“In foreign policy, in many ways, your word counts for a lot and when you tell someone you’re going to do something; if you fail to stick to your word, it sends a clear message to others ... that you cannot trust America as a partner,” Panetta said during a Hudson Institute forum in Washington, The Hill reported.
Trump earlier this month announced that the Iran nuclear deal was not in the United States’ national security interests, and that he would not certify it, though he stopped short of withdrawing from the agreement.
He did not ask Congress to impose additional sanctions on Iran, which would have likely resulted in a US departure from the deal.
Trump instead requested that Congress pass new goals Iran would have to achieve in order to avoid getting hit with nuclear-related sanctions in the future.
Panetta said Iran is technically abiding by the deal. “I think as a result of that we ought to continue to enforce that agreement,” he said.
Panetta also expressed concern that the issue has now been thrown to lawmakers as “Congress is having a hard time sometimes finding its way to the bathroom much less dealing with issues that involve an area ... far better for the administration, for the president to deal with.”
“Congress should hopefully develop a way to increase the enforcement of that agreement ... but in the end, to make clear that we’re going to continue to enforce that agreement,” he urged.
Sustain Iran deal
Lawmakers in the upper house of Russia’s Parliament prepared a draft statement to remind US Congressmen and Western parliamentarians of the importance of the 2015 nuclear deal and its significant contribution to the global regime of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, RIA Novosti reported.
According to the draft, “the Federation Council addresses the US Congress members with an urgent request to use all available resources and prevent” the collapse of the deal, which it said could lead to an “extremely dangerous situation.”
The Russian senators also called on their US and Western counterparts “to use the influence on political leaders of their countries in order to keep in force the historical deal concerning the Iranian nuclear program.”
“At the present time the implementation of this agreement is under threat of complete failure because of US President Donald Trump’s declared strategy concerning Iran that stipulates Washington’s unilateral actions that violate the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, up to full cancellation of US participation in it,” the draft statement read.
The draft statement will be put to vote at the Russian Parliament on Wednesday, according to the report.
The deal was reached between Iran and the US, Russia, China, France, Britain, and Germany in July 2015.