Israel revealed that the Iranian regime smuggled gold from Venezuela to finance Hezbollah terrorists

Mahan Air plane

as posted infobae last November, Israel revealed that last year the Iranian regime smuggled gold from Venezuela to finance the terrorist activities of the Lebanese group Hezbollah in the Middle East.

According to slogan The Jerusalem Postan order recently signed by the Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallantrealize the connections between Tehran and Caracasas a result of joint work by Israel’s National Office for Combating Terrorist Financing (NBCTF) and the Ministry of Defense, together with the Police and the Prosecution Authority.

The Israeli authorities indicated that in May of last year tens of kilograms of gold were smuggled through Mahan Aira privately owned Iranian airline designated by the US Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

The funds from that illicit activity were transferred to the terrorist group Hezbollah.

The information published by this medium exclusively in November of last year, detailed that, in violation of international sanctions, the gold was exchanged for Iranian oil, and then sold in Turkey and other Middle Eastern countries.

The regimes of Venezuela and Iran have strengthened their alliance to evade international sanctions (Miraflores Palace/Handout via REUTERS)
The regimes of Venezuela and Iran have strengthened their alliance to evade international sanctions (Miraflores Palace/Handout via REUTERS) (MIRAFLORES PALACE/)

For Israeli intelligence, a key player in this smuggling network was Seyed Badroddin Naiemael Moosavi, an iranian businessman which is engaged in trade all over the world. As revealed by the Israeli authorities, he led a secret operation within the Iranian Quds Forcebuying gold in Venezuela and using his business and political connections to cover up his illicit financing.

That is to say, Musawi was responsible for the trafficking of gold from Venezuela to Iran and its subsequent sale to finance Hezbollah’s terrorist activities.

According to security sources, senior Hezbollah commanders would also be involved in this smuggling plot.

Among them are Ali Kassirrepresentative of Hezbollah’s Ministry of Economic Affairs in Iran, and Mohammed Kassir, head of Hezbollah’s logistics unit. The latter, according to The Jerusalem Posthandled the transfer of funds once the gold had been converted into cash. Both are sanctioned by the United States for their involvement in international terrorism.

seyed-moosavi cover
Seyed Badroddin Naiemael Moosavi

Gold makes up most of Venezuela’s reserves. That includes $1.2 billion of the precious metal on deposit with the Bank of England, which blocked Maduro’s repeated withdrawal attempts.

Musawi, for his part, was part of a delegation from the Iranian Quds Force that traveled to Venezuela together with the CEO of Mahan Air, Hamid Evranjadto strengthen Tehran’s ties with the dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro.

Venezuela - Iran Hezbollah Ali Kassir
Ali Kassir
Venezuela - Iran Hezbollah Muhammad Jaafar Kassir
Mohammed Kassir

On November 19, 2020, in the midst of a pandemic, Maduro created the Aerocargo del Sur Transport Company (EMTRASUR), as a cargo subsidiary of the state airline Consorcio Venezolano de Industrias Aeronáuticas y Servicios Aéreos (Conviasa). Until the middle of last year, its only aircraft was a Boeing 747-300, registration YV353, purchased in February 2022 from Mahan Air.

The main destination of that plane has been Tehran. However, the EMTRASUR aircraft it also landed in Moscow when Vladimir Putin had already ordered the invasion of Ukraine. It also made flights to Belarus and China, among other destinations.

In June of last year, the aircraft, which was transporting auto parts from Mexico, was detained at the Ezeiza international airport, in Buenos Aires, during its second landing in a week in the Argentine capital. There she made a two-day stopover, and then headed for Uruguay. However, she had to return to Buenos Aires after being denied landing in Montevideo.

The Argentine federal court proved that the Boeing belonged to Mahan Air and that after his alleged transfer to EMTRASUR, a succession of trips were made between Caracas and Tehran. “May 21, 2022or about that date, the Boeing flew from Caracas, Venezuela, to Tehran, Iran; On or about May 24, 2022, the Boeing flew from Tehran, Iran to Moscow, Russia; and on or about May 25, 2022, the Boeing flew from Moscow, Russia, to Tehran, Iran,” as signed on August 11 of last year by Argentine federal judge Federico Villena.

The Boeing 747 aircraft registered with the number YV3531 of the Venezuelan airline Emtrasur Cargo, retained in Buenos Aires
The Boeing 747 aircraft registered with the number YV3531 of the Venezuelan airline Emtrasur Cargo, held in Buenos Aires (STRINGER /)

This incident sparked an international scandal. and exposed, once again, the close ties between the regimes of Venezuela and Iran.

The United States, which asked the Argentine authorities to confiscate the plane, and several countries denounced that EMTRASUR would function as a chavista screen for the Iranian regime to evade international sanctions and continue financing terrorist activities in the Middle East and around the world.

“The Iranian airline Mahan Air, also known as Mahan Airlines and Mahan Airways (Mahan Air), made a transfer of the Boeing to the Venezuelan airline Empresa de Transporte Aérocargo del Sur, SA EMTRASUR) and, later, EMTRASUR re-exported the Boeing to destinations that include Iran and Russia, all in violation of U.S. law, specifically the Export Control Reform Act of 2018 (ECRA), 50 United States Code section 4801 et seq. United”, indicates the request for collaboration that arrived in Argentina in August of last year from the US Department of Justice.

Likewise, the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States (FBI) and the Israeli intelligence service (Mossad) indicated to the Argentine justice that the pilot of the Venezuelan-Iranian plane, Gholamreza Ghasemiwas linked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Quds Force and Hezbollah terrorists.

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