One dead, several injured in Iranian naval accident

The friendly fire incident happened near the port of Jask, some 1,270 kilometers southeast of Tehran, in the Gulf of Oman, state TV said.

State television described the missile strike as an accident, claiming that the Konarak had stayed too close to the target.

40 naval personnel are missing in the incident, according to local media reports this evening.

(Iranian Army via AP) Fars news agency quoted an unidentified military official as denying some Iranian media reports that the Konarak had sunk.

Nineteen Iranian sailors were killed and 15 were wounded in a friendly fire accident.

They were "not in accordance with the obligation under worldwide law to act with due regard for the safety of other vessels in the area", the statement said.

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The incident was being investigated, a statement on the website of Iran's central army said.

The Konarak is a logistical support vessel made in the Netherlands and purchased by Iran before the 1979 Islamic revolution.

The ship, which usually carries a crew of 20 sailors, was placing targets in the ocean for other ships to use during the exercise, held in the Straits of Hormuz.

Seyed Mohamad Razavi, a senior adviser to conservative politicians including the incoming speaker of the Iranian parliament, tweeted: "This accident is very sad for all of us".

Tensions between the US and Iran, which started building up after President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of a nuclear deal with Iran, have risen to a new high recent months. The U.S. Navy Fifth Fleet, which monitors the region, did not immediately respond. The move led to the United States imposing harsh sanctions on Iran.

  • Sonia Alvarado