Iranians 'back Obama' over 'unpopular' Romney

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Iranians 'back Obama' over 'unpopular' Romney

Iranians 'back Obama' over 'unpopular' Romney
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Few places around the world are likely to be more directly affected by the outcome of the US election than Iran.

Under Obama the US has cranked up its own sanctions over Tehran’s suspected nuclear arms programme, on top of other international measures.

In in the Iranian capital they are watching the election closely. Those questioned on the streets tended to back the incumbent over his challenger.

“I think Romney’s policies are more aggressive. To some extent, it’ll be to our benefit if Obama is elected again,” said one man.

“Obama or Romney? It won’t make a big difference,” said another, before adding: “Well, Romney has more radical views, and takes more radical action.”

Mitt Romney talks of the need for a real, credible military option against Iran – and strongly backs Israel.

“I think Obama might have more backing among Iranians compared to Romney,” said political commentator Amir Mousavi. “As Romney frequently talks of conflict with the Islamic Republic of Iran, insists on supporting the Zionist regime, and ignores the rights of the Iranian nation, I don’t think he has any popularity among Iranians.”

In their foreign policy TV debate Obama and Romney appeared to agree that a military strike over Iran’s nuclear programme should be a “last resort”.

They would not be drawn on what they would do if Iran’s sworn enemy Israel launched an attack.

The Iranian nuclear issue is certain to be one of the top foreign policy challenges for the new president.

Tehran insists its nuclear agenda is purely peaceful.