4th Annual Europe – Iran Forum Expert Survey: The United States will re-impose sanctions lifted under JCPOA if Iran refuses to accept President Trump’s demands

A survey taken among a sample of business, government, and civil society leaders, most of whom attended the 4th annual Europe -Iran Forum in Zurich, Switzerland, reveals that most of the respondents anticipate the United States to re-impose the sanctions that were lifted under the nuclear agreement (JCPOA), if Iran refuses to agree to President Trump’s demands. Also, a majority of both Iranian and non-Iranian expert respondents agree that if the sanctions are re-imposed, European companies would become averse to trading and investing in Iran.

This survey which was conducted by IranPoll in partnership with Bourse & Bazaar also shows that overwhelming majorities of both Iranian and non-Iranian expert respondents agree with the dominant view among the Iranian public that multinational companies are moving slower than they could to trade and invest in Iran primarily out of their fear of the United States. Also, while majorities of both Iranian and non-Iranian expert respondents voice confidence that Iran as well as Europe will live up to their obligations under the deal, most say that they do not have such a confidence in the United States.

On another topic, while both Iranian and non-Iranian expert respondents say that Iran’s political system is very or somewhat stable, most do not regard Iran’s economy to be globally competitive.

Main Findings:

The results of this survey were presented at the 4th annual Europe – Iran Forum. The forum agenda is available here.

PowerPoint slides presented in the forum are available here.

Iranians Support Greater Economic Engagement with Other Countries

Large majorities of Iranians say growing trade and business tides between Iran and other countries is mostly beneficial for Iran and believe that Iran would mostly benefit from allowing multinational companies to freely compete with Iranian companies. Large majorities also think that Iran should make it easier for multinational companies to operate inside Iran.

Multinational companies, however, face many challenges in Iran. A majority of Iranians think that the government should maintain tariffs that protect Iranian industries. As long as such tariffs are maintained, it is going to be unlikely for the multinational companies to be able to compete with Iranian companies on price. 

Also, most Iranian households use consumer products that are produced in Iran and multinational companies will have to work extra hard to convince Iranians to switch. This is going to be particularly challenging considering the fact that Iranians consider most products that are sold in Iran as European-made to be counterfeits.

Another important challenge multinational companies face is a perception among Iranians that multinational companies do not take the interests of the Iranian people into account and are no well acquainted with the needs and tastes of the Iranian people. To overcome this challenge, multinational companies need to consider and study the needs and tastes of their Iranian consumers.

Finally, while Iranians continue to support the JCPOA and have confidence that Europeans will live up to their obligations under the agreement, an increasing majority indicate that they are not confident that the United States will live up to its end of the bargain. Iranians also say that multinational companies have moved slower than they could to invest in Iran primarily out of their fear of the United States.

The survey was conducted in partnership with Bourse&Bazaar among a representative urban sample of 700 Iranians. The margin of error for this study was +/-3.7. The fieldwork for this conducted in August 2017.

Main Findings:

The results of this survey were presented at the 4th annual Europe – Iran Forum. The forum agenda is available here.

The detailed full results of the survey are available here. The PowerPoint slides presented in the forum are available here.

Media Coverage:

Below are links to the articles covering this poll:

Iranians Primarily Buy Health & Grooming Products Produced in Iran

IranPoll’s recent brand tracking study reveals that most Iranian households continue to use health and grooming products that are produced in Iran.

A majority of Iranians believe most of the products that are sold as European-made in Iran’s market are in fact counterfeits and lack the quality and standards of products that are sold in Europe. When asked whether the local presence of European producers would increase, decrease, or not have any effect on people’s level of confidence in products that are sold as European-made, a majority say such a presence would increase their confidence. Iranians are also divided on whether or not European producers have a good understanding of the needs and tastes of the Iranian people.

The survey was conducted among a representative urban sample of 700 Iranians. The margin of error for this study was +/-3.7. The fieldwork for this conducted during the first two weeks of September, 2017. 

Survey results are available here.

Ramifications of Rouhani's Re-election

University of Maryland CISSM has published its most recent study based on three nationally representative surveys that were conducted in Iran by IranPoll for the University of Maryland. CISSM was responsible for designing the questionnaires, getting feedback on them from relevant policy experts and practitioners, performing the analysis, and putting together the final report. 

IranPoll fielded the first poll in Dec. 2016, the other in the middle of Iran’s presidential election campaigns in May 2017, and the third just recently after the soon after the terrorist attacks in Tehran. The first poll with a sample size of 1,015, was conducted May 8–11, 2017, a week before Iran’s presidential election. The other, with a sample size of 1,004, was conducted June 11–17, 2017, a week after the terror attacks in Tehran.

The study covers a wide range of issues. The study shows that an overwhelming majority of Iranians are likely to find a bill similar to the new sanctions bill that was just passed in the U.S. house of representative to be at odds with U.S. obligations under the nuclear agreement (see Q13). It also shows that while Iranians are still optimistic about the nuclear deal their country negotiated with the P5+1 countries two years ago, they would support a form of retaliation if President Trump decides to abrogate the agreement.

The study looks at Iran’s May 2017 presidential election as well. It shows that Rouhani’s victory was not a given and that he could have faced a much stronger challenge if opponents behaved differently. The poll also covers other issues including Iran’s involvement in the conflicts in Syria and Iraq.

The detailed frequency table of the poll could be found here.

 

Main Findings:

The following charts have been produced by CISSM.

