Author Box
Articles Categories
All Categories
Articles Resources

Love Thy Neighbor - The View Of Iran From Across The MENA Region

June 05, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 173

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), stated that it believes Iran has developed the technology required to produce nuclear weapons and appears to have conducted extensive research on a miniaturized warhead that could be delivered by medium range missiles. The report from the UN agency, comes as Israeli officials consider military action against Tehran and will raise questions over which avenues the International community and particularly the United States (which has imposed an arms ban and an almost total economic embargo on Iran), has left to pursue.

A recent poll conducted examines the reaction across MENA to the publication of the IAEA's report. For the poll, 2000 residents were interviewed from an online panel of 240,000 MENA residents.

Within the Middle East (and beyond), historical conflicts & disputes continue to influence neighboring countries perceptions of one another. In the case of Iran, North African Arab Countries generally enjoy closer relations due to less historical connection with the Persian state versus countries from the GCC & Levant. No more so is the view of Iran less complementary in the MENA region than in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Almost 1 in 3 KSA respondents (30%) would like to see military action taken against Iran should the UN not be satisfied with its explanation for the latest report (versus 23% across MENA). Almost half of KSA respondents feel the agency was correct to produce the report (45%, versus 40% across MENA) - despite the fact that only 33% of KSA respondents express confidence that the report is actually correct (versus 29% across MENA).

The relationship between the two countries has been tumultuous and can be attributed, partly, to the different sects that the majority of residents in both the countries follow. For decades, leading Sunni and Shi'ite Clerics in both countries deemed each other's religious beliefs as incorrect. Both countries are further divided by differing political ideology, Ayatollah Khomeini was opposed to monarchical regimes in Islam (as in Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries), arguing that only rule by a leading Islamic jurist would insure Sharia was properly followed. Oil is a constant source of tension between the two countries -Saudi Arabia is the largest producer in the world & Iran is the world's fourth largest oil producer (and OPEC's second-largest producer after Saudi).

· 57% of Saudi residents feel Iran is a danger to the stability of the region

· 39% would like to see economic sanctions imposed if the Iranian's do not respond, versus

· 37 % would like to see political sanctions imposed if the Iranian's do not respond, versus

· However, 31% would like to see military action taken (23% across MENA)

· 17% do not believe any action should be taken

By contrast, the view of Egyptian and North African (excluding Egypt) respondents is less hardline than their Saudi counterparts. One in three (35%) Egyptian & 28% of North African residents feel that Iran is a danger to the stability of the region. Only 15% (in both Egypt and North Africa) would like to see military action, should Iran not respond with a plausible explanation for the IAEA's report (compared to 31% of Saud respondents)

· 21% of Egyptian residents (25% in North Africa) would like to see economic sanctions imposed if the Iranian's do not respond (versus 39% in Saudi Arabia)

· 18% of Egyptian residents (20% in North Africa) would like to see political sanctions imposed if the Iranian's do not respond (versus 39% in Saudi Arabia)

· 45% (in both Egypt and North Africa) do not believe any action should be taken (compared to 17% in Saudi Arabia)

The majority of Saudi respondents believe that economic (54%) and political (51%) sanctions will have a positive effect on the region's stability. This is perhaps not so surprising when we consider the potential positive impact on Saudi oil revenues of a shortage of world oil & the fact that Iran has often derided the Kingdom for its close ties with the US. In Egypt & North Africa, where political turmoil and the impact of military rule and intervention is omnipresent, more residents state that economic & political sanctions will actually have a negative effect on stability in the wider region

· 32% of Egyptian residents believe economic sanctions will have a positive impact on stability in the region but 46% believe economic sanctions will have a negative impact on stability

· 30% of North African residents believe economic sanctions will have a positive impact on stability in the region but 46% believe economic sanctions will have a negative impact on stability

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the overwhelming majority of MENA residents believe that military action will have a negative effect on the region's stability (56%), however, there are clear differences between Egyptian, North African, Levant (Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq) and Saudi residents:

· 44% of Saudi residents believe that military action will have a negative effect on the region's stability, compared to 61% of Levant, 66% of North African and 68% of Egyptian residents.

However, across Saudi and Egypt and North Africa, opinion is largely in agreement when it comes to the level of support that Iran has in the Middle East

· 21% of Saudi residents believe Iran has some/a lot of support within the Middle East vs 52% believe Iran has little/no support

· 25% of North African residents believe Iran has some/a lot of support within the Middle East vs 59% believe Iran has little/no support

· 30% of North African residents believe Iran has some/a lot of support within the Middle East vs 55% believe Iran has little/no support

In the Levant countries, with their mixture of Shiaa and Sunni populations, opinion is more polarized on this subject - 41% of respondents believe Iran has some/ a lot of support, but a similar proportion (48%) believe Iran has little or no support within the Middle East.

