There was a recent Gallup poll carried out in Iran which among other things it aimed to measure Iranian attitudes towards sanctions and the nuclear program.
Among other things it found that 63% of Iranian believe that the nuclear program should continue despite the sanctions.
Gallup is a very credible organization. I am sure they did a professional job.
At the same time I think it’s a credible question to ask whether those questioned in Iran could say what they really thought.
Imagine that you are live in what is fast becoming a totalitarian state. A blogger (Sattar Beheshti) gets tortured to death because he makes a facebook page criticizing government help for Lebanon. 15 reporters recently got arrested on trumped-up charges. Thousands of people were tortured in Tehran’s dreaded Kahrizak detention center after the 2009 elections. The regime even arrested some young people for staging a water fight because it was worried it could turn into a revolution.
Now imagine some unknown person calls you in your house. Someone who knows who you are because they have your number but you don’t know who they are. They say they are calling to survey your opinion from Gallup, but they could be anybody. They could be the Ministry of Intelligence or IRGC intelligence organization as well. How are you supposed to know?
They then ask you a question about whether you support continuing with the nuclear program despite the sanctions. At the back of your mind you know that this is something which the regime, the IRGC and the supreme leader has openly backed
How willing would you be to tell this unknown person that you contradict what is essentially current government policy?
I have no doubt that there are some people in Iran who back the government’s views.
However I think there is reason to questions the accuracy of the findings of this poll based on the fact that those questioned have genuine reason to fear the possible implications of saying what they really think.
What do you think?