3 charts that show the West is at odds over how to deal with the 'threat' of Iran

Levels of support were far higher in UK and Germany than the US, a poll found

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The Independent Online

The nuclear deal with Iran has been hailed as opening a "new chapter" of peaceful relations but not everyone in the West is convinced that the Islamic Republic's threat is over.

Opinions are deeply divided between three of the countries that sat around the negotiating table, research by YouGov has found.

While most British people supported the historic agreement between Tehran and six other nations in Vienna last week, 70 per cent of UK respondents believed that Iran’s programme was a threat to Britain and that figure was even higher in the US.

In Germany the outlook was broadly more positive, with a fifth of people classing Iran as a "friendly" state, and having the highest rate of confidence that it could not create a nuclear weapon even if it wanted to.

The deal would lift economic sanctions on Iran in return for restrictions on activities some nations fear could enable the Islamic Republic to create a nuclear bomb.

Pollsters surveyed attitudes in Britain, Germany and the US – three of the countries around the negotiating table – to assess continuing anxiety over the issue.

They found that only 43 per cent of Americans supported the deal, with 30 per cent opposing, and more than a third of respondents in the US classing Iran as an “enemy” to their country.

That figure was only six per cent in the UK and 13 per cent in Germany, who dominantly classed Tehran as “unfriendly” or said they were unsure about the status of relations.

All three countries were sceptical that Iran will be unable to acquire a nuclear weapon, despite Barack Obama’s assertion that “every pathway to a nuclear weapon is cut off”.

Respondents in his country were the most concerned about Iran breaking the agreement, with two thirds of Americans saying they would approve US military action if evidence of nuclear weapons development is found.

Only 44 per cent of Britons and 37 per cent of Germans said the same.

Iran has agreed to reduce its uranium stockpile by 98 per cent for 15 years, to redesign a controversial reactor and allow international monitors to inspect its development facilities in exchange for the lifting of sanctions worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

UN arms embargoes will also continue for the next few years but that was not enough for conservative commentators in the US and the Israeli government, where Benjamin Netanyahu criticised the deal for failing to require that Iran stops threatening Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tells the UN General Assembly about Iran's nuclear programme

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the highest religious authority in Iran, told supporters that US policies in the region were “180 degrees” opposed to Iran's in a speech punctuated by chants of “death to America” and “death to Israel” in Tehran on Saturday.

The UN Security Council unanimously agreed the terms, although they must still be approved by the US Congress.

YouGov questioned almost 1,800 adults of a range of ages, genders and political affiliations in each country for the research.