Report Reveals Overwhelmingly Negative Attitudes Towards Iran Among its Neighbors
“There is a growing antipathy toward Iran across the Arab World and among Iran’s non-Arab neighbors,” a new report from James Zogby states succinctly. Titled “Looking at Iran: How 20 Arab Nations and Muslim Nations View Iran and its Policies,” and touted by Zogby, founder and president of the Arab American Institute, as his most comprehensive report on attitudes towards Iran to-date, it reveals startling opinions of the Islamic state among its neighbors. “Iran is now viewed unfavorably in 14 of the 20 countries covered in this study. It is only viewed favorably in Yemen, Kuwait, Lebanon, Iraq, Algeria, and Libya,” the report states.
The report queries residents of 20 countries: 17 Arab countries (Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Sudan, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, UAE, Oman, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia) and three non-Arab countries (Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Pakistan), asking a comprehensive list of questions regarding a range of issues, from Iran’s cultural stature to its nuclear program to the effectiveness of its political structure.
For example, one question,”Does Iran provide a ‘good model’ to follow? In only three countries do majorities say ‘yes’: Lebanon, Pakistan, and Iraq,” reveals that very few countries envy Iran’s current political system. Another shows that most countries believe the 1979 Islamic Revolution made the region “less stable” with only Lebanon and Iraq saying that revolutionary Iran contributed to making the region “more stable.”
Perhaps the most immediate topic of concern regarding Iran is its nuclear program. On this topic the report finds that “Almost all agree that the Arab Gulf region states are right to be concerned with Iran’s nuclear program. Only Lebanese and Iraqis disagree.”