Political tension over the seized plane in Argentina with Venezuelan and Iranian crew on board

A local opposition deputy and the Argentine and Iranian press said that the Argentine authorities have stopped a Venezuelan Boeing 747 cargo plane linked to Iran, in an event that highlights the underlying political currents in Latin America.

The Emtrasur cargo plane, which Iran’s Mahan Air sold to Venezuela a year ago, according to Iran Air, arrived in Buenos Aires on June 8, according to flight tracking data. The deputy and the Argentine and Iranian press said that at that time his movement was frozen by the authorities.

The Argentine government has not publicly confirmed the decision to ground the plane, but a document from the National Directorate of Migration seen by Reuters indicated that the authorities made the decision because they did so. Suspicions about the stated reason for entering the country.

Iran and Venezuela, which are under US sanctions, maintain close ties and on Saturday signed a 20-year cooperation plan. The center-left Argentine President Alberto Fernandez has criticized US sanctions on Caracas.

Argentine MP Gerardo Melman, who drew attention to the case in recent days, filed a complaint with the judge on Sunday, asking him to take the fingerprints of the crew and share information about the case with the Federal Intelligence Agency.

“The information is that this is a plane that comes to do intelligence in Argentina.”Millman, who belongs to the opposition Together for Change party and is a member of the bicameral Congressional Intelligence Committee.

According to the immigration document, which Melman showed Reuters, On board were 14 Venezuelans and five Iranians. The report includes the names of everyone on board.

Argentine newspapers reported that the Argentine judiciary should also work on a subpoena filed by a lawyer representing the crew, which is requesting the release of the plane and the return of the passports of the Iranians and Venezuelans traveling on the plane.

It was not immediately clear whether the aircraft registered YV3531 in A List of Iran-linked aircraft subject to US sanctions. Mahan Air has been under sanctions from that country since 2011 for its support of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.

“The plane was transferred a year ago and it was sold to a Venezuelan company,” Amirhossein Zolanfari, spokesman for Mahan, told the official IRNA news agency. Zolanvari did not name the Venezuelan company.

On the other hand, the newspaper Clarionreported that 14 Venezuelans and 5 Iranians who make up the Emtrasur flight crew may be allowed to leave Argentina in the next few hours.

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