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41 pct of Canadians, 59 pct of Americans back Iran strike: poll

A poster of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini is seen next to bank of centrifuges in what is described by Iranian state television as a facility in Natanz, in this still image taken from video released February 15, 2012. REUTERS/IRIB Iranian TV via Reuters TV

OTTAWA: Four in 10 Canadians support a pre-emptive military strike against Iran's nuclear program, according to a poll published Monday.

Canadians surveyed by polling firm Ipsos Reid for the Monk Debates ranked a nuclear-armed Iran as the third greatest global threat, after terrorism and famine.

Americans saw it as their second-greatest concern, behind terrorism, with nearly six in 10 Americans (59 percent) supporting a pre-emptive strike against Iran, compared to 41 percent of Canadians.

Monk Debates will host next month a discussion on how the world should respond to Iran's nuclear ambitions.

The talks organizer Rudyard Griffiths told the daily Globe and Mail: "We're not Americans, we don't have a history of using military power to engage with global problems.

"But in this case there seems to be some more hard-headed realism... maybe Canadians are becoming more comfortable about using their military as a tool to engage in the world."

Ipsos Reid surveyed 1,007 Canadians and 1,002 Americans in the online poll, which is considered accurate within a margin of 3.5 percentage points.

 

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