Iranian military spokesman Gen. Abolfazl Shekarchi has announced that his country will carry out a four-day joint naval exercise with Russia and China. The exercise is set to commence on December 27th and take place in the northern part of the Indian Ocean.

This all follows recent U.S. buildup in the region. In particular, the United States has deployed soldiers to Saudi Arabia as well as bolstered the kingdom’s air defences.

According to Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi, the commander of the Iranian Navy, this exercise is merely part of a wider naval collaboration between Tehran and Beijing. The two countries are also set to work together in producing destroyers and submarines.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov confirmed his country’s participation and specified “We, the People’s Republic of China, and Iran are preparing naval drills for fighting terrorists and pirates in this part of the Indian Ocean.”