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February 19, 2015 12:33 pm

Poll: 77% of Americans See a Nuclear Iran As a ‘Critical Threat’

avatar by Sam Munson

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The Iranian nuclear program's heavy-water reactor at Arak. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

A significant majority of Americans — some 77% of those polled — see the “development of nuclear weapons by Iran” as a “critical threat”; another 16% see it as “important but not critical”, according to new numbers from Gallup.

With US-Iran talks reportedly set to resume Friday, the poll, which asks Americans to assess a variety of threats to U.S. interests as “critical”, “important but not critical”, or “not important” — will likely take on a new and ominous significance.

The poll placed the question of Iranian nukes near the top of the list of threats Gallup asked about, behind only the activities of ISIS and the more general “international terrorism”.  It outranked the “criticality” of threats posed by North Korea and by the Russia/Ukraine conflict.

CNN reported earlier today that Iran’s deputy foreign minister Abbas Araqchi told an Iranian news agency that the talks will begin as a bilateral discussion lasting four days, after which “discussions will possibly continue” among all the members of the so- called P5+1 group, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany.

The US government did not confirm Araqchi’s statement, but Wednesday saw the release of a statement by the State Department announcing that on Thursday negotiator Wendy Sherman would lead a team to Geneva for bilateral talks, and that these talks would “take place in the context of the P5+1 nuclear negotiations with Iran, led by EU Special Advisor Cathy Ashton”.

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