that two of its oil tankers were targeted in a “sabotage attack” off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.
- On May 13, Europeans met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and discussed the current situation in Iran.
- On May 14, The US secretary of state Mike Pompeo said: “We fundamentally do not see a war with Iran.”
- On May 14, Houthi Shi’a milita in Yemen carried out drone attacks near Riyadh, targeting a Saudi oil pipeline.
- On May 15, The US ordered its non-emergency employees to leave its embassy in Baghdad.
- On May 19, President Trump tweeted: “If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again,”
- On May 21, The US secretary of state Mike Pompeo said it is “quite possible” Iran was responsible for the mysterious sabotage of oil tankers off the UAE or drone strikes on a Saudi crude pipeline.
- On May 24, President Trump ordered an additional 1,500 troops to be sent to the Middle East.
- On May 27, During a visit in Japan President Trump commented on Iran: “It has a chance to be a great country with the same leadership, we’re not looking for regime change, I just want to make that clear. We are looking for no nuclear weapons.”
- On May 29, Mike Bolton said: “Evidence that Iran has been behind recent attacks on oil tankers and pipelines in the Persian Gulf is likely to be presented to the UN Security Council as early as next week.”
At the end of May 2019, between 31 May and 3 June (72 hours), 94 Zamaneh Panelists took part in our first online survey. The key findings are:
- Panelists believe negotiations between Iran and U.S. are necessary
- The Iranian regime is not prepared to negotiate with U.S.
- The possible talks between Iran and U.S. will have the same fate as U.S.- North Korea talks.
- Most of our panelists do not support the Iranian regime but at the same time do not support a war as well.
How do our readers view possible Iran-U.S. negotiations in the current climate?
More than half of the participants in the survey believe that the negotiations between the two countries are necessary.
Around 7% felt that these negotiations would work in favor of the U.S., while 17.6% thought negotiations would work in favor of the Iranian government.
What is the best alternative to negotiations?
The readers were divided on this question. 19.8% believed the Iranian side is waiting for a U.S. power transition, but more panelists thought the U.S. side ia waiting patiently for sanctions to put more pressure on the Iranian government.
A smaller group (12%) predicted that in absence of negotiations, the situation will lead to war. More than a third answered that none of these scenarios will happen.
The reasons why negotiations might not take place?
When asked who to blame if negotiations do not happen, a third of the panelists said that it is the Iranian regime that is not prepared to negotiate. A small group (2.2%) said that it is the U.S. not prepared to negotiate whilst 4.4% believes other players/ powers would prevent talks between Iran and the U.S.
Most panelists (57.8%), however, thought that the real obstacle would be a combination of all the named reasons.
If negotiations start …
More than half of the panelists say that in the case of starting negotiations, they expect the same fate as the U.S.- North Korea talks.
A third of readers were more optimistic and said that negotiations will gradually restore relations between the two countries. Fewer panelists (15.6%) predicted the talks will break down and lead to further hostilities.
Iran domestic politics and U.S. talks
We asked our readers what would be the effect of Iran-U.S. talks from the Perspective of Iran’s domestic politics.
More than a third (38.5%) said that it would reinforce the Iranian government against the opposition and lead to further internal suppression. Fewer panelists (24.4%) believe it will reinforce the people against the government and lead to more responsive governance. Another third (37.4%) said these talks will not change the status quo.
The participants of this survey were asked which slogan best reflects their sentiments. Most of the readers (72.5%) chose the option: “No to war, no to the Iranian regime.”
16.5% chose: “No to the Iranian regime.” Only 1 percent of the readers supported the government against the U.S.