Iranian restrained plane in Argentina exposes regime’s nefarious Latin American agenda
While Tehran likes to portray itself as an anti-American pillar in the new unipolar world order, gaining influence and strengthening its foothold in the Americas is about more than flexing political muscle. Gholamreza Ghasemi, a member of the extraterritorial Quds Force, is believed to be a relative of the regime’s current interior minister, Ahmad Vahidi, who is wanted by Interpol for his role in the 1994 AMIA bombing.
Argentinian authorities have so far refused to address the issue, raising concerns about the Iranian regime’s impunity in Latin America for terrorism and other malign activities. Authorities in Argentina forced a Mahan Air flight to land in Buenos Aires on June 8. This 747-cargo plane was seized by the authorities. This Emtrasur cargo plane was “sold to Venezuela by Iran’s Mahan Air a year ago, according to the Iranian airline,” Reuters reported.
While the Argentine government has not confirmed the seizure, the Iranian regime has quickly acknowledged the incident while attempting to distance itself from it. The Iranian regime’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Saeed Khatibzadeh, claimed on Monday that the grounded plane, which was flying for Venezuelan national carrier Conviasa’s cargo division, did not belong to Iran’s Mahan Airlines. He did admit, however, that some of the crew members were Iranians.
Mahan Air is a member of the IRGC. The US sanctioned the airline in 2011 for “providing financial, material, and technological support to the IRGC” and for spreading terrorism and chaos around the world.” Key figures in this company are among senior officers of the Revolutionary Guards, specifical commanders of the Quds Force,” according to a comprehensive study conducted by the Iranian Resistance in 2011.
“In addition to providing passenger transportation, Iranian airline companies play a significant role in Iran’s regional interference.” “The term ‘private’ for these companies is essentially a cover for granting the Iranian regime the right to use them for its own purposes, including the transfer of equipment, logistical support, personnel, and so on,” the report continues.
It’s not unusual for a Quds Force member to pilot a Mahan Air flight. Another so-called “pilot,” Amir Assadolahi, admitted in June 2020 that in June 2013, he transported Qassem Soleimani, the eliminated commander of the IRGC Quds Force, to Syria with “seven tons” of “banned cargo,” meaning weapons, and 200 passengers on board. He proudly declared himself a member of the IRGC and a follower of Soleimani.
The threat posed by Iran in South America must be taken seriously. Because the Iranian regime is experiencing more domestic crises, it is exporting them to Latin America, which is an ideal destination. Latin America has become the regime’s “zone of operation” in recent years. The fatal car explosion outside the AMIA in 1994 did not occur overnight. On August 27, 1983, almost eleven years before the AMIA attack, the regime sent its operative, Mohsen Rabbani, to Buenos Aires.
“As the leader of the at-Tauhid Mosque, Rabbani began to search for potential targets for Iranian-backed terror attacks,” according to an exclusive report by the Iranian Resistance in February 2022. Three of Rabbani’s students at the at-Tauhid Mosque later testified that in 1990, he told them to “export the revolution” and that “we are all Hezbollah.”This plan culminated in the deadly bombing in 1994, which killed 85 people.
Argentina has an opportunity to send a clear message of resilience to Tehran by grounding the regime’s plane carrying its terrorists and holding them accountable. Any “political consideration” and surrender to the regime’s blackmail policy will embolden the world’s most powerful state sponsor of terrorism, and innocent people will eventually pay the price with their lives and money.