Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Britain Rejects Sending Troops to Iran

Angus Reid:
Many Britons believe their government should not participate in any military effort against Iran, according to a poll by YouGov released by Sky News. 67 per cent of respondents think Britain should refuse to send troops if the United States decides to take action against Iran. READ MORE

Britain committed troops to both the war on terrorism in Afghanistan and the United States-led coalition effort in Iraq. In his address to the U.S. Congress in September 2001, U.S. president George W. Bush declared, "America has no truer friend than Great Britain."

After being branded as part of an "axis of evil" by Bush in January 2002, Iran has contended that its nuclear program aims to produce energy, not weapons. In June 2005, former Tehran mayor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won Iran’s presidential election in a run-off over Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani with 61.6 per cent of all cast ballots.

In July, the five permanent members of the United Nations (UN) Security Council agreed on a resolution which calls for Iran to suspend uranium enrichment before the end of August, or face the threat of sanctions. Iran ignored the deadline.

On Sept. 11, British prime minister Tony Blair discussed the situation, saying, "I think for a president of a country to say they want to wipe another country off the face of the earth and at the same time he’s trying to acquire a nuclear weapons capability—if we don’t get worried about that, future historians will raise a few questions about us and our judgement."

Polling Data

If the United States decides to take military action against Iran, Iraq’s neighbour to the East, and asks for Britain to send troops to support the American action, how should Britain’s government respond?

Britain should agree to send troops


Britain should refuse to send troops


Don’t know


Source: YouGov / Sky News
Methodology: Online interviews with 2,131 British adults, conducted from Sept. 4 to Sept. 7, 2006. No margin of error was provided.