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 U.S. Navy later accused Iran of targeting the ships with limpet mines, timed explosives typically attached by divers to a vessel's hull.
All of its crew members disembarked safely, following rescue operations that went on for hours.
Kharg - an auxiliary ship with fuel tanks and dry cargo that can supply both fuel and dry stores at sea - was ordered by Iran from the United Kingdom in 1974 and launched in 1977. Video published by Fars also showed thick, black smoke rising from the ship early Wednesday morning.
The Kharg, Iran's largest naval vessel by tonnage and one of a very limited number of replenishment ships in the Iranian navy, was built in the United Kingdom ain the late 1970s and had been in service for roughly four decades before it was lost Wednesday.
The ship pictured in March 2021.
Iran has refused to recognize Israel since the Islamic Revolution in 1979 that toppled the USA -backed Shah.
The vessel 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.
"It is not the IRIN's largest vessel any more after they commissioned Makran, a converted oil tanker, in January".
Though officials have not offered a cause for the fire, it comes after a series of mysterious explosions that began in 2019 targeting ships in the Gulf of Oman.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Iran has refused to recognize Israel since the Islamic revolution in 1979 that toppled the US-backed Shah.
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.
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