Iran has set up four teams to probe the recent “friendly fire” accident involving the Navy’s “Konarak” ship, the cause of which is shrouded in mystery.
“Four teams of experts, representing the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, the Defense Ministry, the Army and the Navy, have been dispatched to the scene of the fatal accident to investigate the case,” Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi, Commander of the Iranian Navy, told reporters on Tuesday.
The accident that occurred close to Jask port near Strait of Hormuz on May 10 left 19 sailors dead and 15 others injured.
Iranian and foreign media have speculated several possible causes of the accident including a botched test of a missile: a new anti-ship missile fired prematurely from Jamaran frigate reportedly hit the Konarak.
Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida reported that the logistics support ship was modified to lay mines and carry cruise missiles. On Sunday, while a test was being carried out, a mechanical device responsible for mine-laying malfunctioned and released a mine that exploded soon after.
In addition, a website affiliated to the Iranian Army said that the missile's homing device malfunctioned either due to a system fault or an electronic attack by the 'enemy' which may have guided the missile to the wrong target.
Some reports even alleged Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) boats had targeted the Iranian Navy’s Konarak. “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,” Iranian Army spokesman Brigadier General Shahin Taghikhani said Wednesday.