- The Washington Times - Monday, May 11, 2020

An Iranian warship accidentally fired a missile on a support vessel during a training exercise in the Gulf of Oman, killing 19 and wounding 15, Iran’s military said Monday.

State-run media reports said the Konarak — a Hendijan-class support ship that Iran acquired prior to the 1979 revolution — was placing targets for the Navy exercises too close to an intended target when the missile was fired. The ship was updated in 2018, according to Iran’s Fars news agency, and carries four cruise missiles.

“The incident took place in the perimeter of Iran’s southern Bandar-e Jask port on the Gulf of Oman during Iranian Navy drills on Sunday afternoon, in which 19 sailors were killed and 15 others were injured,” state television reported the Iranian navy as saying.

Tensions between the U.S. and Iran have been ramping up in recent weeks after a handful of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps boats made threatening approaches to U.S. warships conducting joint operations with Army attack helicopters in international waters last month.

President Trump later said he had authorized the U.S. Navy to “shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass” American ships.

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