The vast majority of Americans support President Joe Biden administration's efforts to engage in nuclear diplomacy with Iran, a poll has shown.
The annual survey by the Eurasia Group Foundation found that 79 per cent of US respondents believe Washington should “continue to pursue negotiations to prevent Iran from obtaining or developing a nuclear weapon in the near future”.
Former president Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) deal in 2018, calling it the “worst deal in history”.
The deal rolled back international sanctions on Tehran after the Iranian government agreed to scale back its nuclear programme.
But Mr Trump represents a small fraction of those within his Republican Party who do not want to engage in nuclear diplomacy with Tehran, with 71.8 per cent of respondents who identified as Republicans in favour of continuing negotiations.
The survey suggests “elected leaders and candidates who vocally criticise the negotiations might be out of step with many of their voters”, the Eurasia Group said.
Earlier this year, 49 out of 50 Republican senators said they would oppose a return to the JCPOA. No Republicans in Congress supported former president Barack Obama's 2015 agreement with Tehran.
Support for a return to negotiations is even higher among Democratic (88 per cent) and independent (76.9 per cent) voters. Those aged 60 years and older registered the most support for a return to the deal.
The foundation surveyed 2,002 voting-age adults from September 2-8.
Mr Biden's administration supports a return to the 2015 nuclear deal, but negotiations between Washington and Tehran remain stalled.
The White House has maintained that it continues to seek a return to the deal, even as it condemns Iran providing drones to Russia for use during the war in Ukraine, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi's apparent Holocaust denialism and the regime's crackdown on protests after the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody.
“We have concerns with Iran; we have said that before. But the JCPOA is the best way for us to address the nuclear problem that we see,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Thursday.
“As long as we believe pursuing JCPOA talks is in the US national security interest, we will do so.”