Israel's Embassy in Montevideo Wednesday claimed that the Iranian crewmembers of the Venezuelan-flagged Boeing 747-300 seized by Argentine authorities in Buenos Aires were involved “in arms trafficking to Syria” and with the terrorist organization Hezbollah.
The State of Israel follows with concern the arrival in Argentina of the aircraft that still belongs to the Iranian company Mahan Air, which has been sanctioned by the United States for its participation in the trafficking of arms, equipment, and people for the Quds Force.
This plane was used until recently by the Iranian company Mahan Air, which operates flights for the Quds Force on the route between Tehran and Damascus, said the Israeli embassy in Uruguay in a statement released Wednesday.
The diplomatic mission also highlighted that onboard were Iranians involved directly in arms trafficking to Syria and to the terrorist organization Hezbollah of Lebanon. The embassy also insisted the captain of the plane was a senior executive of the Iranian airline Qushm Fars Air.
The statement also pointed out that Israel was especially concerned about the activity of Iranian airline companies Mahan Air and Qeshm Fars Air in Latin America because they are companies that are involved in trafficking arms, equipment and people for the Quds Force, which are under U.S. sanctions.
The Israeli mission also underscored the good joint work and coordination of the countries of the region, with Paraguay identifying the potential threat represented by the aircraft and its Iranian crew, and also the determination of that country and Uruguay to close their air spaces and prevent the landing of the aircraft.
For Israel, the case of the Emtrasur 747 is another incident that demonstrates Iran's attempts to continue establishing influence around the world as well as in South America, as a base of operations for terrorist activities in the continent.
Argentine prosecutors charged the plane's captain as a terrorism suspect, after several traces emerged which led authorities to continue the investigation on the pilot and of all the crew that depended on him, of the aircraft and its cargo.
Uruguay's Defense Minister Javier García Monday told a Senatorial Defense Committee that they were surprised that the crew had requested to extend their stay in the country. The most significant issue was that the request was based on the alleged crew's need to rest.