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Sixty percent of Americans surveyed in an Associated Press/GfK poll say they approve of a six-month agreement negotiated last year with Iran to curtail elements of that country's nuclear development program to keep it from obtaining nuclear weapons. But 47 percent say they think it is unlikely the agreement will achieve its ends. And only 42 percent say they approve of how President Obama is handling the situation in Iran.
Iran has repeatedly said it is only engaged in nuclear development for peaceful purposes and has no intention of developing nuclear weapons. U.S. intelligence officials say they do not believe Iran is currently developing nuclear weapons or the capacity for building them, but has sought to do so in the past.
"From a diplomatic standpoint, it would be great to be able to negotiate and come up with a solution that would eliminate the chance for nuclear weapons for Iran," respondent Lance Hughey, 40, a lawyer from LaCrosse, Wis., said Monday.
However, "Iran is a difficult country to trust," said Hughey, who identified himself as an independent voter with slightly Republican leanings. "And the leadership that we see out of D.C., the way things have been conducted with Syria ... I don't believe (the president) has the leadership skills to deal with Iran."
The reporters did not quote anyone who approves of the deal or the president's leadership skills.
Negotiations that began secretly in March 2013 finally produced a deal in November between Iran and the so-called P5+1, the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany. The interim deal is designed to relieve economic sanctions that will mean a gain of $7 billion for Iran while it constrains that nation's nuclear development for six months while a permanent agreement is negotiated.
Among the restrictions: Iran must dilute or convert to uranium oxide all uranium enriched above 5 percent; no new uranium-enriched centrifuges can be installed or prepared for installation; no new enrichement or uranium-processing facilities can be built; half the centrifuges at the Natanz facility and three-fourths of those at the hardened underground facility at Fordow must be left inoperable; international inspectors will be granted access at those two facilities with 24-hour cameras installed in some locations; inspectors will have access to Iranian uranium minds and centrifuge factories; none of the advanced centrifuges Iran has built can be used for enrichment; no fuel tested or transferred to the heavy water-moderated nuclear power plant at Arak and details of its design must be shared.
Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 07:01 AM PST.