Americans Consider Iran to Be U.S.'s Greatest Enemy, Poll Shows

Gallup's World Affairs survey puts China as second on list of 'greatest enemies,' with North Korea a distant third; Republicans more likely to cite Iran than Democrats.

Americans most frequently identify Iran as being the United States' greatest enemy, a Gallup poll released on Monday indicated.

According to the data, Iran topped the list of the biggest enemy to the U.S. with 32 percent of respondents, up from the 25 percent who selected Iran in a 2011 survey.


China is a relatively close second with 24 percent, and North Korea a distant third at 10 percent.

Gallup's World Affairs poll was conducted February 2-5, using a random sample of 1,029 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

The poll also revealed that U.S. Republicans were more likely to cite Iran as the country's greatest enemy than Democrats. On the other side, Democrats are more likely to mention Afghanistan as the United States' greatest enemy.


A growing tendency to name Iran as the United States' biggest enemy over the years has been running parallel to a growing global concern with Tehran's nuclear program, and with a recent preoccupation with the possibility of an Israeli attack on the Islamic Republic.

Poll results came after, earlier Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama's National Security Advisor Tom Donilon culminated his visit to Israel, one which likely centered on Israel demand that stronger actions be taken to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons capabilities.

A statement released by the White House indicated that the top advisor discussed the "full range of security issues of mutual concern" during his meetings with Israeli leadership.

It was also released that Obama would be hosting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House on March 5.