a prosecutor Argentina charged on Tuesday the Iranian pilot and the rest of the crew of the plane of the Venezuelan company Emtrasur delayed two weeks ago Buenos Aires for his alleged connection to terrorism supported by Iran.
LOOK: The mystery and controversy surrounding the Venezuelan-Iranian plane that has been held in Buenos Aires for a week
The measure adopted by the prosecutor Cecilia Incardona formally implies that the pilot Ghasemi Gholamreza will from now on be the subject of a criminal investigation to determine if he flew to the South American country for commercial purposes or for illicit activities.
The Boeing 747 model aircraft, which was transporting auto parts, has been in a hangar at the Ezeiza international airport – a suburb west of the Argentine capital – since June 8, when the immigration authorities withheld the passports of the crew members at the suggestion of foreign intelligence agencies.
Although the Argentine government confirmed that there is no international arrest warrant against any of the crew members –14 Venezuelans and 5 Iranians– and that no irregularities were detected in their cargo, the aircraft arouses suspicion because it belonged to Mahan Air, an airline of Iranian origin, which is attributed ties to terrorism and on which economic sanctions imposed by the United States weigh.
In official records, the plane is owned by the Venezuelan state airline Conviasa, whose cargo subsidiary is Emtrasur.
At the impulse of an opposition deputy and civil organizations of the Jewish community, the justice system launched an investigation, took away the passports of the crew members -who cannot leave the country- and seized personal belongings, such as mobile phones and computers, which are under computer expertise.
“With the progress of the investigative tasks carried out here, several traces emerged that impose the need to continue the investigation regarding Ghasemi Gholamreza, all the crew that depended on him, the aircraft and its cargo in accordance with the obligations of the Argentine State. to prevent and punish acts of terrorism”, according to the resolution of the prosecutor Incardona.
Any reference to international terrorism generates special sensitivity in Argentina, which was the target of two bloody attacks in the 1990s -one against the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires and the other against a Jewish community center- for which the local justice accused the Iranian regime.
While Israel and the United States, always alert to the presence of Iran in Latin America, expressed that they are following the case of the plane with special attention, Venezuela demands the return of the aircraft. In turn, Tehran denied that it continues to belong to Mahan Air.