US State Department Persian-language spokesman Alan Eyre, Israel’s Haaretz daily and tens of thousands of Iranians on Saturday offered Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif their condolences on his mother’s passing.

Early Saturday, Zarif wrote in Persian on his official Facebook page, “Dear friends, I lost my mother yesterday (Friday).”

He then quoted verses by the Persian poet Rumi which a friend had sent him upon hearing the news. At the end of his post, Zarif wrote, “I am grateful to all the friends who have expressed sympathy. May God protect you. Goodbye.”

Iranians were quick to tweet and post their condolences on Facebook, as was US State Department Persian-language spokesman Alan Eyre.

On Saturday morning, Eyre posted a photo of Zarif on his Facebook page, along with a Quranic verse often used by Muslims in times of tragedy.

“We have learned with great regret that Efat Kashani, mother of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif, has passed away. We express our condolences to the respected family for its great loss,” Eyre wrote.

According to Huffington Post correspondent Milad Jokar, Israeli daily Haaretz also tweeted its condolences to Zarif in the foreign minister’s native Persian.

@haaretzcom: @JZarif تسلیت می گویم” Haaretz offers condolences to #Iran Foreign Minister Javad #Zarif for the loss of his mother.

— Milad Jokar (@Milad_Jokar) December 28, 2013

 

Zarif, a Western-educated diplomat, has been said to represent the more amiable new face of Iran under recently-elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, said to be more moderate and willing to engage with the West than his hawkish predecessor.