The Boeing 747 was sold in October 2021 to a Venezuelan company by an Iranian company, in violation of US sanctions against the two entities, the US Justice Department said to justify its request to confiscate the plane.
“By working with our partners in around the world, we will be tough on governments and government agencies trying to evade sanctions and our export control, “said ministry official Matthew Olsen. A judge recently allowed 12 of them to leave the country. but four Iranians and three Venezuelans are still stranded in Argentina.
Argentine Security Minister Anibal Fernandez said he had received “information” from “foreign organizations on the affiliation of part of the crew to companies linked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard”.
The US Department of Justice said: “The captain of the plane has been identified as a former commander of this Iranian ideological army, which the US considers a terrorist organization.”
Tehran says the plane’s status is “completely legal” and that its freezing is part of a “propaganda operation” linked to differences between the West and Iran over its nuclear program.