Man photographed boarding missing flight sought asylum, friend says

Images show cctv imagery released by police of an Iranian suspect, Pouria Nour Mohammad Mehrdad,  who was travelling on Flight MH370 with a stolen Austrian passport, (L) and an unindentified suspect who was travelling on Flight MH370 with a stolen Italian passport (R), on March 11, 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Officials have expanded the search area for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 to include more of the Gulf of Thailand between Malayisa and Vietnam and land along the Malay Pensinusula. The flight carrying 239 passengers  from Kuala Lumpur to Thailand was reported missing on the morning of March 8 after the crew failed to check in as scheduled. Relatives of the missing passengers have been advised to prepare for the worst as authorities focus on two passengers on board travelling with stolen passports.  (How Foo Yeen, Getty Images)
Images show cctv imagery released by police of an Iranian suspect, Pouria Nour Mohammad Mehrdad, who was travelling on Flight MH370 with a stolen Austrian passport, (L) and an unindentified suspect who was travelling on Flight MH370 with a stolen Italian passport (R), on March 11, 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Officials have expanded the search area for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 to include more of the Gulf of Thailand between Malayisa and Vietnam and land along the Malay Pensinusula. The flight carrying 239 passengers from Kuala Lumpur to Thailand was reported missing on the morning of March 8 after the crew failed to check in as scheduled. Relatives of the missing passengers have been advised to prepare for the worst as authorities focus on two passengers on board travelling with stolen passports. (How Foo Yeen, Getty Images)
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Updated: 3/11 9:54 pm
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- One of two Iranian men who were photographed before they boarded a Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 jetliner before it took off and went missing last weekend was trying to get to Germany in search of a better life, a friend reportedly said.

Pouria Nour Mohammad Mehrdad, 19, and Delavar Seyed Nohammad Reza, 29, were photographed last Saturday prior to the flight. Interpol identified the men on Tuesday because officials said they both traveled on stolen passports.

According to an NBC News report, Mehrdad was seeking asylum in Germany where he hoped to start a better life. The man's friend reportedly made the statements to the British Broadcasting Company (BBC).

Mehrdad was traveling on a stolen Austrian passport while Reza used Italian documents to obtain the tickets.

The Malaysian Airlines jetliner lost radio contact with ground controllers early on March 8 and was not heard from again. Authorities believe the plane ultimately crashed somewhere, saying it may have crash landed in the ocean -- which could conceal the plane's wreckage forever.

Malaysian authorities said a background investigation concluded that it doesn't appear Mehrdad was a member of any terrorist organization.

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