Iran's Mahan Airlines: Flight seized in Argentina not ours
Mahan Air refutes news of one of its aircraft being seized in Argentina.
Iran's Mahan Airlines refuted on Sunday news being reported on the seizing of one of its planes in Argentina, stressing that the airplane in question is owned by Venezuela.
IRNA news agency reported, quoting Mahan's public relations bureau, that the aircraft that was seized in Venezuela has nothing to do with Mahan Airlines.
The agency also noted that Mahan's statement was released after Spanish media quoted the Argentinian Security Minister as saying that a Boeing 747 owned by Mahan Airlines and leased to Venezuela was seized, on US orders, and its five Iranian crew members have had their passports confiscated.
According to ISNA news agency, the freighter, which is under US sanctions, had seven Iranian crew members and nine Venezuelans, all of whom are currently in Argentina, and cannot return to Venezuela because their passports were taken away from them.
The airplane was transporting automobile parts, and no contraband or suspicious cargo was found during the search.
The crew was kept on board and Iranian diplomats were prevented from visiting the ship until Iran's ambassador to Athens was allowed to check on the crew. This was only after Iran retaliated against the theft of its cargo, by the seizure of two Greek tankers in the Gulf.