In a letter to the Department of Justice, a group of Republican senators ask federal investigators to help Argentina investigate the Venezuelan-Iranian plane held in the South American country for possible links to international terrorism.
In the letter, lawmakers urged Attorney General Merrick Garland, a Democrat, to assist investigators in Argentina, to probe the Venezuelan plane with its crew and passengers based on Argentine soil.
They also asked him to use all the tools available to the Department of Justice to enforce reasonable measures under U.S. law to confiscate the device.
They indicated that the Department of Justice may have in its possession “critical” information for the investigation in Argentina, since, in their opinion, it can confirm whether the aircraft’s crew or passengers of the plane are involved in any kind of assistance to the terrorist activities of the Iranian regime.
The letter is signed by Senators Joni Ernst, Chuck Grassley, Lindsey Graham, Pat Toomey, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Bill Cassidy, James Lankford and Rick Scott, among others.
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The aircraft, a Boeing 747 Dreamliner cargo freighter, was owned by the Iranian company Mahan Air and currently belongs to Emtrasur, a subsidiary of the Venezuelan Consortium of Aeronautical Industries and Air Services (CONVIASA), companies sanctioned by the US for alleged logistics support for terrorist organizations.
The plane reached Argentina from Mexico on June 6 after a stopover in Venezuela. Two days later it left to refuel in Uruguay, but had to return to Ezeiza International Airport (Argentina) because the neighboring country did not authorize its landing.
Upon its return to Argentina, the official stabilized the plane and ordered the detention of 19 crew members, 5 Iranians and 14 Venezuelans.
Read the letter here: