Ahmadinejad 'legitimate president', 8 in 10 Iranians: Poll

Eight in 10 also say Ahmadinejad is honest.

Ahmadinejad 'legitimate president', 8 in 10 Iranians: Poll

Eight in 10 Iranians also say they consider President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to be the country's legitimate president despite mass protests following the disputed June 12 vote, according to a survey by WorldPublicOpinion.org (WPO).

Eight in 10 also say Ahmadinejad is honest.

Asked about the institutions that make up the government of Iran, large majorities express at least some confidence in major institutions. The president is viewed most favorably, with 84 percent of respondents expressing a lot (64%) of or some (20%) confidence.

Overall most Iranians express support for their current system of government. Nine in ten say they are satisfied with Iran's system of government.

Six in ten approve of the system by which a body of religious scholars has the capacity to overturn laws, while one in four express opposition.

A modest majority (55%) says that the way the Supreme Leader is selected is consistent with the principles of democracy, and three-fifths say they are comfortable with the extent of his power.

Eighty-three percent of respondents said they were confident in the election results that gave Ahmadinejad a second term.

"Distrusting Washington"

Most Iranians favor restored ties with America after three decades of hostility but distrust President Barack Obama despite his outreach to Muslims worldwide, the poll found Saturday.

Sixty-three percent of the 1,003 people surveyed across Iran favored restoring diplomatic relations with the United States, a position in line with the stance taken by Tehran since the 1979 Revolution, which called for a relation of mutual respect, not one-sided hegemony.

Of those in favor of restoring ties, 18 percent said they would "strongly" back the move. Only 27 percent said they were opposed.

Another 60 percent of Iranians surveyed said they supported "full, unconditional negotiations" between Washington and Tehran, while 30 percent were opposed.

But despite Obama's outreach to Muslims around the world, only 25 percent of those surveyed believe he respects Islam, while 59 percent said he does not.

Seventy-one percent said they have little or no confidence that Obama will do "the right thing" in his handling of world affairs.

That figure was lower than any of the 20 countries polled by WPO, a project managed by the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland, in the spring.

Attitudes toward Obama still remained more positive than toward his predecessor, George W. Bush, in whom only six percent of Iranians expressed confidence, compared to 16 percent for the new president.

"While the majority of Iranian people are ready to do business with Obama, they show little trust in him," WPO director Steven Kull said in a statement.

Among those surveyed, 77 percent of Iranians said they had an unfavorable view of the US government, including 69 percent who said they have a very unfavorable view.

But in a sign of possible softening, the figures were lower than in a 2008 poll, where a whopping 85 percent of Iranians said they had an unfavorable view of the US government.

A mere 17 percent had a favorable stance in 2009, but that was still more than twice the eight percent who said they had favorable views last year.

The telephone survey was conducted by native Farsi speakers who interviewed respondents from outside Iran between August 27 and September 10. It has a margin of error of 3.1 percent.


Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2009, 15:17
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