The Department of Justice has taken possession of a 31-year-old Boeing 747-300 cargo plane it says was used to carry weapons and soldiers of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, a designated foreign terrorist organization (FTO). Iranian airline Mahan Air transferred the plane to Venezuelan cargo carrier Emtrasur in 2022 in violation of international sanctions, the DOJ said. When the aircraft subsequently landed in Argentina it was seized by authorities there and the DOJ slapped an order of forfeiture on the plane. All the paperwork was done earlier this week and it’s now in Florida.
“This seized airplane’s arrival in the United States is a powerful example of our unceasing efforts to prevent Iran and its proxies from leveraging and profiting from U.S. technology,” Matthew S. Axelrod, Assistant Secretary of Export Enforcement, said in a news release. It took 18 months working with Argentinian authorities to get the airplane out of Argentina. U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves said that demonstrates the U.S.’s commitment to enforcing sanctions. “Foreign adversaries—seeking to illegally use American-made products to further their endeavors—need to know that the United States government will work with the international community to hold them accountable for their illegal conduct,” he said.