State media initially claimed that the military was killed in a “misguided missile attack”, but later dropped references to the nature of the accident, warning people not to “speculate” about it.
The accident happened near the southern Iranian port city of Jask. Iranian authorities subsequently released photos of the Konorak ship anchored in a port in an apparent attempt to dispel rumors that the ship had sunk.
The Konorak, a logistics ship armed with a 20mm caliber cannon and anti-ship cruise missile launchers, was damaged at night, according to official and semi-official media. The Konorak also carries out reconnaissance missions and throws mines. There were about 40 people on board.
Iran, which was already giving in under pressure from U.S. sanctions, is also facing one of the world’s largest outbreaks of the coronavirus pandemic.
The tweet came after the U.S. Navy released the video showing that Iranian navy ships have repeatedly conducted “dangerous and harassing approaches” to US Navy warships in the North Arabian Sea. The Navy claimed that an Iranian ship arrived within 10 meters of the collision with an American ship.