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Hot water
Iran and US after Iraq

May 9, 2003
The Iranian

Results of a joint poll (26 April-3 May, 2003) by and on U.S. and Iran relations after the war in Iraq. Readers were asked to choose one of the following statements that best describes your thoughts:

Of the 826 people who voted,

* 7% believe: The swift fall of Saddam Hussein's regime has terrified the Islamic Republic. Iran's leaders will finally agree to direct talks with the U.S., exchange ambassadors, stop support for anti-Israeli groups like Hamas, and roll back nuclear projects -- anything to avert a confrontation with the U.S. that would result in their certain demise.

* 27% believe: The Islamic Republic cannot be reformed into a secular democracy. Iran's medieval-minded rulers are unwilling or incapable of giving in to people's demands for freedom, democracy and the separation of mosque and state. The U.S. should put more pressure on the Islamic Republic, help pro-democracy forces, and take military action if necessary.

* 45% believe: Iranians must solve their domestic problems by themselves. The pace of change has been slow, but the domestic and foreign policies of the Islamic Republic have become more reasonable. Direct U.S. intervention, especially military action, would kill the reform movement and send the message that the nation's destiny is not in the hands of its people, but in Washington's.

* 12% believe: Whether anyone likes it or not, removing the Islamic Republic will be on top of America's "to-do" list, once the situation in Iraq has stabilized. Washington sees the Islamic Republic as a sworn enemy of Israel and determined on building nuclear weapons. The Bush Administration will go to war against Iran while it still has the support of the American public.

* 8% believe: None of the above. Don't know what will or should happen in Iran-U.S. relations.

* Invalid votes: 1%

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