Tags: israel | iran | strike

Half of Israelis Back Immediate Strike on Iran

Tuesday, 26 May 2009 10:02 AM

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JERUSALEM -- Just over half of Israelis back an immediate attack on the nuclear facilities of arch-foe Iran but the rest want to wait and see the results of US diplomacy, according to a poll released on Sunday.

Fifty-one percent support an immediate Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear sites, while 49 percent believe the Jewish state should await the outcome of efforts by the US administration to engage with the Islamic republic, said the survey published by Tel Aviv University.

But 74 percent of those questioned said they believe that new US President Barack Obama's efforts will not stop the Islamic republic from acquiring atomic weapons.

Israel, widely considered to be the Middle East's sole if undeclared nuclear armed state, considers Iran its arch-foe after repeated statements by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for the Jewish state to be "wiped off the map."

Israel and Washington accuse Iran of trying to develop atomic weapons under the guise of a civilian nuclear programme, a charge Tehran has repeatedly denied.

Opinion is split among left- and right-wingers about whether to attack Iran's nuclear sites, with 63 percent of those leaning to the right favouring a strike, compared with 38 percent of those leaning to the left, the poll said.

It was carried out by Tel Aviv University's Centre for Iranian Studies among 509 Israeli adults and had a 4.5-percent margin of error.

© 2009 Agence France Presse. All rights reserved.

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