Following Iran's success in enriching uranium and the bitter reactions of Western countries and Israel, Beirut's Center for Research and Information conducted a survey on the opinions of Lebanese and Palestinian Muslims regarding Iran's nuclear program and its repercussions on the global stage. The survey was conducted randomly and carried out live interviews from April 20-24, 2006. The survey included 700 Palestinian and Lebanese Muslims.
Do you feel Iran should possess nuclear technology for peaceful purposes?
Of those surveyed, 90.7 percent agreed, while 9.3 percent disagreed.
Which country is most concerned by Iran's nuclear technology?
Some 79.1 percent considered the United States and Israel would be most concerned by Iran's nuclear power, while 11.8 percent considered this power would concern Arab countries and 9.1 percent said that it would concern all countries
If a war broke out between the Islamic Republic and the United States, which side would you support?
About 76.5 percent said they would support Iran, 1.6 percent said they would support the United States and 22 percent said they would remain neutral.
In case the United States or Israel attacked Iran, do you think Hizbullah would take part in the war?
Of those surveyed, 76.9 percent said yes, 22 percent said no and 1.1 percent declined to give any answer.
Do you think that Iran's entry into the nuclear club is positive regarding the Palestinian struggle against Israel?
Of those surveyed, 78.1 percent said they believed it was, while 21.9 percent said that it would have no effect.
Would you support the Islamic Republic's production of nuclear weapons to maintain a balance with Israel?
Of those surveyed, 79.3 percent encouraged Iran to produce nuclear weapons, whereas 20.7 percent were against.
Do you support Iran, pledge allegiance to it, or both?
This question was only asked of Shiites. Of those surveyed 70.5 percent supported Iran, 7.7 percent pledged allegiance to it and 21.8 percent both supported it and pledged allegiance to it.
Studying the Results
This survey was the first of its kind in Lebanon. It showed the general political positions of Lebanese Muslims regarding regional issues were almost the same as their positions regarding internal issues. On external issues, Palestinians' positions were almost the same as those of Shiites. The survey showed opinions of some Sunnis regarding both regional and internal questions were linked to the Syrian regime. The survey, originally published in As-Safir daily on March 2, showed 56 percent of Sunnis supported the weapons of the resistance while 80 percent supported those arms in the survey conducted in July 2005.
In the most recent survey, we asked both Sunnis and Shiites about their opinions regarding Hamas' refusal to recognize Israel. About 65 percent of Sunnis and 98 percent of Shiites backed Hamas' stand.
As to the replies regarding Iran's nuclear file, we found that Sunnis gave the same answers as those given last March regarding the resistance and Hamas.
This means that the relatively conservative stand of some Sunnis in Lebanon regarding the conflict with the U.S. and Israel is not sectarian, as some might believe, because their stand regarding Sunnis from Hamas is not different from their strand regarding the resistance in Lebanon or Iran.
Replies showed near-unanimity in support of Iran's right to possess nuclear technology, based on the belief that the laws of the International Atomic Energy Agency guaranteed this right to all its members.
In this second question, about 98 percent of the Shiites and 83 percent of Palestinians said Iran's possession of this technology mostly concerns the U.S. and Israel, whereas a lesser percentage of the Sunnis, about 61 percent, share the same stand.
The overwhelming majority of Shiites and Palestinians said Iran's membership in the nuclear club positively affects Palestinians, while about 66 percent of the Sunnis said so, which constitutes a sort of referendum about the trust which Iran enjoys considering its positive stand regarding Palestinians.
Replies to a question asked only to Shiites about whether there is allegiance to Iran or mere support constituted a direct contradiction to what Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said, as they showed only 7.7 percent pledge allegiance to Iran while 70.5 percent support Iran but do not pledge allegiance to it, and 21 percent pledge allegiance and support it at the same time.