Media News - Friday, July 06, 2012
Iran's state broadcaster scrapped an opinion poll after it found that most people wanted to suspend the country’s nuclear programme in return for a lifting of Western sanctions. The survey, by the broadcaster IRIB, appeared designed to show a united front in the face of a European Union boycott of Iranian oil that came into effect on Sunday. But the gambit turned into a spectacular own goal after two days of voting when IRIB’s news channel screened results showing 63 per cent of respondents in favour of suspending uranium enrichment in exchange for the gradual easing of sanctions. Television bosses quickly stopped the poll and replaced it with one seeking viewers’ opinions on an Iranian parliament proposal to close the Strait of Hormuz, a vital waterway in the Gulf that is the passageway for about a fifth of the world’s oil supplies. That too appeared to backfire when 89 per cent of respondents opposed closing the strait. It was subsequently replaced by another survey about the popular Iranian football club, Persepolis. It is not clear how many people participated in the poll, although it was clear that the fiasco touched a raw nerve when IRIB claimed in a report that the results had been hacked by the BBC, an accusation the corporation denies. The Iranian broadcaster insisted the true figure supporting uranium enrichment suspension was only 24 per cent while the rest backed retaliatory measures. The original results showed only 20 per cent supporting retaliation and 17 per cent wanting a continuation of the current policy of “resistance” to sanctions. The EU sanctions, coupled with a new US embargo punishing nations that continue to buy Iranian crude, threaten to cripple the country’s economy. (The Daily Telegraph)
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