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Argentina hands over an Iranian cargo plane


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Argentina hands over an Iranian cargo plane belonging to the Revolutionary Guard to America
Arab and international 
Baghdad today -
The US government announced today, Monday (February 12, 2024), that it had received from Argentina a cargo plane belonging to an Iranian company owned by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, noting that “this plane arrived in the state of Florida today.”
While the Iranian official agency "IRNA" described the US confiscation of the Boeing 747 as a continuation of "public theft" operations under the pretext of violating unilateral and illegal sanctions.
According to the Iranian agency, this aircraft was previously sold from Mahan Air to Emtrasur, a Venezuelan cargo airline, two years ago.
US officials said this sale was made without permission from the US government, violated export control laws and also benefited Iran.
“The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring the full implementation of US laws and preventing agents of hostile governments from carrying out subversive acts that threaten our national security,” Matthew Olsen, Assistant Attorney General and Head of the US Homeland Security Administration, said in a statement.
Argentina seized the plane in June 2022, and US authorities confiscated the plane several weeks later. According to officials, Argentina officially handed over the plane to the United States on Sunday.
The US Department of Justice said the plane would now be "equipped for sabotage" but did not provide further details.
According to a statement by the US Department of Justice, the Argentine government handed over physical custody of the plane to the United States yesterday, Sunday, following the final seizure order issued by a Washington court on May 3, 2023, and the plane has now arrived in South Florida.
“This American-made aircraft was purchased by a sanctioned Iranian airline in a deal that violates U.S. export control laws and directly benefits the Revolutionary Guard, which is itself a terrorist organization,” said Matthew Olsen, Deputy Attorney General of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.
He added, "The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that US laws are fully implemented to prevent hostile government actors from obtaining the tools (they need) to engage in harmful activities that threaten our national security."
For his part, Matthew Axelrod, US Deputy Secretary of Commerce, stated, “Mahan Air, known for transporting weapons, Revolutionary Guard and Hezbollah fighters, by selling this plane to a Venezuelan airline (the shipping company), violated our export restrictions, and now (the plane) has become... Property of the United States Government.”
Axelrod added, the arrival of the seized plane to the United States is "a strong example of our tireless efforts to prevent Iran and its proxies from exploiting and benefiting from American technology."
On January 3, the Argentine Ministry of Justice ordered the handover of this plane to the United States.
The cargo plane is a Boeing 747 belonging to the Venezuelan company Emtrasur, which was purchased from the Iranian company Mahan Air two years ago.
This airline is linked to the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, which the United States designated as a terrorist organization under former President Donald Trump.
The aforementioned plane entered Argentina from Mexico in June 2022 and headed to Uruguay two days later, but Uruguay did not allow the plane to enter and it was forced to return to Argentina.
Voice of America radio reported at the time that Esteban Aquino, Director of the National Intelligence Secretariat in Paraguay, announced: “His country, in cooperation with Argentina to identify the crew of the Mahan plane detained at Buenos Aires Airport, obtained evidence proving that the pilot on board this flight, Ghulam Reza Qasemi is a member of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.
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