News ID: 269020
Published: 0122 GMT May 13, 2020

Army chief: Military teams investigating naval incident

Army chief: Military teams investigating naval incident
A handout photo made available by the Iranian Army shows the damaged Konarak vessel on Monday in Iran’s Jask port.

Iran’s Army Commander Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi said four teams of military experts have launched an investigation into a deadly naval incident that took place in the country’s southern waters on Sunday.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the Tuesday funeral of the Iranian Navy personnel who lost their lives in the incident, Mousavi said the teams represent the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, the Defense Ministry, the Army and the country’s Navy.

As many as 19 people were killed and 15 others injured in the incident involving the Iranian Navy’s Konarak logistical vessel.

The incident happened on Sunday as a number of navy vessels were conducting an exercise near the waters lying close to Jask and Chabahar ports that belong to the neighboring provinces of Hormozgan, and Sistan and Baluchestan, respectively, the navy’s Public Relations Department said in a statement on Monday.

Looking into such incidents usually requires a very complicated process, because a careful and detailed examination must be conducted to determine the cause of the incident, the army chief explained.

He also praised the navy’s rescue teams for saving the crew of the doomed vessel after the accident, saying 16 servicemen were evacuated from the ship, one of whom was pronounced dead later.


Leader’s message


Also on Tuesday, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, in a message to Mousavi, called for an investigation into the incident.

The Leader extended solemn condolences over the “painful and regrettable” incident.

Ayatollah Khamenei urged responsible Iranian authorities to properly shed light on the circumstances surrounding the incident, identify those potentially at fault, and take the necessary measures to be assured that such bitter incidents would not happen again.

The Leader stated that the grief of losing the youths is heart-rending for their bereaved families, expressing his deep condolences to them.

Speaking at a cabinet session on Wednesday, President Hassan Rouhani assured the Iranian people that they will be informed of the cause of the incident as soon as it is determined.

“It was very unfortunate for us that we lost our young navy personnel in a heart-wrenching accident,” he said.

“I explicitly and humbly tell the families of the martyrs that the cabinet and the whole government share their grief and tragedy,” he added.


Media propaganda


Following the incident, some foreign media outlets claimed that the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) boats had targeted the Konarak support vessel.

Iranian Army spokesman Brigadier General Shahin Taghikhani on Wednesday dismissed the rumors as mere propaganda.

Taghikhani said that enemies were seeking to take advantage of the incidents in Iran to advance their own agenda, adding that the Iranian people are vigilant in the face of such rumors.

“These rumors are irrelevant and primitive and should basically be ignored. They are trying every possible way to create a rift among the armed forces, including the IRGC, the army and the Defense Ministry. We must be careful and vigilant,” he said.

He also noted that it is quite natural for adversary media outlets to spread rumors as they are attempting to weaken the Iranian Armed Forces.

“All aspects of this incident are under investigation and teams of experts are working on it,” the army spokesman stressed.


Press TV and Tasnim News Agency contributed to this story.



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