The Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei (C) speaks at the East Azarbaijan Governor's Office in Tabriz on August 16, 2012.
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has called for the quick reconstruction of areas struck by two powerful earthquakes in the northwestern province of East Azarbaijan.
Speaking at the East Azarbaijan Governor's Office in Tabriz on Thursday, Ayatollah Khamenei praised the quality of relief operations in quake-hit regions as unique, and urged local authorities to continue providing quake-stricken people with their basic needs - including heaters, blankets and drinking water - in order to restore tranquility and serenity to those hit by the calamity.
Earlier in the day, the Leader visited the quake-stricken regions in Iran's northwestern province of East Azarbaijan, and extended his condolences to those who have lost their loved ones in Saturday's twin earthquakes.
On Saturday, a 6.4-magnitude earthquake rocked the city of Ahar, near the provincial capital of Tabriz, at 15:53 local time (1123 GMT). The quake struck 60 kilometers northeast of Tabriz at a depth of 9.9 kilometers.
Another quake measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale jolted Varzaqan and Haris districts, which are located near Ahar, 11 minutes later at a similar depth. The epicenter of the quake was 49 kilometers northeast of Tabriz.
Twelve villages in Varzaqan were leveled by the earthquake and about 60 others were partially destroyed.
Thousands of tents have already been set up to shelter those displaced by the quakes.