Poll: Iran’s popularity sinks in the Arab world

Iran’s popularity among the Arab countries have plunged over the past decade, while Turkey’s favor-ability ratings have soared, according to a survey by the Arab American Institute in Washington.

The poll, which was conducted last month in six Arab countries — Morocco, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – indicate that Iran, a Shia Muslim power which is developing a nuclear program, is becoming a grave concern to the Arab world.

A majority in each country polled (except Lebanon) thinks Iranian involvement in the Middle East is largely negative.

According to the Zogby poll, Iran’s positive rating is an abysmally low 6 percent in Saudi Arabia. In the other Arab countries surveyed, Iran’s favor-ability rating ranges between 14 percent and 37 percent. In Lebanon, however, Iran enjoys a positive rating of 63 percent.

Still, as recently as 2006, Iran positive rating ranged between 68 percent and 82 percent.

“It really was rather shocking I thought,” the director of the Arab American Institute, Dr. James Zogby, told Newsmax.

“Even a couple of years ago, people would say, ‘Oh, Arab leaders are against Iran, but their people aren’t.'”

Zogby thinks the Arab countries are becoming annoyed and alarmed by Tehran’s constant meddling in their affairs.

For example, Iran has repeatedly criticized Saudi Arabia’s presence in neighboring Bahrain, where the ruling Sunni elite has been brutally quelled an uprising by Shias.

Iran is also friendly with Syria (which is quickly becoming a pariah state) and is also involved with Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The poll also indicated that five of the six Arab countries polled would like to see a nuclear-free Middle East. However, most Lebanese did not share this view. In fact, a majority of Lebanese Shias actually believed that the Middle East would be more secure if Tehran had the bomb.

“It shows Arab leadership is concerned with Iran – but so are Arab people, so the Arab leadership will have to take these sentiments into consideration”, Zogby told reporters.

“It’s not an exclusive American portfolio anymore, to be concerned about Iranian actions, but for the Arab public, it’s not among the top priorities in the region – they are much more worried about the occupation of the Palestinian territories. It’s true though that Israel is not the target of Iran, it’s the lever that Iran uses in the Arab world. They know that by picking the fight with Israel, it helps them to rally support of their alienated and frustrated public. If there were a peace agreement – Iran wouldn’t have any boogey man to play off with – as much as Iran is the convenient boogeyman for Israel”.

Meanwhile, Turkey is enjoying high popularity among the Arab nations polled.

Turkey has a favorable rating in Morocco (80 percent), Egypt (64 percent), Jordan (45 percent), Saudi Arabia (98 percent), UAE (62 percent), and Lebanon (93 percent).

Turkey is cited as helping to promote peace and stability to the region.

Indeed, Turkey (which, like Iran, is not an Arab country) has taken more of a leadership role in regional affairs, including mediating with Libya and accepting refugees fleeing Syria.

IBtimes

  • 5thDrawer

    Looks like Amadinejinijaahdi is crying … good.

    His popularity couldn’t get any lower anywhere.

  • Anonymous

    Looks like Amadinejinijaahdi is crying … good.

  • shankarees

    Ahmadinajjad looks like a beggar (shi77ad) i.e. zbaalé people. 

  • Anonymous

    Ahmadinajjad looks like a beggar (shi77ad) i.e. zbaalé people. 

  • Patience2

    Now, why could this POSSIBLY be happening?

  • Patience2

    Now, why could this POSSIBLY be happening?

  • Anonymous

    Now, why could this POSSIBLY be happening?

  • Anonymous

    Now, why could this POSSIBLY be happening?

  • persepoliswarrior

    wow, our stupid regime really is pissing everyone off.  please Arab brothers, remember this regime does not represent our people. they only represent themselves

    • antar2011

      we know that brother….after your 2009 attempt to topple the tyrant…we knew irani pple do not support the irani govt system.

      we pray for you to be rid of the evil in your govt’s system.

  • persepoliswarrior

    wow, our stupid regime really is pissing everyone off.  please Arab brothers, remember this regime does not represent our people. they only represent themselves

  • Anonymous

    wow, our stupid regime really is pissing everyone off.  please Arab brothers, remember this regime does not represent our people. they only represent themselves

    • Anonymous

      we know that brother….after your 2009 attempt to topple the tyrant…we knew irani pple do not support the irani govt system.

      we pray for you to be rid of the evil in your govt’s system.

    • Anonymous

      we know that brother….after your 2009 attempt to topple the tyrant…we knew irani pple do not support the irani govt system.

      we pray for you to be rid of the evil in your govt’s system.

  • Fauzia45

    People in the Arab world are tired of such regimes!They want change ,they want their voices to be heard,they want their rights as citizens ,they want social and economical prosperity,they want a share of their country s wealth,they want justice,freedom and liberty,peace and stability!!

    • 5thDrawer

      And that’s the kind of thinking that needs to be put forward – around those dialogue tables – without the word ‘religion’ anywhere to be found in the conversation.

  • Anonymous

    People in the Arab world are tired of such regimes!They want change ,they want their voices to be heard,they want their rights as citizens ,they want social and economical prosperity,they want a share of their country s wealth,they want justice,freedom and liberty,peace and stability!!

    • Anonymous

      And that’s the kind of thinking that needs to be put forward – around those dialogue tables – without the word ‘religion’ anywhere to be found in the conversation.

  • antar2011

    ‘Poll: Iran’s popularity sinks in the Arab world”

    duuuh!

    we did not need a poll to state the obvious!

  • Anonymous

    ‘Poll: Iran’s popularity sinks in the Arab world”

    duuuh!

    we did not need a poll to state the obvious!

  • Anonymous

    ‘Poll: Iran’s popularity sinks in the Arab world”

    duuuh!

    we did not need a poll to state the obvious!