An Iranian Navy commander says his country is set to conduct naval exercises with nearby ally Oman in March. Iran looks to be on its way to major naval power status, fighting piracy and cooperating with other countries in the region.

Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said the exercises will involve joint rescue and relief operations. He expressed his country’s readiness to cooperate militarily with other countries in the region in an effort to ensure the peace and stability of the Middle East.