A Venezuelan-Iranian plane that flew over the Río de la Plata opened the way to suspicion. After last week tried to land at the Carrasco Airport, the Argentine Justice initiated an investigation.
It was a Boeing 747 Dreamliner from the Emtrasur company, which had landed last Monday at the Córdoba airport, due to the fog that hit the City of Buenos Aires and its surroundings.
The plane from Venezuela, sanctioned by the United States, was seized and The Argentine authorities seized the passports of twelve Venezuelans and five Iranians who were on board the aircraft.and.
Judicial sources with access to the file confirmed to The Observer that on Wednesday, June 8, after flying over the Río de La Plata for 20 minutes, the plane landed again in Ezeiza at 11:44, after Uruguay did not allow it to do so at the Carrasco Airport, closing the skies to the subject ship to the sanctions of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
The aircraft tried to land in Uruguay, but it was not authorized.
The truncated attempt to land in Montevideo was pointed out by the defense attorney for the passengers, Rafael Resnick Brenner in his brief before the Justice.
“This aircraft would currently be prohibited from using the airspaces of Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay and Chile.. Collaborating with targets sanctioned by OFAC creates the risk of receiving sanctions and in some cases, of being classified as cooperating with organizations linked to international terrorism,” he said.
Once he arrived in Ezeiza, he was received by the Airport Security Police (PSA) together with Customs, the Federal Police and the Migration Directorate. The forces carried out the procedure, following information provided by intelligence from various world agencies. “There are two hypotheses: the first is whether the Iranians are spies or whether they are a training team for large planes, as they themselves declared to the Argentine authorities,” a source with access to the case told El Observador.
Another suspicion is that the five people with Iranian nationality were connected with alleged links to the Quds Forces. This Force responds to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which specializes in asymmetric warfare, in addition to military intelligence operations. At the same time, they are responsible for carrying out activities outside the borders of Iran.
The decision was made by the Minister of Defense
The Defense Minister Javier Garciaannounced this Sunday at a press conference that it was he who disavowed the landing.
“We had information that the Minister of the Interior, Luis Alberto Heber, gave us. Based on that information that was given at the time, it was decided not to authorize this plane to enter the airspace,” he said.
Garcia said that if there wasn’t a humanitarian reason, he wasn’t going to allow it.
The hierarch clarified that he did not consult President Luis Lacalle Pou about this case, but rather he preferred to “take responsibility” on his own.
“It is information that the Ministry of the Interior had received from foreign agencies, which turned to Uruguay and, since the jurisdiction belongs to the Ministry of Defense, I am responsible for making that decision,” he added.
This Sunday afternoon, the Argentine Justice rejected a habeas corpus appeal filed by lawyer Resnick Brenner in which he asked to release the plane and that the passengers recover their seized passports.
The decision was resolved by the judge of Lomas de Zamora Federico Villenawho ordered to “reject the action” requested by Resnick Brenner and declare the appeal “abstract.”
In turn, the five Iranian passports will remain in the hands of the Justice, which opened a separate investigation of these citizens.
Condemnation of Israeli organizations
The Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) and the Delegation of Argentine Israelite Associations (DAIA) demanded “total clarification” of the case.
The aircraft, operated by the Venezuelan company Emtrasur and linked to the Iranian company Mahan Air, was sanctioned by the United States for its links to terrorist activitiesquestioned both organizations in a joint statement.
Both the AMIA and the DAIA requested “exhaustive and detailed information” on the list of crew members traveling on that plane and “the reasons” for their passage through the country.
The organizations they recalled the attacks of March 17, 1992 against the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires and of July 18, 1994 against the AMIA. “They still remain unpunished,” they said, asserting that they were planned and executed by Hezbollah, a terrorist group financed and supported by Iran.
“It should be remembered that some of the Iranian defendants, who are currently officials of the government of that country, and who have international arrest warrants, have recently circulated through countries that receive and protect them, circumventing the demands of local justice and Interpol,” they noted.
The two described this situation as “worrying”, said that they have denounced this type of situation on “repeated opportunities” and ask the control agencies to provide the required information and the results of the investigation with “speed and precision”. It is a fact “that aroused suspicion and confusion.”