Not a single one of the world powers negotiating a deal to lift international sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program held a favorable view of the Islamic Republic, quite the contrary, the results of a Pew Research Center poll released on Thursday showed the majority of people in these countries continued to view Iran in a negative light.
More than three quarters of U.S. respondents (76 percent) viewed Iran unfavorably, according to the poll, which was released about a week and a half shy of the deadline for the nuclear deal.
In France, Germany and the U.K., the European powers part of the so-called P5+1 group for nuclear talks, opinions were even more negative, at 81%, 71% and 62%, respectively.
Even in Russia and China, which many see as more keen to strike a nuclear deal, unfavorable views of Iran prevailed, at 44% compared to 34% favorable in Russia, and 61% perceiving Iran in an unfavorable light in China.
The unfavorable view among P5+1 countries reflected a global trend, in which Pakistan was the only nation polled where the majority of respondents (57%) held a favorable view of the country.
Globally, a median 58% of respondents showed an unfavorable view of the Islamic Republic, despite a push by ostensibly more moderate Iranian President Hassan Rouhani since his election two years ago to paint the country in a more positive light. Rouhani himself received low scores across the Middle East.
In Israel, a country Iran has called to “wipe off the map,” a full nine out of ten respondents said they viewed Iran unfavorably; only 5% viewed the Islamic Republic in a favorable light.
And while results were slightly more tempered elsewhere in the Middle East — save Jordan, where fully 89% viewed Iran negatively — the results were still skewed towards disfavor. In Turkey, for example. 64% saw Iran unfavorably, while in Lebanon the number was 58% and in the Palestinian territories, 57%.
Interestingly in Lebanon, opinions fell along religious lines, with nine out of ten Shia Muslims showing favorable attitudes towards Iran.