All of the five Iranian crew members of a Venezuelan plane who had been confined in Argentina at the request of the US in June have been released, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Nasser Kanaani said.
In a statement on Tuesday, Kanaani said the five Iranian nationals have been freed after 129 days of diplomatic efforts as well as legal and consular campaigns jointly conducted by Iran and Venezuela.
The spokesman said an Argentinian investigating judge has ultimately ruled that the documents and evidence given by the plaintiffs, namely DAIA (the umbrella organization of Argentina’s Jewish community) and two Zionist members of Argentina’s parliament, were inadmissible and inauthentic, and has ordered the release of the Iranian crew of the plane by lifting a ban on their travel.
Kanaani said the Iranian crew of the Venezuelan plane are on their way to Iran.
An appeals court ruled on September 13 that 11 Venezuelans and one Iranian traveling on board the plane held at Ezeiza airport can depart.
Authorities had called on the judge to conclude investigation into the remaining seven crew within 10 days.
One of the Iranians previously prevented from leaving was pilot Gholamreza Ghasemi who had to land his Boeing 747 cargo plane in Argentina on June 8 from Mexico with a shipment of auto parts after unsuccessfully attempting to enter Uruguay.
Both Venezuela and Iran, which signed a 20-year cooperation accord in June, are under draconian US sanctions.
Washington says the sale of the plane to Emtrasur, a subsidiary of Venezuelan state carrier Conviasa, in October 2021 violated US sanctions.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has accused the US of trying “to steal from us a gigantic, modern cargo airplane”.
Iran has expertise in flying Boeing 747s because it has a number of them. These older planes are still flying and Iranian pilots have some unique expertise in keeping them aloft and extending their abilities.
The Iranian pilot’s son, Hossein Ghasemi, recently said that his father had flown with many airlines in the past and had flown to Dubai, Damascus, Paris and other cities.
Since the sale of the plane, his father had been assigned by the Iranian Civil Aviation Organization to train Venezuelan pilots. He had spent a year training the Venezuelans and made various flights in South America.
Source: Agencies (edited by Al-Manar English Website)