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Iran is biggest threat to US: Poll

Americans believe Iran poses greatest danger to the US, followed by China, Iraq and South Korea, as per Pew poll.

india Updated: Feb 08, 2006 10:47 IST

Americans believe Iran poses the greatest danger to the US, followed by China, Iraq and South Korea, according to a poll by the Pew Research Centre for the People and the Press.

Iran's nuclear programme, which the West suspects is weapons-oriented, is considered by far the biggest threat to the US by 65 per cent of 1,502 people surveyed between February 1-5.

Seventy-two per cent believe that Israel would be the target of Iranian nuclear weapons should they come into being, while 66 per cent believe Europe and the US would most likely fall under the mushroom cloud.

And 53 per cent thought the US was dedicating too much of its time to the Iranian nuclear issue; 72 per cent said the UN should take the lead and 51 per cent, the European Union.

North Korea's nuclear programme merited a 60 per cent danger rating, followed by China as an emerging power (47 per cent), leftist leaders in Latin America (24 per cent) and Russian authoritarianism (22 per cent).

Iran took centre stage as the country posing the biggest threat to the US by 27 per cent of those surveyed, triple the number who thought so in October (nine per cent).

China was considered a threat by 20 per cent, Iraq by 17 per cent and North Korea by 11 per cent.

Interestingly, the US itself took fifth place as a threat unto itself by five per cent of Americans, according to the Pew poll, which had a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.

First Published: Feb 08, 2006 09:50 IST