If they were offloading passengers, you'd expect the aircraft would be departing at MTOW. But it isn't. There is absolutely zero point to offloading, or reducing the load, and then having extra weight available.A Saturday 25 January report in 'The Weekend Australian' quotes a Qantas spokesman saying that QF9 PER - LHR is cayying between 10 and 30 fewer passengers than (full complement) due to the forced via Afghanistan overfly situation (because of Iranian problems).) This is far less severe than what had been the original offloading prediction of 90 passengers.
Sounds like spin to me.