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Iran vs "political seizure" of plane

Mahan Air: aircraft sold to Venezuelan company

In recent days, a B-747/300M aircraft (registration YV3531) belonging to Venezuela's State-owned cargo line Emtrasur, which took off from Mexico's Querétaro airport and landed at Argentina's Buenos Aires airport, was detained by South American authorities and prevented from returning to Venezuela. 

"The Boeing 747 plane recently seized by Argentina was originally owned by Iranian Mahan Air, but was sold to a Venezuelan airline a year ago. "The confiscation of the aircraft is a political move", Mahan Air spokesman Amirhossein Zolanvari denounced at the microphones of the Islamic Republic's "Irna" news agency. 

On June 8, the plane attempted to leave the Buenos Aires airport, but after a short time it reversed course and returned to the airport of departure. The reasons were unknown until Mahan Air's complaint. Probably, what made the Argentine authorities suspicious was the fact that there was only a half Venezuelan crew on board: while the other members originated from Tehran. 

In all likelihood, the affair had to do with the fact that the air carrier Mahan Air had been financially sanctioned by the United States in 2011 after the Iranian government supported the Quds Forces. The latter are a component of the Middle Eastern country's Islamic Revolutionary Guards, specializing in intelligence and armed operations abroad, which Washington considers a terrorist group.

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency