Iran’s largest warship, Khark, caught fire and sank yesterday in the Gulf of Oman under mysterious circumstances.
Fars news agency reported that firefighters tried to contain the blaze, but their efforts failed. State media reported that 400 soldiers on board had fled the ship, and 20 were wounded.
That follows a series of mysterious explosions, which began in 2019, targeting merchant ships in the Gulf of Oman. The US Navy later accused Iran of targeting the ships with fibre mines and timed explosives, which divers usually attach to the ship’s hull.
Although US Navy footage showed members of the Revolutionary Guard removing an unexploded mine from a ship, Iran denied that.
The attacks came amid heightened tensions between the United States and Iran after former US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers. Negotiations are continuing to salvage the agreement in Vienna.
The ship sank near the Iranian port of Jask, about 1,270km (790 miles) southeast of Tehran on the Gulf of Oman, near the Strait of Hormuz – the narrowest point of the Persian Gulf.