Poll: More than a quarter of Danes support war against Iran

Danish respondents more willing to send troops than respondents in US, UK

As tensions continue to mount over Iran’s nuclear programme, a recent YouGov poll shows that over a quarter of Danes support sending Danish troops into Iran.

According to the poll results, 27 percent of Danish respondents were to directly engage Iran militarily. That’s a higher percentage than respondents in the US, the UK, Germany, Norway and Finland. 

The poll results also revealed that more than three out of four Danes are convinced that Iran is working towards building nuclear weapons, despite its repeated assurances that its nuclear programme has peaceful aims.

“Since the fall of the [Berlin] Wall, Denmark has changed its foreign and security policies from being skeptical about military action to an activist course where it’s legitimate to use military force if serves Danish interests in preventing terrorism, as we see in Afghanistan, or a humanitarian purposes, as in Libya,” Peter Viggo Jakobsen, a lecturer at the Royal Danish Defence College (Forsvarsakademiet) told metroXpress newspaper.

Jakobsen pointed out that over 80 percent of Danes supported the country’s participation in the war against Libya.

“So in that sense, 27 percent is quite a  small number,” he said. “However, it would be a very risky undertaking to start a war in Iran, with its population of 50 million people. It would be a very ugly thing and it's not going to happen.”

Jakobsen said that the fact that Danes seem more willing to send troops into Iran than world powers like the US and the UK can be chalked up to a weariness of war in those countries.

“Americans and Britons know very well who would have to pull the heavy load,” he said. “While Denmark could simply send 200 soldiers to the field, they would have to send in thousands, suffering heavy casualties and bearing severe economic costs.”

The poll indicated that Americans were more supportive than their Danish counterparts when it came to other means of attacking Iran.

Some 56 percent of American respondents supported cyber attacks against Iran, compared to only 44 percent of Danish respondents, and 26 percent of Americans support assassinating Iranian nuclear scientists compared to 17 percent of Danes. The Americans were also slightly more supportive of bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities, with 44 percent expressing support compared to 37 percent of Danish respondents.

“A larger number of Americans support assassinations than Danes because it’s a traditional method in USA’s foreign policy but Danes are not accustomed to that idea,” Jakobsen said. “We have already seen cyber attacks against Iran’s atomic installations and a sting of killings. It’s a curse to become an atomic scientist in Iran at this particular point of time.”

More information on the poll is available here.