By Azzah Mohamad Som
KUALA LUMPUR, March 14 (Bernama) — Iran said Friday it is ready to provide any kind of assistance upon request to help Malaysia find a missing commercial airliner.
Its Ambassador to Malaysia, Mohammad Jalal Firouznia, said: “The most important thing is Iran stands on the side of Malaysia. We are ready to cooperate and collaborate with Malaysia to do whatever we can.”
He told BERNAMA in an interview that he had a meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin and they discussed “generally and politically” on the incident.
He said he conveyed Iran’s readiness to exchange any information, including regarding the two Iranians who had boarded the flight using fake passports.
The ambassador said the two Iranians, identified as Pouria Nour Mohammad Mehrdad, 19, and Delavar Syed Mohammad Reza, 29, had left Iran on Feb 22 with Iranian passports. He said both men had obtained visas from the Malaysian embassy in Tehran for their visit to Malaysia, adding that they flew here via Doha, Qatar.
“The rest of the issues, for example the Austrian passport, and of course tickets to China and others were provided for him in Malaysia. The same goes for Delavar Syed Mohammad Reza,” he said.
The ambassador said he was waiting for any information from the Malaysian government and authorities regarding the two Iranian citizens through formal channels.
“We are awaiting any kind of information on the investigation from the Malaysian authorities, or Interpol, or any department, to clear the situation,” he said.
Reports stated that Pouria had used an Austrian passport to travel to Germany where he was to meet his mother, while Delavar Syed Mohammed had used a stolen Italian passport. It was reported that the tickets were purchased from a Thai travel agency.
The ambassador said that Iran’s Foreign Affairs Ministry in Tehran was keeping in touch with Pouria’s father, who had gone to the ministry to inform that his son was on MH370, the Malaysian Airlines (MAS) flight that went missing last Saturday while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
As for Delavar Syed Mohammed, he said that so far no one had approached the ministry regarding his status.
“Nobody (his relatives) has come to the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Iranian authorities to make any claim. However, we are still investigating,” he said.
On the meeting with Hamzah, Mohammad Jalal said he conveyed sympathies on behalf of Iran and its people to the families of the 239 passengers and crew on board the Boeing 777-200ER flight, which disappeared about one hour after taking off from the KL International Airport at 12.41 am on Saturday.
It was scheduled to land in Beijing at 6.30 am the same day.
A multinational search-and-rescue (SAR) operation involving 57 ships and 48 aircraft from 13 countries has been mounted to find the missing plane. The countries involved in the operation include Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Brunei, the United States, China, Japan, India and Australia.