Iran navy vessel sinks after fire in Gulf of Oman

One of Iran’s largest naval ships sank Wednesday after catching fire whereas on a “training mission” off a strategic port close to the top of the Gulf, the navy stated.

The British-built
fleet replenishment vessel Kharg, which measured greater than 200 metres (extra
than 650 toes) lengthy, caught fire on Tuesday off the port of Jask on the Gulf of
Oman, the navy stated.

Footage aired by
state tv confirmed an enormous column of smoke rising from what it stated was
the burning vessel.

The fire broke out
in “one of the systems” of the ship, a navy assertion stated with out

Firefighting efforts
continued “for 20 hours” earlier than the ship went down.

the unfold of the fire, the mission to save lots of the Kharg failed and it sank in
waters off Jask,” the navy stated.

The ship caught fire
at 11 am (0630 GMT) on Tuesday because it was in “domestic waters” throughout
“a training mission”, Iran’s Tasnim information company quoted the navy’s
head of public relations Behzad Jahanian as saying.

It sank at round
8:30 am (0400 GMT) on Wednesday. All 400 cadets and crew disembarked safely,
with 20 sustaining mild accidents or burns.

Jahanian stated the
trigger of the fire was “still not clear”.

The vessel was
ordered from Britain in 1976 when the pro-Western shah was nonetheless in energy.

It was not delivered
till 1984 after years of wrangling between Britain and the federal government that
took energy after the Islamic revolution of 1979.

Jeremy Binnie of
open-source defence intelligence supplier Janes stated the Kharg was essential to
Iran as its solely devoted vessel in a position to resupply warships at sea.

“The Iranians
usually describe it as a ‘helicopter carrier’ however it’s truly a replenishment
ship – a helpful asset nonetheless because it was the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy’s
solely devoted ship serving this function,” Binnie stated.

“It isn’t the
IRIN’s largest vessel any extra after they commissioned Makran, a transformed oil
tanker, in January,” he added.

Iran’s ISNA information
company stated the vessel had left for a mission centered on “coaching,
intelligence and fight” alongside the destroyer Alborz on May 19.

Strategic waters

The port metropolis of
Jask, close to which the Kharg went down, lies near the Strait of Hormuz, the
strategic chokepoint on the head of the Gulf via which a fifth of world oil
output passes.

Jask is
strategically essential to Iran as the federal government plans to make it the location of
the nation’s second-largest oil export terminal.

An roughly
1,000-kilometre (620-mile) pipeline from Bushehr province on the Gulf to Jask
was put into service a number of days in the past, the federal government stated.

It supplies a brand new
bypass route for Iranian oil exports that avoids the Strait of Hormuz.

Last yr, an
Iranian warship was hit by pleasant fire throughout a naval train off Jask,
killing the 19 sailors onboard.

Logistical assist
vessel Konarak was hit after “shifting a follow goal to its vacation spot
and never creating sufficient distance between itself and the goal,” state
tv stated on the time.

In latest months,
there have additionally been reported assaults on Iran’s delivery fleet which were
linked to its arch foe Israel.

In April, Tehran
stated its freighter Saviz was hit by an “explosion” in the Red Sea,
after media studies stated Israel had struck the ship.

The New York Times
reported on the time that the Saviz had been focused in an Israeli
“retaliatory” assault after “Iran’s earlier strikes on Israeli

It got here at a time of
heightened tensions between the foes, with studies of a collection of tit-for-tat
assaults on delivery since early March.

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