Putin ally attends Raisi commemorations, delivers message of support from Moscow

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A senior ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin attended commemorations in Tehran for the late President Ebrahim Raisi on Wednesday and passed on a message of support for the Iranian leadership from the Kremlin chief.

Russia and Iran have developed close ties in recent years, pushing against what they see as pernicious U.S. foreign policy in an effort to establish what they say would be a fairer multipolar world order.

Raisi's death in a helicopter crash on Sunday appeared to shock Moscow, which quickly offered its condolences and support.

Putin sent Vyacheslav Volodin, the chairman of Russia's State Duma lower house of parliament and a close ally, to Raisi's commemorations, the Duma said in a statement.

It said he had met interim president Mohammad Mokhber and passed on a message from Putin "to the leadership and people of Iran."

"Russia mourns together with Iran. We will preserve the bright memory of President Raisi as an outstanding politician, a true patriot of his country, and as a true friend," the message said.

"The President of Russia is convinced that the Islamic Republic will steadfastly overcome all its trials and continue its confident movement along the path of sustainable national development and strengthening state sovereignty."

(Reporting by Reuters; Writing by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)