The pilot of the plane held at the Buenos Aires airport, the Iranian Gholamreza Ghasemi, has an alleged “link” with the Quds Force, a division of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran according to a report sent by the FBI to the Argentine Justice, judicial sources confirmed this Sunday.
The US agency forwarded this information to Judge Federico Villena, head of the Federal Criminal and Correctional Court of Lomas de Zamora 1, who has spent a week investigating possible links between the crew and international terrorism.
Judge Villena is investigating whether the plane’s crew, 5 Iranians and 14 Venezuelans, have links to international terrorism, since one of its members, the Iranian Gholamreza Gashemi has the same name as a member of the Quds Forcea division of the Corps of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard, defined by the United States as a terrorist organization.
For the moment, the judicial sources consulted by Efe did not detail the type of association that appears in the FBI report between Ghasemi and the Quds Force.
“There is nothing defined about imputations at the moment” these sources pointed out, to add that the magistrate continues to analyze this Sunday the data from the FBI report and the expert reports carried out by the Federal Police.
THE GOVERNMENT VERSION
During the last few days, the Argentine government denied that there was any kind of relationship between Ghasemi and the Iranian forces, considering that it was a “same name”, a hypothesis that was contradicted this Friday by the head of the Paraguayan National Intelligence Secretariat (SNI), Esteban Aquino.
“According to what we know, and allied agencies confirmed to us, it is a person linked to the Quds. He’s not lookalike, he’s not namesake or anything, he’s the person.”said Aquino, in line with the data supported by the FBI report.
The plane in question, a Boeing 747 Dreamliner freighter, was owned by the Iranian company Mahan Air and currently belongs to emtrasur a subsidiary of the Venezuelan Consortium of Aeronautical Industries and Air Services (Conviasa), companies that are sanctioned by the United States Department of the Treasury.
The aircraft entered Argentina on June 6 from Mexico, after a stopover in Venezuela, bound for the Ezeiza international airport, and two days later it took off to go to Uruguay to load fuel, but landed again at the Argentine airport because the country neighbor did not enable his landing.
In Argentina the oil companies did not load fuel on the plane for fear of US sanctions.
The Argentine President, Alberto Fernandez stressed this Saturday that there was “no type of restriction” on the aircraft’s crew, made up of 5 Iranians (including Ghasemi) and 14 Venezuelans, whose passports were withheld by the Justice, and insisted that the Executive “acted quickly” in this case.
Argentina suffered two terrorist attacks in the 1990s -against the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) and against the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires- and the local Justice has pointed out powerful people from Iran and the Hezbollah group as responsible.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.