Argentina seizes Venezuelan plane linked to Iran
Argentinian authorities have seized a Venezuelan Boeing 747 cargo plane linked to Iran due to questions about the reasons given for the plane’s entry into the country.
The Emtrasur cargo plane arrived in Buenos Aires on June 8, according to flight tracking data. He was then seized by the authorities, an Argentine opposition deputy and Iranian media said on June 12.
Questions remain over the ownership of the plane.
The Argentine government has not publicly confirmed the action.
But an Interior Ministry document shared with Reuters said authorities had grounded the craft due to suspicions over its stated reason for entering the South American country.
According to Mahan Air, the company sold the plane to a Venezuelan company a year ago and has no connection with the airline or Iran.
“Mentioning Mahan Air in connection with the seized aircraft serves political purposes,” airline spokesman Amir Hossein Zolanvari told Iranian state media.
He said the crew of the plane had no connection with Mahan Air.
In 2011, the US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on Mahan Air for allegedly “providing financial, material and technological support” to Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which the State Department has designated as a foreign terrorist organization.
The department also accused Mahan Air of transporting arms, goods and personnel to the Lebanese Iran-backed Hezbollah group.
Iran and Venezuela are both subject to US sanctions and have developed close ties.
The two men signed on June 11 a 20-year cooperation plan in the fields of oil, petrochemicals, tourism and culture.