Iraqi researcher Ghaleb Al-Shabandar said in a January 2, 2022 interview on Zagros TV (Iraqi Kurdistan) that people claim that Iraq is controlled by the Americans, but that there are openly anti-American TV channels in Iraq, that anti-American opinions are represented in Iraq's parliament, that Iraq has still been receiving weapons from Iran, that Qasem Soleimani had still operated in Iraq, and that the PMU and other militias operate freely, all despite supposed American control. Al-Shabandar also criticized Iran for selling Iraq overpriced weapons, for cutting off gas to Iraq, and for causing Iraq's electricity crisis. He said that Iraq has been defending Iran from ISIS, and not the other way around. In addition, Al-Shabandar said that attempts to forcibly reconquer territory in Palestine have only resulted in the Palestinians losing more and more land and that only negotiations have resulted in regaining land, as had been the case with Sadat and the Sinai Peninsula.
Ghaleb Al-Shabandar: "You raised the issue of the Palestinian cause, and said that the language of negotiations has failed to resolve the Palestinian cause, and to give the Palestinians a single inch [of land]. Let me tell you that the language of force that you are advocating has caused Palestine to lose three-quarters of its territory. Beginning with the 1967 war, then 1975 [sic] and all the fidaai operations in Palestine, the territory of Palestine gradually shrank, until it became such a small place that the Palestinians cannot even defend it.
"The Palestinian resistance has failed to regain the land, whereas Anwar Sadat succeeded, through negotiations, to regain Gaza [sic], Sinai, and the Golan Heights [sic].
"You claim that the Americans control everything in Iraq. Well, maybe they control everything in Iraq, but you have four or five TV channels where you can speak as you like. You are represented in the 'American-controlled' parliament..."
Speaker: "They have 60 TV channels..."
Al-Shabandar: "you receive weapons from Iran under this 'American control.' Soleimani used to come and impose his will under this 'American control.'
"The PMU and the resistance factions attack the U.S. Embassy and yet they are recognized [by the Iraqi state], and the American 'collaborator' Al-Kadhimi allows you to operate freely, so you step all over his heads with your boots, and call him a 'dog' and a 'pig,' but her refrains from attacking you. So you should thank the Lord that the Americans are here.
"First, Iran sold us weapons for double their worth, then it cut off the gas to Iraq and caused an electricity crisis, and in addition, if it was not for us, ISIS would now be in the heart of Tehran. It is not me saying this. The Supreme Leader [Khamenei] himself said: 'If not for the youth of Iraq, ISIS would be in Tehran.' We defended Iran, and not the other way around."