Gabbard: US must not go to war with Iran

Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardGabbard drops defamation lawsuit against Clinton It's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process 125 lawmakers urge Trump administration to support National Guard troops amid pandemic 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 BoltonHave the courage to recognize Taiwan McConnell says Obama administration 'did leave behind' pandemic plan Trump company lawyer warned Michael Cohen not to write 'tell-all' book: report MORE, calling out his support of the war in Iraq and warning that he and President TrumpDonald John TrumpMichael Flynn transcripts reveal plenty except crime or collusion 50 people arrested in Minneapolis as hundreds more National Guard troops deployed Missouri state lawmaker sparks backlash by tweeting 'looters deserve to be shot' 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 SandersThe battle of two Cubas Coronavirus Report: The Hill's Steve Clemons interviews Rep. Ro Khanna Democrats gear up to hit GOP senators on DACA 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.