Gabbard: US must not go to war with Iran

Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardNew Quinnipiac poll finds Biden leading in New Hampshire Gabbard lawyers demand retraction of Clinton's 'defamation' Krystal Ball praises former McConnell aide's historic win in Kentucky MORE (D-Hawaii), who is one of the 24 candidates vying for the 2020 Democratic nomination, is warning there will be severe consequences if the United States decides to go to war with Iran.

The veteran, who served two tours in Iraq, released a new video on Thursday slamming top Trump administration officials for ratcheting up tension with the country and arguing that the "U.S. must not go to war with Iran."

In the video, Gabbard specifically takes aim at hawkish national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonTop diplomat said request for specific probes in Ukraine was 'contrary' to US policy White House struggles to get in sync on impeachment House Democrats, ex-Bolton aide ask judge to block Mulvaney from joining lawsuit MORE, calling out his support of the war in Iraq and warning that he and President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive landmark moments of testimony to Congress Lindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight Democrats sharpen their message on impeachment MORE could start a war with Iran.

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“That war was devastating, over 4,000 of my brothers and sisters in uniform were killed," she said of the Iraq War. "Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi citizens killed."

She also warned that a war with Iran could be "far more costly than anything we experienced in Iraq."

Gabbard cautioned that the consequences of such a war could include the deaths of U.S. troops, suffering for Iranians and others in the country, a worsened refugee crisis in Europe and risk direct conflict with Russia. She added that conflict with Russia could escalate to nuclear war. 

Gabbard recently released a similar video on Twitter earlier this week, saying Trump "wants" war with Iran.   

She is not the only 2020 candidate to warn of potential conflict with Iran. On Thursday, fellow Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersTech firms face skepticism over California housing response Press: Another billionaire need not apply Ex-Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick mulling 2020 run: report MORE (I-Vt.) started a petition to prohibit war with Iran without congressional approval. 

The criticism comes as the White House sends mixed messages on Iran. On Tuesday, Trump denied a report that he was working on a plan to deploy 120,000 troops to the Middle East, but also said he would send more if necessary. 

"Now, would I do that? Absolutely. But we have not planned for that. Hopefully, we’re not going to have to plan for that. And if we did that, we’d send a hell of a lot more troops than that," he said. 

The president later said on Thursday that he hopes the U.S. does not go to war with the Middle Eastern power. Congressional leaders received a classified Iran briefing on Thursday amid the escalating tensions.