U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann is declining to be interviewed about her statement that an agreement was in place to divide Iraq and create an Iranian-controlledÃ‚Â terrorist safe haven there.
But she has issued a statement in which she says she’s “sorry ifÃ‚Â my words have been misconstrued.”
In the statement, Bachmann gives a new,Ã‚Â far more uncertain vision of the possible bad consequences of an increase in Iranian influence over parts of Iraq.
The statement is framed asÃ‚Â a clarification of Bachmann’s earlier statement, made Feb.Ã‚Â 9 toÃ‚Â Larry Schumacher of theÃ‚Â St. Cloud Times. But the new statement actually retracts most of what she said on the subject to Schumacher. (Here’s a substantial excerpt from that statement, if you don’t want to listen to the full audio.)
In the new statement, there is no reference to a decision that’s already been made, by Iran and unnamed other parties,Ã‚Â to partition Iraq.
Rather, Bachmann alludes to the idea of Ã‚Â partitioning Iraq that she says has “intermittently considered,” not by Iran but by U.S. policymakers or others commenting on what U.S. policy should be in Iraq.
On Feb. 9, Bachmann said: “There’s already an agreement made” by Iran and some other unspecified party to create an Iranian-controlled zone in which terrorism would flourish.
The new statement replaces that with:Ã‚Â “It is difficult to ascertain Iran’s intentions towards Iraq.”
Bachmann told SchumacherÃ‚Â with certainty that Iran planned to establish in Iraq “a terrorist safe haven zone where they can go ahead and bringÃ‚Â about more terrorist attacks inÃ‚Â the Middle East region and then to come againstÃ‚Â the United States.”
Ã‚Â In the new statement, she expresses a concern that “we may very well see a de facto partition in which the western Anbar Province continues to house and develop terrorists.”
I am still requesting an interview with Bachmann to clarify the differences between the statements.