US seizes aircraft handed over to Venezuela by Iran… “Breaking export laws”

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He was detained in Argentina but extradited to the United States after the pro-American Milais came to power.

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on the 12th (local time) that the United States seized an aircraft owned by a Venezuelan company linked to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) due to its possible involvement in terrorism.

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According to reports, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that a Boeing 747 owned by Venezuelan state-owned cargo company Emtrasur, which had been detained at an Argentine airport and seized by the U.S., arrived in Florida on this day.

The aircraft was owned by Iran’s Mahan Air and was transferred to Emturasur, a subsidiary of Venezuela’s national airline Convia, in 2021.

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The U.S. Department of Justice claimed that the aircraft trade between Iran and Venezuela violated U.S. export laws. Mahan Airlines is on the U.S. Treasury blacklist on charges of arms trafficking.

“Mahan Airlines, which transported weapons and fighters for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Hezbollah, violated U.S. export laws by selling this plane to a Venezuelan airline,” Matthew Axelrod, the Department of Commerce’s assistant secretary for export enforcement, said in a statement. “From now on, it is an asset of the United States.” “It is,” he said.

The United States has designated both the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Hezbollah as terrorist organizations.

The aircraft seized by the United States landed at Buenos Aires Ezeiza International Airport in June 2022 after Uruguay refused its request to refuel. At the time, the pilots claimed they were transporting auto parts from Mexico, but some Argentine opposition politicians said it was an intelligence operation. The United States issued a seizure warrant for the aircraft immediately after landing in Argentina.

An Argentine court ruled last month to hand over the aircraft to the United States after pro-American and pro-Israel President Javier Millay, who harshly criticized Venezuela’s authoritarian regime, took office. Former President Alberto Fernández, a leftist who had friendly relations with Venezuela, was reluctant to hand over the aircraft to the Biden administration.

Source: Donga

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