The Government of Iran has requested Argentina's Judiciary lifts the travel ban on the five Asian country's nationals who have been staying at a hotel near the Ezeiza international airport following the seizing of a Venezuela-flagged Boeing 747-300.
The aircraft previously belonged to Iran's Mahan Air, from where it was transferred to Emtrasur, a cargo subsidiary of Venezuela's Conviasa. All three carriers are blacklisted by the United States for their alleged links to Iran-sponsored global terrorism.
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said Wednesday he had conveyed to Argentine authorities the deep concern of the Iranian government and the families of the Iranian crew over the withholding of their travel documents and the restriction to leave the country, which constitutes a violation of human rights.
The Asian country's top diplomat also pointed out in a statement that Iran calls on the government of Argentina to fulfill its duties and responsibilities by putting an end to the restrictions and facilitating the immediate departure of the five Iranian crew members.
The status of the Venezuelan plane and the Iranian crew members is completely legal within the framework of international law and air conventions, so there is no place to investigate Iranian citizens, the Iranian foreign minister added while insisting on all preemptive measures needed to be lifted.
An Argentine federal judge has prevented the crew of five Iranians and 14 Venezuelans from leaving the South American country pending inquiries into the possible real reasons for a cargo flight carrying auto parts from Mexico with a crew of 19, which on the surface does not add up from a financial standpoint.
The Iranian note was delivered to Argentina's acting chargé d'affaires in Tehran. The document also stressed that the accusations against Iranian citizens were a sign of Zionist hostility towards the Islamic Republic of Iran and its citizens. The Iranian authorities also claimed there was insufficient evidence to reasonably continue with the ongoing investigations. Therefore, extending the current restrictions on the Iranian crew would be in disregard of the presumption of innocence, because less severe measures are available.
There is not even remotely and never existed an indication of the commission of any crime, the Iranian document argued. It added that the case had been blown out of proportion by media outlets and fake news.