The large group raised suspicions to the Argentine authorities. Uruguay did not allow them to enter.
The Venezuelan company’s Boeing 747 cargo plane was confiscated on June 8 when it landed at Ezeiza Airport in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The plane, which was carrying 19 people, 14 Venezuelans and five Iranians, was carrying more people, officials said.
The device was sold to Venezuela a year ago by the Iranian company Mahan Air, which has been under investigation by the United States since 2011 for possible links to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and the Guardian Army’s Special Forces. Of the Islamic Revolution.
Venezuela and Iran have maintained close bilateral relations and signed a 20-year cooperation agreement on June 11, facing tough US sanctions. The Argentine government, led by Alberto Fernandez, is critical of US sanctions against Venezuela.
According to a document from the Argentine Interior Ministry obtained by Reuters news agency, Argentine authorities have taken steps to detain the plane due to suspicions as to why it entered the border.
On Tuesday, on the orders of Federal Judge Federico Villana, who is hearing the case, authorities inspected the hotel where the group members were staying, but so far they have not found any irregularities.
Defense Minister Anibal Fernandez said one of the group shared the name with a member of the Quds force, but nothing more.
Argentina’s deputy Gerardo Millman has filed a complaint with a judge asking that the group’s fingerprints be taken and that information be shared with the Central Intelligence Agency.
According to him, who is a member of the Argentine Congressional Intelligence Committee, “This is a spy plane.”
Local officials said there were no detainees and all team members were being held in hotels with temporary stay permits.
However, through a habeas corpus, the Argentine judge is asked to “release the Venezuelan plane that is immobile in Essex and return the passport to the Iranian team”, documents previously seized by the authorities.
According to AFP news agencies, the embassies of Iran and Venezuela were informed “about the provision of habeas corpus through the diplomatic channels, within the framework of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations”.
As investigations continue, the National Directorate for Migration has indicated that employees can have their passports revoked if they leave the country on a regular scheduled flight.
The route of the Emtrasur aircraft
According to investigations, the plane was loaded with car parts in Mexico and stopped in Venezuela before arriving in Argentina. On June 6, he landed in the Argentine city of Cோrdoba due to fog that covered the capital.
Later, the plane, following its voyage, attempted to land in Uruguay on June 8, but it was refused entry into the airspace of this country, so it returned to Argentina.
Uruguay’s Defense Minister Javier Garcia said he had received information from the “Ministry of Interior of foreign companies” that he had ordered the return of the plane “unless there is a humanitarian reason”.
Garcia did not elaborate on what information he had in his hands, but said the Uruguayan media was concerned about US treasury sanctions on Iran and Venezuela.
Nicolas Maduro’s government has stated in a statement that Uruguay’s “unfortunate move” could have caused “tragedy, human casualties and damage to both countries” and called for an explanation from the Uruguayan government.
After the same plane landed in neighboring Paraguay between May 13 and 6 in Ciudad del Este, near the border between Argentina and Brazil, large crowds raised suspicions, and Paraguayan Interior Minister Federico Gonzalez warned intelligence agencies. About the aircraft and its crew in the region.
Israel appreciates the retention
The Israeli embassy, in a statement, praised the “swift action” of the Argentine authorities, who “recognized the potential threat posed by the aircraft” and said it was “particularly concerned” with Iranian airlines. Dedicated to the smuggling and transfer of personnel and equipment for the Quds force, they are under U.S. sanctions for their involvement in terrorist activities.
He added: “Recent events show that the Islamic Republic of Iran, through its revolutionary guards and Quds forces, continues to strengthen its influence around the world as a base for acts of terrorism, including in South America.”
For his part, US Ambassador to Argentina Mark Stanley said in a statement that he “appreciates the investigative efforts of the Argentine authorities to further clarify the” judicial and police investigations into the team and the aircraft with great interest “and the situation.”
After investigations pointing to Iran as two terrorist attacks in Buenos Aires, Argentina realizes that the presence of Iranian travelers in its territory is controversial: first, the 1992 explosion at the Israeli embassy; The second was a deadly attack on the Jewish organization Amiya in 1994, in which 85 people were killed and 300 wounded.
Iran, for its part, has denied any involvement in the incidents.
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