Iranian pilot detained in Argentina returns home

October 23, 2022 - 21:46

TEHRAN – Iranian pilot and two other Iranian crew who had been detained by Argentina in June have returned home.

Pilot Gholamrez Qassemi and the other two crew members were to arrive in Tehran on Sunday at noon time, according to Fars news agency.

Two other Iranian crew had been released in mid-September.

14 Venezuelan crew members were also detained at the time.

Qassemi had visited Venezuela to train Venezuelan pilots.

The son of Qassemi, in a recent interview with the Fars news agency, gave some reasons why his father and the crew were not allowed to fly.

The son blamed the United States and the Zionist regime for ordering Argentina to ground the cargo plane.

Definitely, this event was “preplanned” because when an airplane takes off it should get the permission for landing, flying over countries and an alternative airport, the son said.

Having all these permissions means that the airplane should be provided with services such as refueling, firefighting, transportation, etc., he explained.

US News reported on October 21 that the last five members of an Iran-linked cargo plane grounded in Argentina arrived in Venezuela on Friday, after being held in Buenos Aires for nearly four months.

An Argentine court ruled on October 15 there was no evidence to charge the two Venezuelans and three Iranians for links to terrorist activities, for which they were being investigated.

Transport Minister Ramon Velasquez told Telesur he was celebrating "the freedom of the 19 crew members who were kidnapped by the Argentine judiciary."

The remainder of the 19-person crew arrived in Venezuela last month.

The Boeing 747 cargo plane, sold to Venezuela by Iran's Mahan Air a year ago, was grounded in June on claim around its declared reason for entering the country.

Argentina later seized the plane on request of a court in the United States, which has sanctioned Iran and Venezuela, both of which retain close ties.

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