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Iranian support warship Kharg in 2009. Photo: Majid Jamshidi-Hossein Zohrevand/AFP via Getty Images

Iran's largest navy ship, known as the Kharg, caught on fire on Wednesday and sunk in the Gulf of Oman, according to state media.

Details: The fire broke out at around 2:25 a.m. while the ship was near Iran's Port of Jask, a major shipping lane. No casualties were reported and the entire crew was able to escape the wreck and was taken to safety on the coast, per NPR.

  • Officials tried for 20 hours to put out the fire, but were unable to as the flames spread to different parts of the ship.
  • The Kharg was being deployed for training operations when the blaze erupted.

The big picture: While Iranian officials have not offered any cause that might have started the fire, this was the latest in a series of mysterious explosions that has been targeting ships in the Gulf of Oman since 2019, AP reports.

  • The U.S. accused Iran of being responsible for a series of attacks on oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz in 2019, saying the regime was engaged in "an unacceptable campaign of escalating tensions."
  • Iran has denied targeting ships in the area, but U.S. Navy footage caught members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps removed an unexploded limpet mine from a vessel in 2019.

Yes, but: Iran's ships have experienced incidents in the past that were unrelated to conflicts with foreign nations. In 2020, a training vessel was mistakenly hit by a missile near the Port of Jask, ending in 19 casualties, per AP.

Go deeper

May 31, 2021 - World

IAEA says Iran has failed to explain uranium traces found at several sites

The flag of Iran is seen in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Headquarters in Vienna. Photo: Michael Gruber/Getty Images

The United Nations’ atomic watchdog said Monday that Iran has failed to explain the presence of "traces of uranium found at several undeclared sites," Reuters reported.

The big picture: The International Atomic Energy Agency also said that it has not been able to access data necessary for tracking the development of Iran's nuclear program since the end of February, when Tehran began restricting international inspections at its facilities, per AP.

Facebook says U.S. is the top target of disinformation campaigns

Expand chart
Data: Facebook; Chart: Axios Visuals

Of the 150 disinformation campaigns that Facebook has caught and removed in the past four years, the U.S. has been the most frequent target by far, according to a new threat intelligence report from Facebook.

Why it matters: While most of the campaigns targeting the U.S. have originated abroad, Facebook found that a significant number of campaigns targeting people in the U.S. have originated from inside the U.S.

Jun 1, 2021 - World

Israel will risk tensions with Biden to block Iran, Netanyahu says

Photo: Menahem Kahana/AFP via Getty Images

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday at a ceremony for the new director of Israel's Mossad spy agency that Israel must prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon even at the cost of tensions with the Biden administration.

Why it matters: The U.S. is holding indirect talks with Iran on a mutual return to compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal. Netanyahu, who may be in his final days as prime minister, is a fierce critic of the deal and contends a U.S. return would take the pressure off the Iranian regime.

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