More details about Iran naval ship released

Brenda Watkins
June 2, 2021

The public relations department of the Navy's second maritime zone in Jask said in a statement that all crew on board the vessel have been disembarked and transferred to the coast after the fire broke out in Khark.

"Considering the spread of the fire, the mission to save the Kharg failed and it sank in waters off Jask", the navy said.

State TV and agencies referred to the Kharg as a "training ship".

This photo made available by Asriran.com on Wednesday, June 2, 2021, shows personnel standing on Iran's navy support ship Kharg after being caught on fire in the Gulf of Oman.

The Kharg was being deployed to global waters for training operations when one of its systems caught fire, according to the Iranian Navy.

The largest warship in the Iranian navy caught fire and later sank Wednesday in the Gulf of Oman under unclear circumstances, semiofficial news agencies reported.

The ship sank near the Iranian port of Jask, some 1,270 kilometers (790 miles) southeast of Tehran on the Gulf of Oman near the Strait of Hormuz - the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf.

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In April, Iran said one of its vessels, the Saviz, had been targeted in the Red Sea, after media reports the ship had been attacked with limpet mines.

Behzad Jahanian, an army press spokesman, said Wednesday the cause of the fire had not been identified. However, it comes after a series of mysterious explosions that began in 2019 targeting ships in the Gulf of Oman.

Iran denied that, though U.S. Navy footage showed Revolutionary Guard members removing one unexploded limpet mine from a ship.

The shipping incidents have occurred since U.S. President Joe Biden took office in January, pledging to rejoin Iran's 2015 nuclear containment deal with six world powers - abandoned by his predecessor Donald Trump in a move welcomed by Israel - if Tehran returns to full compliance with the accord.

In recent months, the navy converted a slightly larger commercial tanker called the Makran to use it as a mobile launch platform for helicopters. Last year, a missile mistakenly struck a naval vessel also near the port of Jask during a training exercise. Iran regularly conducts exercises in the area.

The Kharg had been in service for more than 40 years.

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