Mahmoud Al-Mashhadani, Iraq's former Speaker of the Parliament, said in an August 25, 2020 show on Al-Nujaba TV (Iraq) that in order to stay in power, the Shi'ite rulers of Iraq will have to normalize relations with Israel like the UAE recently did. He said that this is the age of selling out one's principles, and he claimed that Iraq is being asked to allow 500,000 Jews to return to Iraq, and to grant them citizenship and other rights. Al-Mashhadani also said that through social media, Israel has established a "virtual" embassy in Baghdad, and he claimed to have seen with his very eyes the Star of David of an official Israeli diplomatic entity in the Green Zone.
Interviewer: "According to the example recently set by the UAE, are we expected to hear some day that the Iraqi government will follow suit and declare – clearly and bluntly – normalization with Israel? I can see you are smiling..."
Mahmoud Al-Mashhadani: "Look, sometimes there are conclusions... I believe that if the Shiites want to stay in power and do not want the ruling power to return to the Sunnis, they have to normalize in order to stay in power. This is the price they have to pay. Right now, they are saying: 'No, never.' But if they keep it up, it means that the power will go to others. This is how the world goes. As for us, the people of principles, our fate is slaughter, killing, exile..."
Interviewer: "So, it is either the carrot of rule or the stick of normalization?"
Al-Mashhadani: "Yes, today is the age of the selling out of principles. It is like someone has gold and decides to sell it in his time of need. We have started taking out our principles and selling them one by one. One of the outcomes is that they are asking to allow 500,000 Jews to return to Iraq. They are asking the PM to grant them Iraqi citizenship and other rights that they are allegedly entitled to."
Interviewer: "Today, Israel created, through social media, a virtual Israeli embassy in Baghdad."
Al-Mashhadani: "Right. And you can hear many people say, 'Let Israel come, just let us live.' This internal dialogue exists..."
Interviewer: "This discourse of 'Let Israel come, just let us live' is an unfortunate outcome..."
Al-Mashhadani: "Isn't there an Israeli [diplomatic] representation inside the American embassy?"
Interviewer: "We've heard about it."
Al-Mashhadani: "In the Green Zone."
Interviewer: "You know best."
Al-Mashhadani: "I saw the Star of David with my own eyes."