Police officers confiscate a box of documents during a judicial raid at the Plaza Central Hotel in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where the crew of an Emtrasur cargo plane are staying. (AP)

August 12, 2022

Argentina has detained four “Iraqi” citizens with fake French passports at Ezeiza airport outside Buenos Aires since Monday.

Security Minister Fernandez Anibal said on Wednesday that the four were arrested Monday night at the Ezeiza international airport as they tried to board a plane with false documents. The individuals intended to travel to the Netherlands on a KLM airline flight.

Some reports said the two couples were of Iranian origin but it was not confirmed by any Argentinian official. The suspects were later identified as Iraqi Kurds, and members of the Yazidi religion who fled Iraq with the aim of establishing themselves in Germany via Amsterdam.

He added their case is being investigated by the same federal judge in charge of the Iranian plane grounded in Argentina, Federico Villena.

Villena is the same magistrate who is investigating the 14 Venezuelans and five Iranians who arrived in this capital in June on a plane from the Venezuelan state company Emtrasur, a subsidiary of Conviasa, grounded over links to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.

Earlier in August, Villena authorized the departure of 12 of the 19 people who were onboard, ordering four Iranians and three Venezuelans to be retained in Argentina.

Registered as a Venezuelan cargo plane, the aircraft was used by the Iranian company Mahan Air and transported a group of Iranian officials, including pilot Gholamrez Ghasemi, a senior executive of the airline Qeshm Fars Air, who is a member of the IRGC and a former board member of Fars Air Qeshm who stands accused of transporting weapons for Hezbollah during the civil war in Syria.

Iran International

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Track Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.