0933 GMT October 25, 2020
“Kazempour-Ardebili, who had gone into a coma over a brain hemorrhage two weeks ago in a hospital in Tehran, has passed away,” an Oil Ministry statement said, AFP reported.
“He was a prominent diplomat who defended our national interests intelligently and vigorously in OPEC for more than three decades, in the most difficult circumstances and in spite of all adversity,” Zanganeh wrote in his message of condolence.
He died on Saturday morning at age 68. The veteran politician was appointed governor to the OPEC oil group in 1985.
He had also served as Iran’s ambassador to Japan, from 1990 to 1995.
Kazempour-Ardebili was a survivor of the 1981 bombing of the Islamic Republic Party headquarters in Tehran which killed 72 top Iranian officials. He was serving as trade minister at the time, appointed the year before.
President Hassan Rouhani in a message offered his condolences over the loss of Kazempour-Ardebili.
“Veteran in the field of politics and management, by accepting various positions of service in various strongholds and providing honest services, Kazempour-Ardebili left a valuable record that will keep his name and memory alive,” Rouhani wrote in his message.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Kazempour-Ardebili was an “intelligent and firm defender of national interests” and a “reliable adviser” for Iranian authorities.
A founding member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Iran sits on the world’s biggest oil and gas reserves.