Ex-Lebanese Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi told Lebanon’s MTV in recent days that the Iranian-backed Hezbollah is like the Vichy regime of France during World War II, and that Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah should stand trial for betraying Lebanon, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

“I won’t be tagged [as an enemy] by an Iranian agent. I don’t need an integrity certificate from him. He needs to stand trial for his crimes against Lebanon,” said Rifi, in an interview recorded and translated by MEMRI.

“We need people who are 100% Lebanese, and not agents of Iran. Who receive weapons from Iran, training from Iran, and who work for the Iranian project,” he said.

“These are historical delusions that the Iranian regime lives in. It wants to restore the great Persian empire. This is a historical illusion that ended 1400 years ago and will not ever return,” he added.

“Take for example France during the Second Lebanon War. There were people who cooperated with the Nazi regime with the excuse that they were being realists. And there were other people, free people with principles, who refused to cooperate with the Nazi occupation. They extended a hand to the Allies and freed their country. I want to go in this process, more or less,” said the former minister.

“We as Lebanese cannot do this by ourselves, but we cannot in any way give legitimacy to Hezbollah and its illegal weapons. Until the right moment comes from a regional and global perspective in which we can liberate the homeland as France did in the Second World War. I want to remind all Lebanese that those who collaborated with the Nazi occupation, the Vichy Regime of General Petain, they were all tried for betraying the homeland and here too the same will happen,” he said.

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