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Iranian naval vessel godowns after catching fire in Gulf of Oman

While the ship could not be saved despite all efforts deployed for about 20 hours, the crew were safely evacuated.

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On Wednesday, Iranian media reported that a vessel belonging to the Iranian navy sunk after bursting into flames off the Gulf of Oman. Entitled as the Kharg, the ship is known as the biggest vessel in the Iranian navy.

Iranian State TV reported early Wednesday that the fire broke out in Iran’s highest-tonnage naval vessel while she was near the Iranian port of Jask, where she was on a training mission. No further information has been released yet regarding the cause of the fire at this stage.

According to the report issued on the Iranian state-run TV channel, rescue operations went on for hours. All crew in the Kharg were safely rescued while the ship could not be prevented from sinking despite all efforts spent in the past 20 hours.

Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency said that “All efforts to save the vessel were unsuccessful, and it sank.”

The region where the ship sunk has drawn attention in recent times because it is a point of accelerated tension between Iran and Israel, the two arch-enemies of the region. Both sides have previously exchanged statements accusing each other of attacking their own ships within this area.

Since late February, Israel and Iran have made consecutive statements blaming the opposing side for a series of reported attacks targeting cargo ships navigating through the Red Sea.

In April, an Iranian ship, the Saviz, was attacked in the Red Sea. According to the Iranian media, the vessel had been hit with limpet mines. Issuing statements following the incident, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Saeed Khatibzadeh, said that “the vessel was a civilian ship stationed there to secure the region against pirates.” However, there were some accusations regarding the ship claiming that it had been used by the Revolutionary Guards for spying.

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