Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Thursday that the US should not be negotiating with Iran “on anything right now,” including a nuclear agreement.

“I would not be negotiating with Iran on anything right now, including the nuclear agreement,” Clinton told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in an interview, adding that the horse is “out of the barn.”

“When [former President Donald] Trump pulled us out [of the 2015 nuclear deal],” she said, “we lost the eyes that we had on what they were doing inside Iran. And I believe that they started those centrifuges spinning again.”

The US and Iran had held indirect talks aimed at returning to the deal, but those talks are now at a dead end.

Iran in September announced it had submitted its comments to the US response to the European Union’s draft for reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

While Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson said at the time that Iran’s response was prepared based on a constructive approach, a senior Biden administration official said the Iranian response "is not at all encouraging.”

A US official later said that the efforts to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal have “hit a wall” because of Iran's insistence on the closure of the UN nuclear watchdog's investigations.

More recently, the US envoy for Iran, Robert Malley, said that Iran's crackdown on protesters and the sale of drones to Russia have turned the United States' focus away from reviving the nuclear deal.

In Thursday’s interview, Clinton emphasized her support for focusing on the Iran protesters, saying that the United States should not “look like we are seeking an agreement [with Iran] at a time when the people of Iran are standing up to their oppressors.”

“We are giving them hope and heart. I think we’re doing something else,” Clinton said. “We’re sending a message to whoever the few possibly concerned people are about what’s happening to the tens of thousands of Iranians being imprisoned, and the many hundreds who are being killed, that maybe they are willing inside to speak out. Not just within the government, but more importantly with the clerics to say that this is not sustainable.”

“You can’t premise a theocracy on covering up women’s hair. That doesn’t mean that we are going to overthrow the regime and they are going to leave peacefully,” Clinton told CNN, adding, “I’m hoping that there can be some kind of internal discussion that might lead to, you know, more freedom, but also less oppression.”