Published: Wed, June 02, 2021

Large Iran naval ship sinks after fire in Gulf of Oman

Large Iran naval ship sinks after fire in Gulf of Oman

Iran's army also identified the Kharg as a "training ship" and confirmed there were nearly 400 crew and trainees on board, before adding all of them were safely evacuated. Video published by Fars also showed thick, black smoke rising from the ship early Wednesday morning.

"What was shown today in these exercises, at the level of aerospace and naval forces, was all offensive", Iran's Revolutionary Guards commander Major General Hossein Salami told state television in the days before the fake wooden carrier sank.

Kharg had been on a "training, intelligence and combat mission" in worldwide waters along with Alborz, an Alvand-class frigate, according to a statement from the naval force of the regular Iranian army May 9. The vessel was delivered to Iran in 1980, a year after the 1979 Revolution, and became operational in 1984 when Britain issued an export license for the ship after lengthy negotiations.

While Israel made no official accusation at the time, unsourced reports from the Israeli media outlets Haaretz and Channel 13 at the time claimed Iran knew that the vessel was owned by an Israeli businessman.

Iran's largest navy ship the Kharg sank on Wednesday after catching fire in the Gulf of Oman, but the crew were safely rescued, Iranian media reported.

Behzad Jahanian, an army press spokesman, said Wednesday the cause of the fire had not been identified. It comes after a series of mysterious explosions that began in 2019 targeting commercial ships in the Gulf of Oman. The incidents came amid heightened tensions between the USA and Iran after then-President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers.

In April, Iran accused Israel of being behind a blast using underwater mines that damaged its military vessel MV Saviz in the Red Sea. It could also launch helicopters.

Two crew members died in 2018 when an Iranian navy destroyer hit a breakwater and sank in the Caspian Sea.

"For the regular Iranian navy, this vessel was very valuable because it gave them reach", Connell said.

Last year, an Iranian warship was hit by friendly fire during a naval exercise off Jask, killing the 19 sailors onboard. "They do have other logistics vessels, but the Kharg was kind of the most capable and the largest".

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