Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has warned of national security-related implications if Washington returns to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
"If this administration unwinds that and goes back to the crappy deal that we had with Iran when President Obama was in office, America will be less secure", Pompeo claimed during an interview with the US radio station 77WABC.
The ex-secretary of state argued that apart from the US, Israel will also be less secure and that the entire Middle East region will be "less stable".
"We didn't get all the way to where we would've hoped we could get in respect to getting Iran to stand down and enter an agreement that would've actually avoided them having a nuclear weapon, but we made an awful lot of progress", Pompeo added.
The remarks come a couple of weeks after the White House reportedly said it was disappointed over Iran's rejection of an invitation to attend direct talks concerning the JCPOA.
At the same time, Washington signalled a readiness "to re-engage in meaningful diplomacy to achieve a mutual return to compliance with [the deal's] commitments".
This followed Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh stating that Iran does not consider the time to be "suitable" for an informal meeting on the Iran deal.
"There has still been no change in the US positions and behaviour yet", he added, referring to the Biden administration's drive to continue what the spokesman described as "Trump's failed policy of maximum pressure [on Iran]".
Khatibzadeh emphasised that America must end "its illegal and unilateral sanctions and return to its [JCPOA] commitments", something that he said "needs neither negotiations nor resolutions".
Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from the JCPOA in May 2018, also reinstating harsh economic sanctions on Iran and citing alleged violations of the deal by Iran, who rejects the accusations.
After the US left the deal, the Islamic Republic started stepping away from its JCPOA commitments, prompting criticism and allegations that the country was trying to develop nuclear weapons. Tehran has repeatedly underlined its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes only.