State of Iran Survey Series (Dec 2018 wave)

As almost one year has passed since President Trump’s decision on abrogating the Iran nuclear deal, we would like to attract your attention to IranPoll’s new wave in the “State of Iran” survey series conducted among a representative sample of Iranians on December 2018. The “State of Iran” survey series is designed to track the trends regarding Iranian people’s attitudes toward the foreign policy, nuclear deal, and Iran’s state of economy.

The survey shows that while vast majority of Iranians continue saying that Iran’s economy is bad and that it is getting worse, there are slight signs of improvements in the trend (Q1-2 and Slides 7-8). Keeping up with the previous trend, increasing majority say that the nuclear deal has not yet been able to improve the living condition of ordinary Iranians (Q6 and Slide 14). In addition, Iranians are becoming less confident that other P5+1 countries will live by the terms of the JCPOA (Q9 and Slide 10). They also blame European countries for moving too slow to meet their obligations under JCPOA (Q10-11 and Slides 11-12).

Meantime JCPOA’s popularity decline has finally plateaued in its all-time-low, and a stable majority of Iranians support it even after knowing what in reality it can offer (Q5 and Slide 16). Even under the pressure of looming conflict with West, majority of Iranians keep believing that it is possible to find common ground for peaceful coexistence with West (Q24 and Slide 18). This optimistic view towards possibility for peace, has been a stable trend over years of IranPoll’s opinion polling in Iran.

For Dec 2018 wave, telephone interviews of 1,017 Iranians were done on December 4–12, 2018. The margin of error was +/- 3.1%. It was a nationally representative survey using our standard probabilistic sampling as detailed here.


MAIN FINDINGS:

Below please find the results of this survey in greater detail.

  • The frequency tables of survey results are available here.

  • The PowerPoint slides highlighting some of the survey results are available here.

MEDIA COVERAGE:

Below are links to the articles covering this poll:

Iran Social Survey (ISS)

From November 6 to December 29, 2016, IranPoll conducted a nationally representative survey with a sample size of 5,005 for Princeton University using our standard probabilistic sampling as detailed here. The results of this survey are published here, and the full PDF report is also available here.

The data were collected as a part of Iran Social Survey (ISS). IranPoll interviewers for ISS project asked respondents about civil society participation, household usage of state social services, self-identification across ethnic or language groups, and family demographics including parents and grandparents’ occupational histories.

The scholars from Princeton University and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) who were in charge of this study conducted a number of quality controls on the data collected for them by IranPoll. They concluded in their final report (page 24):

Recent technological advances have afforded social scientists new opportunities to monitor the design and implementation of survey questions, participate in fieldwork, and improve various quality control mechanisms, such as listening to a sample of recorded interviews. […]

Importantly, self-reported demographic and turnout data, as described above, match figures found in the Iranian census and released by the Ministry of Interior. Falsification techniques, such as calculating the percentage of matching interviews, were applied to the data as an additional check after the survey data was initially collected.

On Feb 4, 2018, one of the scholars in charge of the project from Princeton University published further details about the quality control techniques they utilized to test IranPoll data on his Twitter account available here. The scholar concluded:

We took advantage of existing techniques to ensure we could trust the data: for example, we listened to a random sample of anonymized interviews to gauge the comfort level of respondents. We tested different terms to ensure the reliable measurement of important concepts. […]

We used this technique (percentMatch) after we conducted our own survey with @IranPoll. Here is what we found: a normal distribution, zero interviews with a maximum percent match of 85%, 45 interviews (<1%) with a maximum percent match over 80%.

IranPoll is proud that our collected data satisfied the scientific standards and quality control techniques conducted by these scholars.

Below are three images from the report and the result of the “percentMatch” technique as published on Twitter (mentioned above):

University of Maryland quality control report on data collected by IranPoll

On January 16–24, 2018, IranPoll conducted a nationally representative survey for the University of Maryland CISSM using our standard probabilistic sampling as detailed here. The initial results of this survey were published here.

Since then, University of Maryland CISSM scholars have conducted several quality control tests on the survey data IranPoll collected for them and evaluated the data quality in detail through multiple measures.

