As the days go by, new details are surfacing about the Venezuelan plane with Iranian crew members that landed in Argentina and that would be linked to international terrorism.
The aircraft was allegedly carrying an auto parts cargo; however, among its crew members there were high-ranking Venezuelan officials and senior Iranian executives, which casts doubt on the true intention of the flight.
The flight was carrying only 14 crew members of Venezuelan nationality, several of them related to the Sebin intelligence service, and 5 Iranians whose passports are withheld while they are being investigated.
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The plane was detained after Paraguay alerted Argentina that the aircraft had been sanctioned by the United States for its links to international terrorism, and the authorities were forced to detain its crew members, discovering details that raised serious suspicions.
Joseph Humire, a specialist in intelligence and global security, revealed that what happened “is very similar to the modus operandi applied by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard of combining commercial with military.”
Humire has explained to El American that for more than 35 years, Iran has built up the potential for a military presence in the region with business dealings that at first glance appear lawful.
But this case of the Venezuelan plane has raised serious suspicions of irregularities that could involve even Argentine authorities.
The whereabouts of at least one Iranian crewmember are unknown
Humire, who has been studying Iranian influence in the region for more than a decade, revealed that although the immigration record in Argentina mentions only 5 Iranian citizens, there were actually 6, one of whom is unaccounted for.
“I know from a good source that there were at least six (6) Iranian nationals on this flight. Is anyone missing?” the specialist questioned.
A suspicious stopover “due to bad weather”…or military equipment trafficking?
Humire also related that the plane made a stopover in Cordoba due to alleged bad weather; however, there is no official information on what happened during that stop.
“Can anyone confirm that NO cargo/personnel was disembarked or offloaded in Cordoba? Because that could be important. Why?” the specialist questioned once again.
Humire explained that Cordoba just happens to be the headquarters of the Argentine arms manufacturer Fabricaciones Militares FM which, since 2012, has a memorandum of understanding with CAVIM, Venezuela’s defense logistics arm and Iran’s strategic military partner.
The specialist did not clarify what could have happened; however, there are already precedents where Iranian aircrafts are detained in flagrante delicto while trafficking war material.
A Venezuelan aircraft with precedents
A month ago, the aircraft that is detained at Ezeiza transported a cargo of cigarettes from Paraguay to Aruba. That flight took place on May 13, from Ciudad del Este to the island.
The aircraft departed from Venezuela and landed at the Guarani airport and, according to reports, the crew consisted of 11 Venezuelans and 7 Iranians.
Of the 7 Iranians, only two match the crew members of the flight to Ezeiza and one of them is a shareholder and member of the board of directors of the Iranian airline Qeshm Fars Air, sanctioned by the United States.
But that flight from Paraguay to Aruba is not the only one raising suspicions, according to Humire, the same supposedly “cargo” plane regularly travels to Russia, Serbia and Belarus.
“The ‘car parts’ could be other parts used for joint military programs between Iran and Venezuela,” both sanctioned by the United States.
Car parts or military drones parts?
Humire concluded that the key to this trip must be in Cordoba and suggested that Argentine authorities analyze the material because the supposed “car parts” may in fact be sanctioned aviation parts.