Public Opinion and Voting Behavior

America Still Held Hostage: The Hostage Crisis Generation and Public Opinion about Iran Deal

Mazaher Koruzhde Florida International University
Valeriia Popova Author ORCID home | opens in new tab Florida International University


The hostage crisis of 1979 was a defining moment in the history of US-Iran relationship that left a lasting impact on the generation of the Americans who witnessed it and deeply affected their attitudes toward Iran and Iran-related policies. In this paper, we use a case study of the Iran nuclear deal to put this idea to the test. We hypothesize that the hostage crisis generation is less likely to support the Iran nuclear deal than the post-hostage crisis generation. Using data from the 2015 Chicago Council Survey of American Public Opinion and U.S. Foreign Policy, we conduct a formal statistical analysis. The results of our OLS regression analysis show that there is a statistically significant difference between foreign policy attitudes of the two generations, irrespective of partisanship and ideology that are usually considered the main determinants of public opinion on foreign policy.


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