 

Live C-SPAN Coverage:

C-SPAN 3 is covering this poll live:

C-SPAN live Coverage

 

Media Coverage:

Below are links to the articles covering this poll:

Pre-election results (16 May 2017)

IranPoll is proud of providing the most accurate prediction of the outcome of Iran’s May 2017 presidential election. Our prediction from May 16, 2017 (3 days before the election), was published by The Economist about 20 hours before the initial official results were declared. 

On May 20, 2017, Iran's Ministry of Interior officially declared that Rouhani had won 57% and Raisi had won 38% of the cast ballots. Our prediction was less than 2 percentage points away from the officially declared results.

IranPoll is now releasing further polling results from the poll conducted on May 16, 2017 prior the Iranian presidential election. The study is based on a telephone poll among a representative sample of 1,007 Iranians. The margin of error is about +/- 3.09%.

Questions in this survey include:  

  • Q1. Please say the degree to which you have a favorable or an unfavorable view of:
    • A- Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf
    • B- Hassan Rouhani
    • C- Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi
    • D.  Eshagh Jahangiri
    • E. Mostafa Mirsalim
    • F. Mostafa Hashemi Taba
    • G. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
    • H- Mohammad Javad Zarif
    • I- General Qasem Soleymani
  • Q3. If the election was to be held tomorrow, which one of following candidates would you be most likely to vote for?
  • Q4. If only Rouhani and Raisi remain in the race, who would you vote for?
  • Q5. Now assume that Ghalibaf had remained and, instead, Raisi would have left the race in favor of Ghalibaf. Also assume that other candidates besides Rouhani and Ghalibaf would also leave the race. In that case, who would you have been most likely to vote for? Rouhani or Ghalibaf?
  • Q6.  Regardless of whether you are going to vote or not and your personal views about the candidates, which of the following candidates do you think will ultimately win?

RESULTS:

The full report with frequency tables is available in PDF form here

Post-election Analysis of Polling Accuracy

Like most polling agencies, majority of polls conducted by IranPoll is owned by clients. However, IranPoll did publicize two rounds of polling results before the Iranian 2017 presidential election which was held on May 19th 2017.

This short summary is aimed to analyze the accuracy of IranPoll’s latest publicly available polling results for that election, which was conducted on May 16th 2017, and was published in The Economist on May 19th 2017 available here.

The following graph is made by The Economist using IranPoll’s data:

The actual results of the presidential election as reported by the Iranian Ministry of Interior was 57.14% for Hassan Rouhani and 38.28% for Ebrahim Raisi.

As IranPoll’s presidential survey utilized probabilistic sampling, the margin of sampling error could be used to estimate prediction error in the results as followed:

  • Hassan Rouhani:         57.14% - 58.00% = -0.86%
  • Ebrahim Raisi:             38.28% - 36.40% = 1.88%

Considering poll’s margin of error of +-3.09%, the predicted results for both candidates fall in the margin of error. This shows IranPoll’s estimation were correct and accurate within the margin of sampling error.

While less commonly known the margin of sampling error does not apply to the spread between the candidates, and only to the percentage point estimates themselves. There are a number of metrics available for quantifying error in election poll estimates. However, in this short summary only the two simplest measures are used. These two same measures were utilized by the “American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR)” in analyzing the polling results of the United States’ 2016 presidential election. The result is published by AAPOR in a paper titled “A Primer on Pre-Election Polls” available here.

The first measure is the “absolute error” on the predicted vote margin which is always a positive number. This is computed as the absolute value of the margin (%Rouhani-%Raisi) in the poll minus the same margin (%Rouhani-%Raisi) in the certified vote.

In the case of IranPoll’s public results, the “absolute error” will be as followed:

“absolute error” = (58.0% - 36.4%) – (57.14% - 38.28%) = 2.74%

The second error measure used by AAPOR is the “signed error” on the projected vote margin. “Signed error” is calculated similar to the “absolute error” but does not take the absolute value and can be positive or negative. In the case of IranPoll’s public results, the “absolute error” and “signed error” remain the same.

As IranPoll continues to publicly make its election polls available, over years the results provided above could be utilized to analyze election polling accuracy in Iran further.

This summary is available in PDF form here.

Pre-election National Opinion Poll (April 2017)

IranPoll is releasing its first round of polling results in anticipation of the upcoming Iranian presidential election.

The study is based on a telephone poll conducted between April 11 and 14, 2017 among a representative sample of 1,005 Iranians. The margin of error is about +/- 3.09%.

Questions in this survey include:

  • Q1. Which of the following best describes your current level of income?
  • Q2. As compared to 4 years ago, has your family’s economic living situation improved, deteriorated, or remained roughly unchanged?
  • Q3. How good or bad is the current economic situation of our country?
  • Q4. Is the economic situation of our country getting better, getting worse, or has remained roughly unchanged?
  • Q5. To what degree President Rouhani has or has not been successful in resolving our country’s economic problems?
  • Q6. Do you think the economic situation of ordinary people has or has not improved as a result of the nuclear deal? [If it has, ask: very, somewhat, or only a little]
  • Q7. What is your opinion of:
    • Rouhani
    • Ahmadinejad
    • Ghalibaf
    • Raisi
    • Baghayi
    • Jahangiri
  • Q8. What is the most important issue facing our country that Iran’s next president should try to address? [Open-ended]
  • Q9. Notwithstanding who you will vote for in the upcoming election, which of the following figures do you think can better accomplish these goals if he were to become Iran’s next president?
  • Q10. How likely do you think it is that President Rouhani might lose in the upcoming presidential election?

Results:

The full report with frequency tables is available in PDF form here

    Graphs for the results are provided below:

    MEDIA COVERAGE:

    Below are links to the articles covering this poll: