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WASHINGTON, Oct 5 (Reuters) – Over three-quarters of Americans think the United States should pursue negotiations to prevent Iran from obtaining or developing a nuclear weapon, according to a survey taken by the nonpartisan Eurasia Group Foundation last month to be released on Wednesday.

The survey asked 2,002 American adults between Sept. 2 and 8 about U.S. foreign policy and the global role of America. It found 78.8% of respondents, an increase from last year, think Washington should continue to pursue talks to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon in the near future.

Broken down by party affiliation, the survey found that 88.0% of Democrats supported such negotiations, as did 76.9% of independents and 71.8% of Republicans after the survey informed them the United States withdrew from the original deal in 2018.

Asked last year about the nuclear deal, 62.6% overall said the Washington should revive nuclear negotiations.

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“More than 70% of Republicans believe the U.S. should continue to pursue nuclear negotiations with Iran, suggesting elected leaders and candidates who vocally criticize the negotiations might be out of step with many of their voters,” said the report, which was reviewed by Reuters before its Wednesday publication.

Many Republican senators detest the nuclear pact and some of U.S. President Joe Biden’s fellow Democrats oppose it.

Indirect talks to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement, which limited Iran’s uranium enrichment activity to make it harder for Tehran to develop nuclear arms in return for the lifting of economic sanctions, have stalled.

Then-U.S. President Donald Trump ditched the deal in 2018, saying it did not do enough to curb Iran’s nuclear activities, ballistic missile program and regional influence, and reimposed U.S. sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy.

The survey for the first time asked whether respondents were concerned about nuclear weapons, as China has grown its arsenal and Russia has threatened their use in the war with Ukraine. More than 74% said they were concerned.

Washington has expressed concern about China’s nuclear buildup, and Russian President Vladimir Putin – whose nation has the largest nuclear arsenal – has repeatedly warned the West that any attack on Russia could trigger a nuclear response. Read full story

The survey also found that:

– 39.8% think the United States responded well to Russia’s war in Ukraine while 24.9% think it did not, with 35.3% neutral;

– 76.7% think Finland and Sweden joining NATO will benefit the United States, while 23.3% think it will not;

– 69% responded negatively when asked if the United States should keep selling weapons to Saudi Arabia and 31% positively;

– 52.6% responded positively when asked if the United States should continue selling arms to Israel and 47.4% negatively.

The Eurasia Group Foundation, which developed the online survey carried out by SurveyMonkey, is legally separate from the Eurasia Group political risk consultancy.

(Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis and Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)

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