Bushehr - AP - 14.3.12
The Iranian reactor at Bushehr in October, 20120. Photo by AP
Text size

A majority of Americans would support military action against Iran if there were evidence that Tehran is building nuclear weapons, even if such action led to higher gasoline prices, a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed on Tuesday.

The poll showed 62 percent of Americans would back Israel taking military action against Iran for the same reasons.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll showed 56 percent of Americans would support U.S. military action against Iran if there were evidence of a nuclear weapon program. Thirty-nine percent of Americans opposed military strikes.

Asked whether they would back U.S. military action if it led to higher gasoline prices, 53 percent of Americans said they would, while 42 percent said they would not.

Earlier Tuesday, Iran rejected allegations it attempted to clean up radioactive traces possibly left by secret nuclear work at a key military site before granting UN inspectors permission to visit the facility.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told reporters in Tehran that the allegations were misleading and false, and insisted that such traces could not be cleaned up
.
Satellite images of Iran's Parchin military facility that circulated last week appeared to show trucks and earth-moving vehicles at the location. That set off assertions by diplomats, all nuclear experts accredited to the UN nuclear agency in Vienna, about a cleanup operation.

The diplomats said the crews at Parchin may be trying to erase evidence of a test of a small nuclear-weapon trigger. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the information on the record.

The assertions added to tensions surrounding Iran's controversial nuclear program, which the West fears is geared toward nuclear weapons-making but Tehran insists is for peaceful purposes.

Mehmanparast dismissed the diplomats' assertions.

"Those who are familiar with nuclear physics know that these comments are not remarkable in any way," he said. "This is mainly public speculation and not based on logic."

"Basically, nuclear military activities are not cleanable, at all," Mehmanparast said. He did not directly address the satellite photos but stressed that Parchin has been continuing its "conventional military" activities and operations.