Radiofarda – The Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday said the cause of the naval accident on Sunday in the Gulf of Oman that killed 19 sailors and wounded 15 will established and announced to the people.
Speaking at a meeting with cabinet ministers on Wednesday, Rouhani offered the condolences of his government to the families of the sailors who were killed by what appears to have been friendly fire. He also expressed hope that accidents of a similar nature in wargames and military exercises could be reduced to a minimum.
Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei who is the Commander-in-Chief of Iran’s Armed Forces reacted to the accident in a condolence message on Tuesday, two days after the incident. “I call on the relevant authorities to clarify the dimensions of the accident, punish those who may have been responsible for it, and take the necessary measures to prevent such damaging and bitter accidents from happening,” he wrote in his message.
On Monday Heshmatollah Falahat-Pisheh, a member of the Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, called the accident “unacceptable” and issued a parliamentary “notice” to President Rouhani who is the Head of the Supreme National Security Council. However, Rouhani has no direct control over the armed forces.
The 19 soldiers killed in the accident who have been named “martyrs” were buried during a funeral ceremony at the Third Naval District of Konarak Port on Tuesday.
A small support vessel belonging to the regular army’s Naval Force was accidentally hit by a missile fired during exercises near Jask, a port some 1,270 kilometers southeast of Tehran, the army says.
The vessel named Konarak which was reportedly hit by a missile fired from Jamaran warship and sustained heavy damages was later towed to port.
A video published by the website of the regular army of Iran on Tuesday says the vessel had been placing targets for practice but was hit by Jamaran frigate due to the malfunctioning of the missile homing device. The video also mentions that the incident could also be the result of “electronic warfare by the enemy”.
- Maryam SinaieeMaryam Sinaiee is a British-Iranian journalist, political analyst and former correspondent of The National, who contributes to Radio Farda.