Argentine Prosecutors have decided to charge the Iranian captain of the Venezuelan-flagged Boeing 747-300 seized at the Ezeiza international airport in Buenos Aires, it was announced Tuesday.
According to an FBI report, Gholamreza Ghasemi, who arrived with a crew of 19 including himself, is not a namesake but the CEO of the company Far Air Oeshm, linked to the Quds Forces, an arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.
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, said the prosecution.
Such irregular circumstances lead to inquire whether the true purpose of the aircraft's arrival to our country was exclusively to transport auto parts merchandise, or whether it was based on reasons other than those alleged and whether it may constitute an act of preparation to provide goods or money that could be used for a terrorist activity, its financing or organization.
Ghasemi is also suspected of having participated in logistical operations to assist Hezbollah, in arms trafficking and money laundering.
Fars Air Qeshm was flagged by the U.S. Treasury in 2019 due to its direct involvement in terrorist activity and the assistance it provides to the Quds Force and the Iranian airline Mahan Air, which have been flagged as terrorist entities, according to a report. However, the FBI report handed over to Argentina states that the document was for intelligence purposes only, and not to be used in legal proceedings.
Although Gholamreza remains the main suspect, the investigation should also focus on all the other members of the crew, on the aircraft and its cargo, in accordance with the obligations of the Argentine State to prevent and punish acts of terrorism, it was explained. The crew members are staying at a hotel in the Ezeiza area, barred from leaving the country and with their passports withheld by a federal court.
The investigation is now also focused on the Boeing 747 of Emtrasur with the Venezuelan registration number YV3531, and on whether that flight had other purposes beyond carrying auto parts for the Volkswagen company.
The scandal began when the plane landed in Argentina June 6 and was denied refueling due to US sanctions. Now the Delegation of Argentine Israelite Associations (DAIA) appeared before the Federal Court of Lomas de Zamora, demanded that the crew of the aircraft be investigated for possible links with international terrorism, and asked to be considered as a plaintiff. In view of the characteristics of the fact under investigation and the fact that my client is not only an entity representing the Argentine Jewish community but also a direct victim of the  bombing of the AMIA- DAIA headquarters, I understand that it is duly entitled to be a party to this action, the filing stated.