Poll: Iranian opinion of U.S. down five points since last year

He promised you change, didn’t he?

Few Iranians have favorable opinions of the United States, a view that has changed little since the election of an American president who has expressed a willingness to talk to Tehran, a rare poll of Iranian citizens showed Monday…

Just 29 percent of Iranians said they have favorable views of the United States in the latest poll, which was conducted last month. In a similar survey in February 2008 — nearly a year before Barack Obama became president — 34 percent had positive opinions about the U.S…

Iran’s media is largely controlled by the government, though the Iranian people increasingly have access to the Internet. That makes it hard to gauge how much information Iranians have received about Obama and his repeated statements that he is open to talks in hopes of improving relations.

“How much of Obama’s message has been broadcast to them, I have no idea,” said Ken Ballen, president of Terror Free Tomorrow.

The full report is worth a scroll-through. On the subject of the famous supposed moderation of the Iranian people relative to their leaders, note well:

Remember, the crux of Obama’s strategic disagreement with Netanyahu is whether dealing with Iran first will lead to Israeli/Palestinian peace later (the Israeli position) or whether peace between Israel and Palestine first will make it easier to deal with Iran later (the American position). Eyeball that graph again and tell me who’s right.

As for the all-important nuclear question, it’s a mixed bag. There’s room for negotiation, especially along the lines of a grand bargain, and atomic energy is more important than weapons, but we’ve already got majority support here for an Iranian bomb.

The presidential election’s Friday and Ahmadinejad’s “pragmatist” opponents are pulling out the stops to make him look like the fundie nut that he is, but given Iranian popular support for a bomb plus the fact that a more moderate leadership will feel pressure to prove that they can be tough with America too, what are the odds that Iran’s going to want to negotiate any time soon even if Ahmadinejad loses?