During the first Democratic presidential primary debate Wednesday in Miami, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard conceded that President Obama's nuclear deal with Iran was "imperfect" but warned that President Trump and his "chickenhawk cabinet" including Mike Pompeo and John Bolton were leading the U.S. towards a "disastrous" regional war with Iran.
LESTER HOLT, NBC NEWS: Congresswoman Gabbard, Congresswoman Gabbard, you've said you would sign back on to the 2015 deal. Would you -- would you insist, though, that it address Iran's support for Hezbollah?
REP. TULSI GABBARD (D-HI): Let's deal with the situation where we are, where this president and his chickenhawk cabinet have led us to the brink of war with Iran.
I served in the war in Iraq at the height of the war in 2005, a war that took over 4,000 of my brothers and sisters in uniforms' lives. The American people need to understand that this war with Iran would be far more devastating, far more costly than anything that we ever saw in Iraq. It would take many more lives. It would exacerbate the refugee crisis.
And it wouldn't be just contained within Iran. This would turn into a regional war. This is why it's so important that every one of us, every single American, stand up and say no war with Iran. We need to get back into the Iran nuclear agreement, and we need to negotiate how we can improve it.
It was an imperfect deal. There are issues, like their missile development, that needs to be addressed. We can do both simultaneously to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon and preventing us from going to war.
HOLT: Your time is up. And this is a very quick follow-up. But what would your red line be that would -- for military action against Iran?
GABBARD: Look, obviously, if there was an attack against the American -- our troops, then there would have to be a response. But my point is -- and it's important for us to recognize this -- is Donald Trump and his cabinet, Mike Pompeo, John Bolton, and others -- are creating a situation that just a spark would light off a war with Iran, which is incredibly dangerous. That's why we need to de-escalate tensions. Trump needs to get back into the Iran nuclear deal and swallow his pride, put the American people first.