Iran's Largest Warship Catches Fire, Sinks in Gulf of Oman

June 2, 2021


Amir Vahdat and Jon Gambrell


Associated Press

Related Country: 

  • Israel

Iran's largest naval vessel sank near the Iranian port of Jask in the Gulf of Oman on June 2 after a fire broke out on board. The Kharg, a 207-meter vessel that was built in the United Kingdom in 1977, served to resupply other Iranian warships and participated in military exercises. It also had the capacity to launch helicopters, lift heavy cargo, and sail as far as the Mediterranean Sea. Iranian officials announced an investigation into the fire but did not give a cause. According to Iran's state-owned media, 400 sailors evacuated the Kharg, with 33 sustaining injuries. Also on June 2, an oil refinery near Tehran operated by Tondgooyan Petrochemical Co. caught fire; the cause of that fire also remains unclear. The episodes followed incidents in April 2021, when the MV Saviz, an Iranian ship reportedly used as a base by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in the Red Sea, became the target of a suspected Israeli attack, and in 2019, when an Iranian naval support ship was struck by friendly fire in a training accident.