CIA Director John Brennan cautioned President-elect Donald Trump against scrapping the Iran deal, calling the potential move "disastrous" for U.S. international policy.
"I think it would be disastrous," Brennan told BBC News during an interview that was released on Nov. 30. "It really would. First of all, for one administration to tear up an agreement that a previous administration made would be unprecedented."
According to the intelligence official, ending the agreement could embolden extremists, which could then lead to other states reacting in turn.
"It could lead to a weapons program inside of Iran that could lead other states in the region to embark on their own regions," Brennan added. "So I think it would be the height of folly if the next administration were to tear up that agreement."
Brennan was referring to 2015 deal among the U.S., U.K., France, China, Russia, Germany and Iran, in which the six countries agreed to lift a number of sanctions against Iran in exchange for the Middle Eastern nation scaling back its nuclear weapons program. Trump harshly criticized the deal while campaigning but has not spoken of it since becoming president-elect earlier in November.
"My No. 1 priority is to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran," Trump told pro-Israel lobbying group AIPAC during his campaign, later adding that he would consider renegotiating the arrangement to impose heavier sanctions against Iran, according to The Washington Post.
For his part, Brennan told the BBC he would sit down with Trump and urge him and his administration to "make sure that they use the great capabilities that this government has as effectively and as judiciously as possible" when it comes to understanding international policy, particularly as it pertains to Iran and its neighboring regions.
"There are a lot of people out there who read the papers and listened to a news broadcasts where the facts may be a bit -- you know -- off," Brennan added. "And so I want to make sure the new team understands what the reality is. It ultimately will be up to them to decide how to carry out their responsibilities."