It has emerged that President Trump approved military strikes against Iran before pulling back at the last minute when planes were in the air and ships were in position. U.S. military and diplomatic officials were expecting strikes against several Iranian radar and missile sites in response to the downing of an RQ-4 Global Hawk surveillance drone over the Strait of Hormuz in the early hours of Thursday morning. Yesterday it appeared Trump was keen on de-escalation, with the president saying the shoot down could be attributed to a “loose and stupid” Iranian officer and the president did not believe the airstrikes were a proportionate response.
How does the U.S. public feel about a military clash with Iran? As Statista’s Niall McCarthy notes, after the two tanker attacks in the Strait of Hormuz last week but before the drone shootdown, YouGov polled Americans about their thoughts on military action.
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If the U.S. government’s claims that Iran was behind the tanker attack are true, 47 percent of U.S. adults would somewhat or strongly support military action while 31 percent would be somewhat or strongly opposed. Unsurprisingly, the polling uncovered a deep partisan divide with 77 percent of Republicans backing a military strike compared to just 31 percent of Democrats.