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Online polls about Iran's nuclear program -- proof of what?
Omid Memarian considers an online poll which was removed by the authorites in Iran as some sort of valid evidence that Iranians don't really support their nuclear program. This has been a sort of "holy grail" talking point by the hardliners in Washington who have tried very hard to portray the Iranian government as being isolated on the issue and pressing the matter contrary to the wishes of the people of Iran. So naturally they're bound to play-up this poll.
Aside from questions about the polls validity (the poll had no system to prevent multiple answers from the same person, or to even limit it to participants from Iran) I've written about the pathological condition known as Exilitis before. One definite sympton is the tendency to cherry pick information that supports a particular fantasy and to ignore the rest of the (contrary) information which may be staring you in the face. So for example on the question of popular support for the nuclear program, too bad the victims of Exilitis are so ready to ignore the many other polls from reputable sources that have reached the exact opposite conclusion. Lets remember for example that recent polls concluded that a significant portion of Iranians actually support the manufacture of nuclear weapons, and as such are more hardline than the regime itself on that subject. (Nor can it be said that these polls were the result of government coersion -- note that as low as 1/3 of the respondents actually voiced the preferred gov't line on many other issues, so they felt perfectly free to disagree on many points.)
This of course is quite logical. Consider a thought experiment in which the roles were reversed: The Iranians were daily threatening to bomb the US and were killing American scientists, in an effort to force the US into giving up a peaceful, IAEA-monitored nuclear technology program. What would the reaction of the average American be? Will he say "Oh gee, maybe we should do as the Iranians demand" or would he be ever more nationalistic about asserting this country's rights? Now why assume that Iranians react any differently?