Sanders refuses to apologize for opposing war with Iran

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersGOP Iowa senator suggests Trump impeachment defense could hurt Biden at caucuses On The Money: Stocks close with steep losses driven by coronavirus fears | Tax season could bring more refund confusion | Trump's new wins for farmers may not undo trade damage Sanders launches first TV ads in Nevada MORE (I-Vt.) took aim at calls for him to "apologize" for his refusal to support U.S. armed conflicts in the Middle East, saying Friday that he was "right" about past U.S. wars and would continue to advocate against war with Iran.

In a tweet, Sanders wrote that he will "apologize to no one" for supporting peaceful diplomatic efforts over armed conflict with Iran, citing U.S. wars in Iraq and Vietnam as examples of past U.S. armed responses that resulted in long-running and exhausting wars.

"I was right about Vietnam. I was right about Iraq. I will do everything in my power to prevent a war with Iran. I apologize to no one," the senator tweeted, along with a video explaining his stance against war with the country.

"Recently I've been criticized a bit because of my opposition to war," he says in the video. "So let me be very clear: I make no apologies to anybody that when I was a young man, before I was elected to anything, I opposed the war in Vietnam. And I know what that war did to my generation."

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"I'm going to do everything that I can to prevent a war with Iran, because if you think the war in Iraq was a disaster, my guess is that war in Iran would be even worse," he added.

The comments come as tensions rise between the U.S. and Iran, with the State Department pulling most U.S. personnel from Iraq amid reports that the Pentagon presented a plan to deploy 120,000 troops to the region, which Trump dismissed. The back-and-forth has prompted many to point to Iraq as a warning sign for consequences of war with Iran.

Sanders was questioned on NBC's "Meet the Press" over the weekend about his past opposition to the Vietnam War.

One tweet from the "Meet the Press" Twitter account declared that Sanders "said he won't apologize" for his anti-war efforts. The tweet was widely shared online, with Sanders supporters questioning why the senator would apologize for a stance they argue has been historically vindicated.

Sanders, who is running for president in 2020, currently sits in second place in most polls of early primary states behind former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenWarren: Dershowitz presentation 'nonsensical,' 'could not follow it' Bolton told Barr he was concerned Trump did favors for autocrats: report Dershowitz: Bolton allegations would not constitute impeachable offense MORE but ahead of a large pack of rival Democrats that has swelled to more than 20 contenders in total.