The Iranian regime has been vocal in its support for embattled Syrian President Bashar Al Saad & his brutal crackdown and treatment of dissidents and protestors. It was widely reported that the Iranian's withdrew a portion of funding to the Palestinian separatist group Hamas, for their failure to hold rallies in the West Bank in support of Assad (Hamas is rumoured to receive 90% of its funding from Iran). Opinion across MENA is more uniform when it comes to the effect this support has had on Iran's relations with other countries in the Middle East

· 47% of Saudi residents believe relations have deteriorated because of Iran's support of Syrian regime

· 40% of Levant residents believe relations have deteriorated because of Iran's support of Syrian regime

· 40% of North African residents believe relations have deteriorated because of Iran's support of Syrian regime

· 37% of Egyptian residents believe relations have deteriorated because of Iran's support of Syrian regime

YouGov's custom research teams use in-depth Qualitative and Quantitative research techniques to give our clients an enhanced understanding of markets and consumers in the MENA region. Using both on-line and off-line approaches, we generate the insights that allow our clients to understand the region and generate new business opportunities.

For more information, please visit http://research.mena.yougov.com

Source: EzineArticles
Was this Helpful ?

 
0
 
0
 
Rate this Article
 vote(s)
Feedback
Print
Re-Publish

Article Tags:

Residents Believe

,

Believe Iran

,

Military Action

,

Middle East

,

Iran

,

Middle East Poll

,

Market Research

Rather than blame others, take personal responsibility to reduce our dependence on oil by using less of petroleum derived products. Repeatedly we are hearing about oil spills, rising prices on oil

By: Kyles Humphrey l News & Society > Energy l October 17, 2012 lViews: 234

Traditional analysis of debt and deleveraging (the process where households, corporations and governments are forced to reduce their overall debt) is often biased and incomplete. Opinions of how to

By: Ben Esget l News & Society > Economics l August 11, 2012 lViews: 296

In this high paced digital age, it's easy to become displaced from the people and places around you. However, it's important to support your community and your neighbors who live in it, and work hard

By: Monai Gupta l News & Society > Politics l July 11, 2012 lViews: 332

In a bold, unpredictable move, President Obama declared on Monday his desire to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for all but the highest-income earners, by which he means anyone richer than Al and Peg

By: Scott Spiegel l News & Society > Politics l July 10, 2012 lViews: 228

Bipartisanship isn't always sweet. Especially when it comes to the politics of sugar.

By: Larry M. Elkin l News & Society > Politics l July 09, 2012 lViews: 237

In a direct reflection of the financial market's currently unsteady nature, the wholesale energy markets tumbled to a four-month low at the end of May. The bearish market was thanks to the continuing

By: Graham N Paul l News & Society > Energy l July 09, 2012 lViews: 222

While everyone is looking at the Euro Crisis and watching the news, perhaps they might not realize the quick escalation of events in the on-going Syrian Civil War. Okay so, let's discuss all this

By: Lance Winslowl News & Society > Internationall June 14, 2012 lViews: 209

I visit the UNHCR web site, as well as those of other aid agencies, and as a journalist I am always sad that (a) so many people in the world are still being turned into refugees, and (b) my

By: Mike X Leel News & Society > Internationall June 12, 2012 lViews: 171

Cameroon as you may know or not know is a rather small, but rich country in terms of cultural, climatic, and biodiversity like the size of San Francisco. It's a country with a unique history and

By: Alomboh Pefite Geofreyl News & Society > Internationall June 10, 2012 lViews: 157

The backbone of British diplomatic assistance for the Jewish nation was the 1917 Balfour Declaration, by which British Foreign Secretary Lord Balfour his state's assistance of the development of a

By: Michael M Rankl News & Society > Internationall June 06, 2012 lViews: 154

The recognition of the State of Palestine by UNESCO is considered a major accomplishment for Palestinians. 2 in 3 respondents (66%) feel this recognition will have a positive impact on their lives -

By: Anthony M Smithl News & Society > Internationall June 06, 2012 lViews: 180

Taliban is regarded as an idea; which means that truly confronting the Taliban means confronting their ideology. The idea behind the Taliban is something like this: America and Israel are evil, and

By: Ilya Shambatl News & Society > Internationall June 04, 2012 lViews: 212

Discuss this Article

comments powered by Disqus