Argentina grounds Iranian Mahan Air cargo plane

Five Iranian passengers suspected of ties with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards had their passports confiscated. 

By World News Israel Staff

Argentina on Sunday grounded an Iranian Boeing 747 cargo plane, Iranian state media said in reports later confirmed by Argentine Security Minister Fernandez Anibal.

The Mahan Air aircraft, leased to a Venezuelan state-owned airline a year ago, was seized by authorities after landing in Buenos Aires from Mexico.

Five Iranian passengers, allegedly with links to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, had their passports confiscated, according to Iran International, a London-based Iranian opposition outlet.

While Argentina’s government has not confirmed the seizure, an Interior Ministry document obtained by the Reuters news agency said the decision was made after concerns that the airline had lied about its stated reason for entering the country.

The U.S. imposed sanctions on Mahan Air more than a decade ago over its support for the IRGC.

Iran and Venezuela, which are both under U.S. sanctions, share close ties. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is currently in Iran, and over the weekend he signed a 20-year cooperation deal between the two countries.