Iran ’ s OPEC governor Hossein Kazempour – Ardebili has died of a brain haemorrhage two weeks after falling into a coma , the oil ministry said on Saturday .
“ Kazempour – Ardebili , who had gone into a coma over a brain haemorrhage two weeks ago in a hospital in Tehran , has passed away , ” a ministry statement said , without giving further details .
He died on Saturday morning aged 68 , according to state news agency IRNA.
The veteran politician was appointed governor to the OPEC oil cartel in 1985.
He had also served as Iran ’ s ambassador to Japan from 1990 to 1995.
Ardebili was a survivor of the 1981 bombing of the Islamic Republic Party headquarters in Tehran which killed 73 top Iranian officials .
He was serving as trade minister at the time , appointed the year before .
The bombing was blamed on the People ’ s Mujahedeen, a rebel group which has since renounced violence but which Iran considers a “terrorist ” cult.
The group did not claim responsibility .
Iran ’ s oil and foreign ministers offered their condolences in separate statements.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said 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 fourth-biggest oil reserves and second – largest gas reserves .
But its economy has been battered by sanctions reimposed by the United States in 2018 after President Donald Trump pulled out of a landmark nuclear deal between Iran and major powers .
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