Lebanese politicians Ashraf Rifi, former Minister of Justice and former General-Director of Lebanese Internal Security Forces, said in a February 13, 2022 interview on MTV (Lebanon) that with regard to Hizbullah, the Lebanese people are in a situation similar to the Nazi occupation of France. He said that the "free people with principles" in Lebanon should follow the example of the French Resistance and seek international help to liberate their country. He also said that Hizbullah and its Hassan Nasrallah will be put on trial for high treason and for robbing public funds, like Marshal Pétain and the Vichy government were put on trial after World War II. In addition, Rifi referred in the interview to former Prime Minister Saad Hariri's speech in which he teared up while announcing that he was retiring from politics. Rifi said that leaders should not cry, and must remain steadfast. For more information about Ashraf Rifi, see MEMRI TV clips nos. 8774, 8204, 5363, and 4893.
Interviewer: "The day [former] PM Hariri announced his retirement from political life, and he was crying or had tears in his eyes, you said that a leader does not cry. This brought many reactions by his supporters and members of the Future Movement. Did you mean to say that Hariri was not a real leader?"
Ashraf Rifi: "Unfortunately, it was not just Hariri. There were three cases in our [Sunni] sect where people were crying on certain occasions. I am worried that this will become a common thing, and every time a leader gets emotional, he will start crying. I come from the national [military] where they taught us that a leader should not cry.
"If a leader cries, what should the citizens do? Kill themselves? Even if the situation is very tough, and the circumstances are emotionally charged and nearly impossible, a leader should find a way to collect himself and remain steadfast.
"Hassan Nasrallah does not get to decide whether I am an enemy or not. I was an officer in [the military] of the Lebanese Republic."
Interviewer: "He made a general characterization..."
Rifi: "He does not get to label people. I will not be labeled [an enemy] by an Iranian collaborator. I do not need his validation. He should stand trial for his crimes against Lebanon.
"We are 100% Lebanese and not Iranian collaborators who receive weapons and training from Iran, and work in the service of the Iranian enterprise.
"The Iranian regime suffers from historical delusions. It wishes to resurrect the great Persian empire. The illusion ended 1,400 years ago and will never return.
"Take, for example, France in World War II. Some people collaborated with the Nazi regime under the pretext of being realistic, and some free people with principles refused to cooperate with the Nazi occupation.
"They reached out to the allied countries and liberated their country. This is the process that we want to follow, more or less.
"We Lebanese cannot do it by ourselves, but under no circumstances should we legitimize Hizbullah and its illegitimate weapons, until the right moment comes in the region and the world, and we can liberate our country like France was liberated in WWII. I would like to remind all Lebanese that the Nazi collaborators - the Vichy government of General Petain - were all brought to trial on charges of high treason, and the same thing will happen here.
"They will stand trial for robbing the people's money and public funds as well as for high treason."