In the midst of the controversial relations that the Mexican government maintains with the United States, there are chapters that are not considered in our country with the importance they have: one of them is the relationship with organizations or countries considered terrorists by the United States or different international bodies. . Beyond the relationship with Cuba, one of the most disturbing in Washington is the one established with two countries that have developed an intense partnership with each other, such as Venezuela and Iran, and their relationship with groups such as Al Qaeda and Hezbollah.
The case of the Venezuelan plane, actually belonging to an Iranian company, which visited Mexico on several occasions and traveled from Querétaro to Argentina where it has been detained by the authorities due to the demands of the United States government, falls within this logic. That happened on June 6 and now the US Department of Justice has requested the confiscation of the plane and started its own process against its crew and the companies that own it.
The hard fact is that a plane reported by the US authorities, with a crew linked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, considered a terrorist by the American Union, with 14 other Venezuelan passengers, was in Mexico, there was no control over its crew, it received a cargo which is suspiciously small for a plane of that magnitude, and left for Argentina, where he remains detained along with his crew and here nobody has been aware of it.
The plane was bulletined by aeronautical authorities but also by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), with which Mexico maintains a particularly close relationship. It was owned by the Venezuelan state company Conviasa, which is on the OFAC blacklist which, as is known, draws up a list of people and companies with which it is prohibited to operate, based on what it considers a threat to the national security of the American Union. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard, and its elite group called Qduas, are on that list, but they are also considered terrorist agents, due to the attacks they have committed in different parts of the world. Until last January, the plane was owned by an Iranian company that is also on those same lists, because it is considered to illegally sell and supply weapons to terrorist organizations.
In May, the Paraguayan government had notified the same plane because it had arrived in Ciudad del Este, on the Triple Frontier, where Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina meet, an area with a high rate of drug, arms and human trafficking. The complaint was supported by the United States government. When they wanted to stop it, the plane had left with an unknown course and transponders turned off.
All these data are included in the lists that governments use and supervise on a daily basis, such as that of OFAC, including of course that of Mexico. This plane should not be allowed to enter our country, it could not be traded or loaded with fuel oil, it should be known that at least the Iranian members of its crew were members of the Revolutionary Guard, and that the commander he is an active member of the same, family, in addition, of the minister of the interior of Iran.
This information was so public that the plane, which first landed in the city of Córdoba, Argentina, (it was forced, because that day there was intense fog in Buenos Aires), was not supplied with fuel by the companies YPF and Shell, because they knew it was bulletin by OFAC. He went to Buenos Aires where he was not supplied either, so he tried to reach Montevideo. But the Urugay government did not allow him to land and he returned to Buenos Aires, where due to the complaint received by prosecutors and judges, he ended up being detained, both the aircraft and its crew, now claimed by the United States.
Nobody has claimed, by the way, the cargo (car parts) that he had received in Querétaro. Whoever sold that cargo and whoever bought it, would also be violating OFAC regulations, which prohibit operations with companies or individuals listed. The plane, a Dreamliner, it is absurd that it only carried that small load, and much more such a large crew of almost 20 people.
The itinerary of that plane before flying from Querétaro to Buenos Aires has been reconstructed. In just three weeks, he had been to Caracas five times, Tehran (Iran’s capital) four times, Ciudad del Este (Paraguay) twice, Belgrade (Serbia) twice, Moscow once and Queretaro twice. That flight schedule alone would make him highly suspicious.
The Argentine government, with good relations with Venezuela and with Iran, despite the attack against the AMIA Jewish Mutual Fund in Buenos Aires in 1994, which left 22 dead, an attack with Iranian participation, wanted to pass everything off as confusion. But justice gave the opposite opinion, deepened the investigations and this week the United States authorities have joined them.
In Mexico, someone thinks that it is not an issue. They are wrong. We will have to see how far the research league stretches. The fact is one more demonstration of the chaos that afflicts the air sector in the country, exhibits the lack of security controls and perhaps complicity with characters and companies that are not only questionable but also internationally denounced.