The US, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu separately expressed their condolences to Iran over the powerful earthquake in Bushehr.Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon has offered his condolences to the Iranian government and nation over the recent earthquake that struck the southern Iranian province of Bushehr. In a statement on Wednesday, Ban said he was saddened by the loss of life and destruction caused by the powerful earthquake in southern Iran. Ban “extends his sincere condolences to the Iranian government and people, particularly the families of those who have died,” his spokesman said. The UN chief also expressed his deepest sympathy to those affected by the disaster and said the international body “stands ready to provide assistance and mobilize any international support that may be needed” in the quake-stricken areas. A strong earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale hit the town of Kaki, some 90 kilometers southeast of Bushehr, at 4:22 p.m. local time (1152 GMT) on Tuesday, April 9, at a depth of 12 kilometers. At least 37 people were killed and more than 850 others were injured. The quake was followed by many aftershocks, which also jolted the nearby city of Khour-Mowj. Meanwhile, the US, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutogluseparately expressed their condolences to Iran over the powerful earthquake in Bushehr. In a Wednesday statement, US National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden voiced Washington’s readiness to "help the Iranian people in this time of need."
"The American people extend condolences to the people of Iran for the devastation that resulted from the recent earthquake and aftershocks in southern Iran, particularly to those whose loved ones were injured or lost their lives," Hayden said.The European Union's foreign policy chief on Wednesday also expressed sadness over the deadly quake in Iran and offered her condolences to the families of the victims and those affected by the disaster. "Her thoughts are with all those who have been affected by this tragedy. In particular, she would like to express her deepest sympathy to the families of the victims, the wounded and those who lost their homes," read a statement issued by Ashton's office. In a message to Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, the OIC secretary general expressed his sympathy with the Iranian government, nation and the families of the victim. Ihsanoglu said the OIC is ready to provide any assistance to the quake-hit areas. In a telephone conversation with Salehi, the Turkish foreign minister also offered his sympathy with the quake-stricken people of Bushehr Province and said his country would provide any aid to the victims of the disaster. SF/HJL/MA