Iran navy ship sinks after fire in Gulf of Oman

Personnel standing on Iran’s navy support ship Kharg after it caught fire in the Gulf of Oman

One of Iran's largest navy ships has sunk after catching fire near the Strait of Hormuz under unclear circumstances.

The cause of the fire was not immediately clear.

After an hours-long rescue effort, the crew was safely evacuated, the Fars news agency said, but "all efforts to save the vessel were unsuccessful and it sank".

Iran has refused to recognise Israel since its Islamic Revolution in 1979 that toppled the US -backed Shah.

The military vessel was being deployed to worldwide waters for a training naval operation when one of its systems caught fire near the port of Jask.

The blaze began around 2:25 a.m. and firefighters tried to contain it, the Fars news agency reported, but their efforts failed to save the 207-meter (679-foot) Kharg, which was used to resupply other ships in the fleet at sea and conduct training exercises.

Kharg had been on a "training, intelligence and combat mission" in global waters along with Alborz, an Alvand-class frigate, according to a statement from the naval force of the regular Iranian army May 9.

Iran's largest navy ship, the Kharg, caught fire early Wednesday morning and sank near Jask, an Iranian port on the Gulf of Oman, Iran's semiofficial news agencies report.

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"It is not the IRIN's largest vessel any more after they commissioned Makran, a converted oil tanker, in January", he added.

The incidents came amid heightened tensions between the U.S. 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 also can lift heavy cargo and serve as a launch point for helicopters.

In 2020 during an Iranian military training exercise, a missile mistakenly struck a naval vessel near the port of Jask, killing 19 sailors and wounding 15.

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

The army official told Tasnim that much of its equipment had been overhauled by Iranian engineers in recent years.

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

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