UPDATE: Iran Linked To Missing Malaysian Flight
Is Iran involved with the missing Malaysia Airlines plane that has gone missing? Information is now surfacing that an Iranian businessman was linked in purchasing tickets for the stolen passports. The tickets were paid in cash and a new development has shown that the traveler was an Iranian seeking asylum. Airport footage shows the two passengers who traveled on the stolen passports on surveillance cameras.
Beijing sent two delegations here Monday to probe stolen passports as reports surfaced that an Iranian man purchased the two tickets used by those passengers on the Malaysia Airlines flight that disappeared Saturday off the coast of Vietnam.
Chinese diplomat Guo Shaochun arrived with a 10-member working group from the Chinese ministries of foreign affairs, transport, public security and the civil aviation administration. Earlier, a team from China’s Ministry of Public Security arrived to discuss the passports with their Malaysian counterparts.
The passports, one Italian and one Austrian, were stolen in Thailand in 2012 and 2013. CNN and the Financial Times, citing Thai police, reported that an Iranian man named Kazem Ali purchased the tickets used with the passports for two friends who he said wanted to return home to Europe. The tickets were paid for in cash, the reports said.
Guo said he hoped his team would help speed up Malaysia’s investigation of the jet’s disappearance and improve co-ordination between the several countries now involved. In Beijing, foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said the Chinese government “urges the Malaysian side to step up their efforts to speed up the investigation and provide accurate information to China in a timely fashion.”