"Bachmann Retracts Her Embarassing Iran/Iraq Conspiracy Theory"
In a recent interview, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) claimed that she knows of a secret plan by Iran to partition Iraq and turn half of the country into a “terrorist safe haven zone” called the “Iraq State of Islam.” Bachmann, who famously refused to let go of President Bush at the State of the Union, claimed there is “already an agreement made,” but she “did not say how she knew about this plan, nor with whom Iran has made this deal.”
ThinkProgress contacted Bachmann about her remarks, and received a statement from her office stating that coverage of her Iran statement was “misconstrued.” Bachmann claims she was actually talking about widely-discussed plans to partition Iraq among the Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds, and her fear that Iran would overtake the Shiite region.
Bachmann is no stranger to conspiracy theories. She continues to insist that there is a link between the 9/11 terrorist attacks and Iraq, despite the 9/11 Commission’s conclusion that there was “no credible evidence” of any connection.
Read her radio transcript and full statement:
Iran is the trouble maker, trying to tip over apple carts all over Baghdad right now because they want America to pull out. And do you know why? It’s because they’ve already decided that they’re going to partition Iraq.
And half of Iraq, the western, northern portion of Iraq, is going to be called…. the Iraq State of Islam, something like that. And I’m sorry, I don’t have the official name, but it’s meant to be the training ground for the terrorists. There’s already an agreement made.
They are going to get half of Iraq and that is going to be a terrorist safe haven zone where they can go ahead and bring about more terrorist attacks in the Middle East region and then to come against the United States because we are their avowed enemy.
Bachmann Responds to Misconstrued Coverage of Iran Statement
(Woodbury, Minnesota) – Congresswoman Michele Bachmann released the following statement this afternoon:
“I am sorry if my words have been misconstrued, but it is well known that Iraq is a conglomeration of many groups of people that emerged out of European colonialization. The three primary sects in Iraq are Kurds, Sunnis and Shi’a, and the idea that Iraq might be partitioned into three distinct entities – Kurdish, Shiite and Sunni – has been intermittently considered since the beginning of the Iraq war in 2003. One of the reasons that this never became policy is because the Shi’a and the Kurds had larger states that many believed would have engulfed them, either peacefully or by force – Turkey in the case of the Kurds, and Iran in the case of the Shi’a.
“In the case of Iran, there are multiple reasons to believe they would seek to expand their territory to include Shi’a Iraq – namely, their natural cultural ties, the long history of Iran and Iraq wars, and regional security. A fourth and powerful reason is that success in Iraq for the West could threaten the future of the current Iranian leadership and its Islamic Revolution. There is already a strong antagonism against the ruling regime in Iran and a successful, democratic Iraq could pose trouble for Iran.
“Although it is difficult to ascertain Iran’s intentions toward Iraq, they are clearly not in the U.S. interest – for example, the Iranian weapons that have fallen into the hands of insurgents. If Iran is allowed to freely operate in Iraq and continues to thwart the U.S. and the Iraqi government, then we may very well see a de facto partition in which the western Anbar province continues to house and develop terrorists.”