US asks Argentina to seize Venezuelan plane linked to Iran

The United States Justice requested Argentina to allow confiscate a Venezuelan-Iranian plane held in the country on suspicion of links to international terrorism.

The Court of the District of Columbia sent an order to the southern country stating that the aircraft can be confiscated because it violated export control laws.

“The Justice Department will not tolerate transactions that violate our sanctions and export laws,” said Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.

The Emtrasur cargo plane, sold to Venezuela by Iran’s Mahan Air a year ago, according to the Iranian airline, arrived in Buenos Aires on June 8 and was immobilized by local authorities.

The US Department of Justice said the plane is subject to sanctions because its sale from the Iranian company Mahan Air to Emtrasur, of the Venezuelan Consortium of Aeronautical Industries and Air Services (Conviasa) violates US export laws.

Both companies were sanctioned by the United States for alleged collaboration with terrorist organizations.

“The seizure of this aircraft demonstrates our determination to hold accountable those who seek to violate United States sanctions and export control laws,” said US Attorney Matthew Graves for the District of Columbia.

At the time of the arrival in Buenos Aires of the plane, with registration YV3531, it had a crew of 14 Venezuelans and five Iranians, of which seven are still delayed in Argentina.

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