The results of these tests were published on July 2018 as an appendix to the main study’s full report. Full report is available on University of Maryland CISSM’s website accessible here. The detailed methodology appendix is also available here as a PDF.

IranPoll is proud that our collected data satisfied the scientific standards on every quality control test conducted by the University of Maryland CISSM scholars.

The quality control tests conducted on the survey data and their summary results are presented here:

  • Comparison with official data:

    • University of Maryland scholars concluded: “In general, there is a close match between the figures of this survey and the most recent official census conducted by the Statistical Center of Iran in 2016.”

  • Comparison with other credible sources:

    • University of Maryland scholars concluded: “There was a close match between percentage of respondents who say they follow the news programs of BBC Persian and the viewership estimates provided by BBC Persian itself.

  • Percent Match Technique for data falsification detection:

    • University of Maryland scholars concluded: “The Percent Match technique showed no evidence of data fabrication in this survey. The outcome was a normal distribution. There were zero interviews with a maximum percent match of 85%, and only 4 interviews (0.5%) with a maximum percent match of 75%.

  • Interview Length Analysis:

    • University of Maryland scholars concluded: “In another attempt to check for falsification and other irregularities, we compared the length of each interview and the time each respondent took to answer each question and compared it to the average interview length and question answer time. We were looking for patterns and anomalies that might indicate respondents were giving rapid rote answers or struggling to understand the questions. This exercise did not expose any particular irregularity.

  • Sensitive Question Analysis.

    • University of Maryland scholars concluded: “To assess the likelihood that respondents held back their own true opinions and, instead, provided answers in line with positions articulated in Iranian state-owned news media, CISSM assessed what proportion of the sample consistently provided responses to politically sensitive questions that were in line with the stated positions of the Iranian government. Only 1.9% of the respondents provided answers that are systematically and fully in line with stated positions of the Iranian government. Almost everyone (98.1%) gave at least one response that is directly at odds with positions articulated in Iranian state-owned news media.

Iranian Attitudes on JCPOA pre-Trump Announcement

Considering President Trump’s decision on withdrawing United States from Iran nuclear deal, we would like to attract your attention to a survey IranPoll conducted among a representative sample of Iranians in the middle of April 2018.

The survey was designed to track the trends on some of the previously asked questions regarding Iranian people’s attitudes toward the nuclear deal and Iran’s state of economy.

The survey shows that an increasing majority of Iranians are saying that Iran’s economy is bad and that it is getting worse. And increasing majority also say that the nuclear deal has not yet been able to improve the living condition of ordinary Iranians. These perceptions have taken a toll both on President Rouhani and the JCPOA’s popularity in Iran. While both still enjoy a majority support; support for both is at an all times low.

Iranians almost unanimously say that they have no confidence in the United States to live by the terms of the nuclear agreement and think that because of US pressures, European countries have been hesitant to trade and invest in Iran. Confidence in other P5+1 countries to uphold the deal has also dropped since Jan. 2018.

In response to a question asking what Iran should do if the United States violates the agreement, a growing majority say that Iran should retaliate by restarting the aspects of its nuclear program that it had suspended as a result of the JCPOA.

Telephone interviews of 1,003 Iranians were done April 13–17, 2018. The margin of error was +/- 3.1%. It was a nationally representative survey using our standard probabilistic sampling as detailed here.

 

Main Findings:

Below please find the results of this survey in greater detail. Also, the PDF version of this survey is available here.

 

Media Coverage:

Below are links to the articles covering this poll:

Iranian Public Opinion after the Protests

University of Maryland CISSM has published its most recent study based on another nationally representative survey 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.

The survey was conducted a week after the protests and its results were made public at the Atlantic Council (Washington DC) on Friday, Feb. 2. 

The survey covers a wide range of issues, including the recent protests, Iran’s regional involvements, attitudes toward the JCPOA and its future, and current political and economic state of affairs in Iran.

Telephone interviews of 1,002 Iranians were done January 16–24, 2018. The margin of error was +/- 3.1%. It was a nationally representative survey using our standard probabilistic sampling as detailed here.

 

Main Findings:

The results of this survey as presented at the Atlantic Council are provided below. The detailed frequency tables of the poll are available here.

 

 

Media Coverage:

Below are links to the articles covering this poll:

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: