On Sunday night, the powerful 7.3-magnitude earthquake hit the border region between Iran and Iraq, killing at least 168 people, almost all of them in Iran.
In a message, the Leader expressed condolences to the Iranian nation, the people of Kermanshah, the most affected province, and the bereaved families of those killed in the quake.
"I have received with great sadness and sorrow the news about the earthquake in the west of the country that led to the deaths of some of our dear fellow-countrymen and injuries of more people and caused extensive damage,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in the message.
The Leader underlined that related officials and bodies should swiftly take the necessary measures to help those affected and rescue those trapped under the rubble using all the available capabilities and equipment.
The epicenter of the quake, which occurred at around 09:18 pm local time, was 32 kilometers south of the Iraqi city of Halabja, in Iraqi Kurdistan, and just across the border from Iran.
But the highest casualties occurred in the town of Sarpol-e Zahab, in Iran’s Kermanshah Province.
An Iranian deputy health minister, Qassem Jan-Babayi, said on Monday morning that 164 Iranians had been confirmed dead until then. Another 1,568 people had been injured, he said.