Poll: Arab majority believes nuclear Iran helps Mideast

Poll: Arab majority believes nuclear Iran helps Mideast

WASHINGTON — The percentage of Arabs who believe a nuclear-armed Iran will help the Middle East situation has doubled since last year.

The annual Brookings Institute poll, released Thursday, found that 57 percent of Arabs think a nuclear-armed Iran will cause a “more positive” situation in the Middle East, up from 29 percent last year.

Meanwhile, 63 percent of respondents were “discouraged” by the Obama administration’s Middle East policies. Last year, 51 percent of Arabs polled said they were “hopeful.”

Shibley Telhami, who conducted the poll, said the disappointment in the Obama administration is based on its handling of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Ynet reported. Just under half of respondents said Israel influences U.S. policy based on its own interests.

The survey was conducted between June 29 and July 30 in Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. Nearly 4,000 Arabs were questioned, with a 1.6 percent margin of error.

Telhami, of the University of Maryland and Brookings Saban Center for Middle East Policy, conducted the survey in conjunction with the Zogby Institute.

According to the poll, there has been no major shift in views about the Arab-Israeli conflict and its resolution.