Iran's biggest navy ship sinks after fire in Gulf of Oman

Iran naval ship sinks off Jask Port

Iran naval ship sinks off Jask Port

Footage aired by state television showed a massive column of smoke rising from what it said was the burning vessel.

A fire broke out on the IS Kharg while the ship was near Iran's port of Jask, southeast of Tehran, according to the Iranian Navy.

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.

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.

In a later statement, the Navy said that efforts for extinguishing the fire have been fruitless and Khark vessel has sunk.

Efforts by firefighters to put out the blaze proved to be futile.

The sinking of the Kharg on Wednesday is the latest in a string of several naval disasters experienced by the Iranian navy over the past few years, not including a number of suspicious attacks at sea.

The Kharg was ordered from Britain in 1976 when the pro-Western shah was still in power. The vessel entered the Iranian navy in 1984 after a delay caused by the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

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

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

Tasnim, which described Kharg as a logistics-training vessel, said all 400 crew and trainees aboard had been evacuated with 20 people hospitalized with minor burns.

Yossi Cohen, the outgoing chief of Mossad, Israel's external intelligence agency, said on Tuesday that "We penetrated into the heart of hearts of the enemy Iran". The ship sank 20 hours later near the port of Jask.

It is all a far cry from the confident attitude Iran was showing previously, as Breitbart News reported.

For instance, last year, the Iranian guided-missile frigate accidentally fired a missile at one of its own ships, the support ship Konarak, killing 19 sailors and injuring a number of others.

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 came at a time of heightened tensions between the foes, with reports of a series of tit-for-tat attacks on shipping since early March.

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