Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Iran confirms release of Iranian crew members of Venezuelan plane grounded in Argentina

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kanaani announced the release of all the five Iranian crew members of the Venezuelan plane seized by Argentina last June.

Kanaani said on Monday, the decision was made following 129 days of diplomatic efforts and a joint legal and consular battle by Iran and Venezuela.

“The Argentinean judge eventually declared the evidence and documents put forward by the claimants in the case, Argentina’s Zionist association (Daia) and two Zionist lawmakers of the Argentinean parliament, to be insufficient and invalid, issuing an order for the release of the Iranian crew members and the removal of their exit ban,” he said.

The five remaining crew members of a Venezuelan cargo plane detained since June in Argentina have been granted permission to leave the country, court officials told local media on Friday.

The Venezuelan plane, Emtrasur, belonged to the Iranian airline Mahan until a year ago.

The plane first entered Argentina on June 6 from Mexico but, unable to refuel in Buenos Aires due to US sanctions on Venezuela, it left for Uruguay on June 8.

After Uruguayan authorities refused it access, it flew back to Argentina where its crew members were detained in a hotel.

An Argentine judge then granted a request from the United States to seize the plane on the basis that laws were broken when Iran — also under US sanctions — sold it to Venezuela.

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