The Paraguayan president says an Iranian IRGC agent on board the Venezuelan cargo plane grounded in Argentina had traveled to Cuba for plastic surgery to “change his face.”
Mario Abdo Benítez said in a press conference on Friday that a “large number” of Venezuelan-Iranian crew of the plane immobilized at Ezeiza airport in Buenos Aires over suspected connections with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Force have “links to international terrorism.”
“Since Paraguay informed and alerted the authorities, they were able to make inquiries and we saw that a large part of the crew [made up of Iranians and Venezuelans] had links to international terrorism,” he said.
He added that one of the Boeing 747’s crew members had “even had an operation to change his face in Cuba,” admitting that the allegation is like something out of “a film.”
In June, Gerardo Milman, an Argentine lawmaker, told Iran International that Iranians aboard the Venezuelan plane planned “attacks on human targets.”
Contrary to Iran’s claim on June 13 that the plane was not owned by an Iranian company and that any Iranians aboard were instructors, Milman said the pilot was “a senior official of Qods (Quds) force,” Tehran’s extraterritorial intelligence and secret ops outfit listed as a terrorist organization by the United States.
Earlier in June, Paraguay’s intelligence agency said Captain Gholamreza Ghasemi did not merely share a name with a member of the group but is in fact the same man.
Iran and Israel have been engaged in a years-long shadow war but tensions have ratcheted up following a string of high-profile incidents Tehran has blamed on Jerusalem.
A number of Iranian IRGC scientists and officers have been killed in recent weeks, with Iran often pointing the finger at Israel.
Iran reportedly suspects Israel killed two Iranian scientists several weeks ago by poisoning their food. The details of the men’s work, the circumstances of their deaths, and their ties to the government remain unclear.