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Poll says majority in state support force against Iran

MOBILE (AP) — A poll of Alabamians found deepening concerns about Iran, with more than half willing to support the use of military force if other means fail to resolve the standoff over nuclear development.

The survey asked 404 Alabamians if they would support or oppose the use of American military force to stop Iran's development of nuclear weapons if diplomacy and economic sanctions fail. It found 52 percent supported the use, 30 percent opposed it, and 18 percent were undecided or didn't know.

The University of South Alabama Polling Group conducted the survey Oct. 29 through Nov. 1 for the Press-Register in Mobile.

It has a sampling error margin of plus or minus 5 percentage points, and the results, published Sunday, are similar to a nationwide poll released last week by Zogby International.

Iran's leaders say they are pursuing nuclear power only for peaceful purposes, but President Bush remains skeptical and recently warned that a nuclear-armed Iran could lead to World War III.

The Alabama survey found many adults are concerned about the Middle Eastern country developing nuclear weapons. Two-thirds said they were "very concerned," and one-fourth said they were "somewhat concerned." Only 4 percent said they are "not concerned at all."

In the survey, 65 percent said they were not confident that economic sanctions announced by the Bush administration would work, but 58 percent said they were confident in the Bush administration's ability to handle the situation in Iran.

"Our predisposition is to think of our leaders as competent and capable and trustworthy," poll director Keith Nicholls said.

When asked who should take the lead in dealing with Iran regarding nuclear power, 59 percent said the United Nations and 33 percent said the United States.

In the survey, the adults were asked which party they identify with on national politics. The Republican Party led 43 percent to 23 percent for the Democratic Party. The remaining 34 percent of those surveyed answered other parties or did not know.

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Information from: Press-Register, www.al.com/mobileregister

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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