Although it does not constitute evidence of a crime, In the cell phone of the pilot of the Venezuelan plane held in Ezeiza, the Iranian Gholamreza Ghasemi, there are photos in which he is seen much younger as a combatant of the Al Quds Revolutionary Guard, there are also images of missiles, tanks and some flag that says “death to Israel”, according to a first translation from the Farsi. As is known, the cell phones of all the Boeing crew members were seized by order of Judge Federico Villena and at the request of prosecutor Cecilia Incardona. It seems a bit contradictory that someone who allegedly carries out espionage or terrorist activities keeps photos of that nature, but it is very likely that they will be used against them in the legal case, even if they do not constitute a crime. The data on the existence of the photos was an exclusive advance of Página/12.

Those who work in the analysis of cell phones found these photos and have already reported it to the judge and the prosecutor, although they still do not have a reliable translation, because it is not easy to get a good translator of Farsi, the majority language in Iran. The expert opinion is carried out by the Computer Crimes Division of the City Police. It is clear that the photos are by Ghasemi and to complete the expert work the translation of the texts is missing. In principle, the Iranian crew did not use Whatsapp but a more rudimentary system, but we will have to wait for the official translation.

It is very likely that Ghasemi will argue that he did his military service, that later he was in the military, and that a large part of the young people of his country make up the Al Quds Revolutionary Guard, which are brigades organized and financed by the State with an international orientation: the base they are anti-American and anti-Israeli slogans. In fact, the very name –Quds– is the Arabic name for Jerusalem, meaning that it points directly to the confrontation with Israel. Al Quds, in addition, also mixes the religious question and is in total harmony with the regime of the ayatollahs. Ghasemi’s lawyers and the rest of the crew are sure to claim that they are old photos and that they do not imply any crime, much less committed in Argentina. They will also say that if Ghasemi had been involved in any illegal activity, he would have deleted the photos or, more likely, would have used what Argentine intelligence calls “a mocho,” that is, a parallel, clandestine cell phone.

A striking fact is that the Venezuelan government has not presented any protest, among other things for the illegal search carried out by the Airport Security Police, without a court order, upon the return of the Jumbo from Uruguay. Venezuela could also protest because the plane was not refueled when there was no complaint of any kind against the Emtrasur aircraft. However, from what is known so far, Caracas opted for restraint. In the Venezuelan government they are grateful for the role played by the Argentine government, and especially Alberto Fernandez, at the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, denouncing the blockades against Cuba and Venezuela. It should be remembered that, before that moment, the relationship with Caracas was complex, with twists and turns, because Argentina supported what was done by Michele Bachelet as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, with critical reports –although with progress– regarding the human rights situation and the imprisonment of opponents in Venezuela. Relations with Caracas also calmed down as a result of the appointment of a new Argentine ambassador to Venezuela. The nominee is Oscar Laborde, who has the support of all sectors of the government. Finally, one cannot fail to see that even the United States, in the context of the oil issue and the Russia-Ukraine war, took a significant step by sending a high-level delegation to meet with Nicolás Maduro.. None other than Security Secretary Jake Sullivan was at the Miraflores Palace in Caracas. To round the box, Nor does President Joe Biden seem very enthusiastic about raising the temperature of conflicts: It is considering redoing the nuclear limitation pact between the United States, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and China with Iran. All these elements play at this time in the unusual conflict over a plane that passed through twelve countries and a pilot who has neither an arrest warrant nor has he been charged with any crime in any country.

The imputation to the pilot

As is known, on Tuesday the prosecutor Incardona also charged Ghasemi based on an FBI report that maintains that the pilot was an executive and part of the board of directors of Oeshm Fars Air that a few years ago –according to the North American agency– made flights between Tehran and Beirut carrying weapons. In communication with the Argentine government, the Israeli Mossad asserted that this is indeed the case, but that since the 747 became Venezuelan — the purchase-sale was made in July 2021 –, the ship would not be used for anything. illegal. Therefore, there were no objections to the Jumbo’s movements. The amazing thing is that the Embassy of Israel in Paraguay released a statement in which it expresses its concern about the arrival of the plane in Argentina and does not say a word that the 747 was in Ciudad del Este –not even in Asunción– a month before, with the same crew and that from Ciudad del Este it went to Aruba with a shipment of cigarettes from the multi-accused Horacio Cartes, former president of Paraguay and close friend of Mauricio Macri.

Everything shows the geopolitical content of the case, which brings together the right wing of the United States, Israel and Argentina, because it involves the so-called Iran-Venezuela axis of evil and serves to ingratiate itself even more with Washington. Beyond such a scenario, Judge Villena will now require more information from the FBI –-an agency that moves quite independently from the US government– and it is very likely that one of the prosecutors or judges aligned with Donald Trump will make a claim from the country of the North.

Closer to home, here in Lomas de Zamora, at the request of Incardona, Villena is requesting more documents on the plane’s ownership — he wants to see if it is true that he is Venezuelan or still Iranian — and new checks will be made on the cargo he brought to Buenos Aires. In her opinion, the prosecutor stated that it is necessary to investigate whether the charge was not a way to hide espionage or terrorism activities, with the FBI report as the only evidence. She will now be able to say that the photos of young Ghasemi are additional evidence.

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Varun Kumar

Varun Kumar is a freelance writer working on news website. He contributes to Our Blog and more. Wise also works in higher ed sustainability and previously in stream restoration. He loves running, trees and hanging out with her family.

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