Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is attempting to establish a new permanent base in the Gulf of Oman and the entry to the Indian Ocean, said its top admiral on Monday.

Alireza Tangsiri told the semi-official Fars News Agency that the base would assist in combating pirates and foreign vessels, and could be finished by March 2021. Tangsiri did not say where exactly the base would be located.

Tensions have risen between the United States and Iran since the former withdrew in May 2018 from the 2015 nuclear deal, reimposing sanctions along with enacting financial and other penalties in what the Trump administration has called a “maximum pressure” campaign.

That campaign has also consisted of building up a U.S. military presence in the region in an attempt at deterring the Iranian regime from future aggression.

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