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Iranian military of the Quds Force and “cover companies”: echoes of the AMIA case in the case of the plane

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The plane held in Ezeiza with a binational crew of Iranians and Venezuelans prevented from leaving the country can be seen in the mirror of the judicial investigations for the attack on the Jewish mutual society AMIA, in 1994 , and the blowing up of the Embassy of Israel, in 1992 .

Among the more than 146,000 pages that the main file of the AMIA case alone brings together, there are statements that allow speculation to be opened about the possible intentions of the five Iranians who arrived on the Emtrasur plane –if indeed it were proven that they are linked to terrorist operations–, including Gholamreza Ghasemi , who shares the name with a commander in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Force.

For example, on page 123,451, which transcribes an opinion of the Fiscal Investigation Unit, at that time in charge of Alberto Nisman , it is stated that the operation that ended with the blowing up of the AMIA was divided into several stages and that each one It was carried out by people who often did not even connect with each other.

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Thus, there were cells that collected the necessary information to decide on the attack, and once the decision was made, a local logistics group was formed , another from Iran, and finally the operational group that carried out the task arrived in the country. A coordinator was needed , in charge of linking these cells, who operated from Argentina and fled hours before July 18, 1994, at 9:53 am, when the AMIA exploded.

The investigation of the AMIA bombing mentions that in order to plan the attack, previous tasks were necessary that were carried out by what the world of espionage calls “cover companies”, with a legal commercial purpose, but which work to carry out illegal activities. .

Nisman affirmed on page 122,451 of the AMIA file that the coverage companies, due to “their structures, contacts and operational capacity, were taken advantage of by the then government of Iran for the development of illegitimate activities, such as the financing of terrorist operations; the transfer of people, documentation and information; espionage; logistical support, etc.

Along these lines, the AMIA case and the case for the attack on the Israeli Embassy describe the activities of the Government Trade Corporation (GTC) , Iran’s trade representative in Argentina and used to carry out intelligence tasks, credibly justify the movement of people and the issuance of visas, according to reports from the Intelligence Secretariat (SIDE) at the time, cited in the case.

This firm was formally dedicated to verifying the quality of Argentine exports of meat and cereals to Iran. A high-ranking official of the company was Seyed Youssefi , a member of the Quds Force, according to the case on page 122,547. This person frequently visited the Iranian Embassy in Buenos Aires and Nisman affirms in his opinion that those meetings could have been destined to transmit in person the reports he obtained.

Seyed Youssefi was replaced by another executive, who rented an apartment from where suspicious calls were verified hours before the AMIA bombing to the Ministry of Reconstruction of Iran , “which was used to cover up operational activities of the Al-Quds Force”, as can be read on page 122,548 of the case, which cites a report by the Parliamentary Group on Human Rights of the British Parliament.

The prosecution concluded that the main objective of GTC was to provide support and cover for the intelligence network installed in Argentina by the Iranian government. His business representative, Khalil Mashoun , retired after the 1994 bombing.

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Another company mentioned is Imanco SA , registered as an exporter and importer, but between October 30, 1989 and May 21, 1992, it did not carry out any export or import , according to a report by the then SIDE. On that basis they said that it was an Iranian intelligence cover company. Starting in 1993, the firm registered a carpet import operation for 25,000 pesos/dollars at that time. Its balance sheets showed losses and it was maintained thanks to the capital contributions of its president, Majid Parvas .

Precisely, Parvas and other partners of Imanco worked in South Beef , another of the companies syndicated by Argentine intelligence as local as Iranian “cover”, although at another time.

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