President Donald Trump must not terminate the Iran nuclear agreement — otherwise Tehran "will move quickly to get a nuclear weapon," retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark told Newsmax TV on Friday.
"Let's don't pull out of that deal," Clark, 73, who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Democratic President Bill Clinton in 2000, told Miranda Khan on "America Talks Live" in an exclusive interview.
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"Let's find other ways to restrain Iran," he said. "We've got enough turmoil and trouble in the world."
Trump extended the 2015 Obama-era agreement as a "last chance" in January, warning Congress to "either fix the deal's disastrous flaws, or the United States will withdraw."
"What we've bought," Clark explained, "is a few years during which Iran is not going possess a nuclear weapon — at least publicly — and acknowledge it.
"If we throw this agreement out, they will move quickly to get a nuclear weapon."
Further, "just the process of them moving toward a nuclear weapon is going to change the dynamics in the Middle East," he told Khan.
"It's going to raise the tension level. It's going to spark more intense combatting in Yemen and Syria.
"It's going result in more refugees — thousands of people disrupted, hundreds more deaths and casualties than are needed.
"Keep it in place and work to quiet the region down," he said.
Clark noted that since U.S.-led forces toppled Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in 2003, "Iran's been pushing and shoving, trying to have its way in the region.
"We have to find a way to work against that.
"I would have liked to see an agreement that was tougher," Clark said.
"It was the agreement we got — and that, at least, delays Iran's acquisition of a nuclear weapon.
"The question is how can we use these remaining eight or nine years to best advantage to advance our interests in the region," he added.
"It's better to continue to work against terrorism, continue to work against funding — but don't open up that agreement."
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