The threat Justice found on Iranian plane pilot’s cell phone: ‘If they disturb us, we will commit genocide’
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“If they bother, let us know and we’ll kill them all (…) we’ll do genocide“. The disturbing and moving news appears on the phone of pilot Gholamreza Ghasemi, commander of the Emtrasur flight to Buenos Aires and one of the five crew members summoned by the Argentine judiciary for investigation. The threat is not made by Ghasemi, but by another Iranian pilot who took part in the trip to Paraguay in May this year. The conversation he had access to InfobaeOccurred on Sunday 12 June a few hours before the Canning Hotel was burgled in which all phones were confiscated.
The forensic investigation into the Iran-Venezuelan plane collects more than 5,000 pages of messages salvaged from the phones, tablets and other devices belonging to the 19 crew members. Due to the complexity and amount of information, the expertise is not yet complete. In the case of the Iranians, audio transcripts are still pending, public prosecutor Cecilia Incardona said in a brief statement a week ago.
The prosecutor also argued in that brief that the translations, which correspond to Ghasemi’s bank transfers, “lack any contextualization,” making their interpretation difficult. These and other reasons prompted them to request the continuation of the investigation despite the deadline set by the Federal Chamber of La Plata.
The conversation, to which this medium had access, begins with a formal greeting from the other Iranian pilot, who wanted to know the situation of the crew members being held in Buenos Aires. After judicial investigation it would be Alireza Mohsen Daneshpour, one of the pilots who was on the trip to Paraguay.
“Dear Captain, hello, are you enjoying yourself?” the exchange begins. Ghasemi replies without hesitation: “nope”. That Sunday, June 12, the 19 crew members were staying at the Hotel Canning, unaware that a raid ordered by Federal Judge Federico Villena was about to begin.
The conversation is marked in the file with the number 411 on page 37 of the translations:
– Daneshpour: Why? Captain, is the situation okay over there?
– Ghasemi: Yes, excellent, without you
– Daneshpour: The news says it’s true, they didn’t bother him, right? (sic) I go and destroy them, I bring Naghi and we make genocide
– Ghasemi: No no, with all due respect
– Daneshpour: Well, thank goodness. If they bother, let us know and we’ll bring Naghi and kill them all.
– Ghasemi: It’s that they’re having fuel sanctions
– Daneshpour: And what will happen? You don’t deliver?
– Ghasemi: Tomorrow your embassy will address the issue
Investigators believe that the person referred to in the dialogue as “Naghi” would have direct ties to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and the airline Fars Air Qeshm, both of which are also linked to Ghasemi himself.
According to the FBI report, which was added to the filing in mid-June, Ghasemi is the CEO and a member of the board of directors of Fars Air Qeshm, an Iranian airline sanctioned by the United States. “Fars Air Qeshm operates civilian cargo flights for the Quds Force and IRGC, including smuggling weapons and sensitive equipment from Iran to Syria. This activity is part of Iran’s efforts to establish a military presence around the world,” the dossier said.
In his inquiry before Judge Villena last week, Ghasemi denied being a shareholder in the company and attached documents to prove it, he was told. Infobae. The pilot, like two other Iranians, gave written evidence and did not answer any questions.
The dialogue between Ghasemi and the other Iranian pilot was put on file a few weeks ago and triggered several test steps. The content of the threat also alerted security forces cooperating with the investigation, although it would have no legal relevance to the situation of the pilot attacked by the FBI.
The FBI also linked Ghasemi directly to him Iranian Revolutionary Guards Quds Force (IRGC-QF) and Hezbollah, two terrorist organizations accused in Argentina of having blown up the Israeli embassy and AMIA. “The Quds Force has a long history of supporting Hezbollah’s militia, paramilitary and terrorist activities by providing leadership, funding, weapons, intelligence and logistical support. Quds Forces operate a Hezbollah training camp in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley and have reportedly trained more than 3,000 troops at Iran’s Revolutionary Guards headquarters,” the report said.
Photos and videos supporting this hypothesis were also found on Ghasemi’s cell phone.. “Ghasemi’s professional and commercial background does not appear to be compatible with the activity he is alleged to have developed on the Boeing in question,” the DAIA complaint said at the time its investigation was filed.
Judge Villena also examined two Venezuelans who were part of the occupation and held hierarchical positions in Emtrasur: Víctor Manuel Pérez and Mario Arraga Urdaneta. Along with the three Iranians, they are accused of financing terrorist activities, a crime provided for in Article 306 of the Penal Code.
In the next few days, the judge must clarify their procedural situation, whether they will be charged, dismissed, or dictated for lack of merit. The Times is pushing for the term imposed by the La Plata federal chamber. In that judgment, the court had ruled that “all pending cases, the determination of the procedural position and the limitations of persons and things must be decided by the first instance judge within a period of ten days, which they calculate, from the date on which this file is returned to the source instance”.
The other 14 crew members have already left the country after their release. Prosecutors have just appealed this decision for review by the Federal Chamber, warning that a return to the country is unlikely as Iran and Venezuela do not allow the extradition of their citizens. “If this is confirmed, the possibility of convicting those responsible for an extremely serious crime like the one investigated here is gone,” Incardona said of the dismissal.
The prosecutor had been heavily questioned by Chavista regime officials when she criticized the possibility for the first 12 beneficiaries to leave the country. The President of the Chavista National Assembly, Jorge Rodríguez, la tried to be a “thief” and said that “on the same day that he signed the monstrosity he visited (about the appeal) the embassy of the United States” and that of Israel. These visits never took place.
Venezuela also criticized Judge Villena for granting US justice’s motion to seize the Emtrasur plane. over the unauthorized transfer between Mahan Air, an airline affiliated with the Revolutionary Guard and Quds Forces, and Emtrasur. Villena’s decision was upheld by the La Plata Chamber and is now being appealed to the Chamber of Cassation by Attorney Maximiliano Rusconi.
Ghasemi’s alleged interlocutor in the conversation obtained by Infobae is Alireza Mohsen Daneshpour, one of the Iranians who took part in the Emtrasur flight from Asunción to Aruba on May 13 to carry a load of cigarettes. In this case, the crew consisted of 7 Iranians and 11 Venezuelans. Only two Iranians were repeated on the trip to Buenos Aires: Ghasemi and Abdolbaset Mohammadi.
The Paraguayan judiciary is still investigating the crew members’ movements and meetings during their brief stay in Ciudad del Este.
Very little of this research reached Argentina. When Judge Villena requested information, Paraguayan Intelligence Minister Esteban Aquino refused to provide information due to local intelligence law. In particular, he said that until the budgets established by this regulation are in place, it is “impossible to give an answer”.