Monday, 18 October, 2021


Iran's biggest navy ship sinks after fire in Gulf of Oman

The vessel sank close to the port of Jask in the south of the country near the Strait of Hormuz a strategic waterway The vessel sank close to the port of Jask in the south of the country near the Strait of Hormuz a strategic waterway
Hannah Rogers | 02 June, 2021, 18:27

Kharg, the largest vessel in Iran's navy, sank early Wednesday in the Gulf of Oman near the port of Jask, Hormozgan province, after being ablaze for almost 24 hours, Iranian news agencies have reported.

The vessel eventually went down near the Iranian port of Jask, some 790 miles southeast of Tehran on the Gulf of Oman near the Strait of Hormuz - the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf. He described the ship as one of Iran's most advanced and the second largest in the Middle East after Makran, also an Iranian vessel.

The blaze, believed to have been triggered by a "fault in one of its systems", prompted a swift evacuation of the entire crew of 400 and trainees.

The Kharg, named after an island nearby that serves as a key oil terminal, caught fire in the early hours of Wednesday local time and more than 20 hours of rescue operations failed to save it, the army said.

"All efforts to save the vessel were unsuccessful and it sank", the Fars news agency reported, according to Reuters. Iranian state TV ran footage of the ship ablaze.

It also can lift heavy cargo and serve as a launch point for helicopters. No further explanation has been given for the latest incident in the region of sensitive waterways, though there have been accusations of attacks on ships owned by arch-enemies Iran and Israel there in the past.

The Kharg was Iran's largest warship. It comes after a series of mysterious explosions that began in 2019 targeting commercial ships in the Gulf of Oman.

Like much of Iran's major military hardware, the Kharg dated back to before Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution.

The incidents came amid heightened tensions between the United States and Iran after then-president Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers.

In 2020 during an Iranian military training exercise, a missile mistakenly sank a naval support vessel near the port of Jask, killing19 sailors and wounding 15, as Breitbart News reported.

Saviz, a ship operated by Iran's Revolutionary Guards, was attacked, possibly by a limpet mine, in the Red Sea on April 6 off the coast of Eritrea.

Tehran offered no cause for the fire, however the ship's loss marks the latest in a string of naval disasters for Iran going back to 2018 when an Iranian navy destroyer sank in the Caspian Sea.

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