MANAMA, Bahrain — Marine salvage executives on the Persian Gulf said today that Iraqi jets inflicted enormous damage on Iran's huge Kharg Island oil terminal but that at least one of its three loading jetties was operating.
Their comments corroborated a claim by Iraq on Thursday that it had attacked Iran's main oil terminal and demolished it. (Story on Page 23.)
One expert estimated that Kharg's loading capacity was cut by 40% but said operations could be back to normal in about two weeks.
Iran and Iraq have been at war since September, 1980. Iraq has periodically attacked Kharg and gulf shipping, trying to cut off oil export income that Iran uses to finance its war effort.
Today, salvage officials said the warplanes struck an "effective blow" at the 60-square-mile oil storage tank farm. Two jetties and the surface pipe lanes were hit.
The control room was also hit.