Baku, Azerbaijan, March 11
By Temkin Jafarov, Saeed Isayev - Trend:
The U.S. is planning a new conspiracy against Iran, in connection with the Malaysian plane incident, press secretary for Iranian parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Committee Hossein Naqavi Hosseini said, Tasnim News reported on March 11.
Thai police has said an Iranian man bought the airfares for two men who boarded a missing plane with stolen passports.
Three days after the Malaysia Airlines flight carrying 239 people vanished between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing, a search operation involving several countries has found no sign of the aircraft.
Authorities are trying to find out more about the two mystery passengers who had one-way tickets to Europe and were traveling on Austrian and Italian passports stolen in Thailand in the past two years.
Hossein Naqavi Hosseini said the U.S. wants to use this incident to start a new conspiracy against Iran.
"The reason for that is because Iran has its own policy towards the Eastern countries, and is interested in boosting economic relations with these countries, and this is something the U.S. doesn't want," Hosseini said.
He went on to say that the U.S. is trying to ruin Iran's relations with East and South-East Asian countries, adding that the U.S. might have hired people to carry out the hijacking of the plane and later blame it on Muslim countries.
Malaysia's civil aviation chief Azharuddin Abdul Rahman earlier said the pair were "not Asian-looking men".
Thai Police Lt Col Ratchthapong Tia-sood has revealed that a travel agency in the beach resort of Pattaya, Grand Horizon, sold the tickets for the two men to an Iranian man known only as Mr Ali.
"We have to look further into this Mr Ali's identity because it's almost a tradition to use an alias when doing business around here," he said.
Grand Horizon's owner, Benjaporn Krutnait, told The Financial Times she believed Mr Ali was not linked to terrorism as he asked for cheapest tickets to Europe.
She also said Mr Ali - who had been regularly buying tickets from her for around three years - had not specified the Kuala Lumpur to Beijing flight.
Sky's Foreign Affairs Editor Sam Kiley said: "This is not an indication at all of any kind of Iranian government involvement.
"There is a massive industry in Malaysia and Thailand of people traffickers smuggling people from place to place on stolen passports. It has to be seen in that context at this stage."
It is not known whether the two men had anything to do with the plane's disappearance, but security services are investigating whether the Boeing 777-200 was hijacked or destroyed in a terror attack.
Malaysian Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said biometric information and CCTV footage of the men has been shared with Chinese and US intelligence agencies, which were helping with the investigation.
Officials are discussing whether images of the men should be made public as part of an appeal for information, while Interpol said additional "suspect" documents are under review.
Authorities admit they are "puzzled" by the "unprecedented" disappearance of the plane.
Follow us on Twitter @TRENDNewsAgency