The Shiite Safavid Empire ruled Persia along with the present Iraq. Suleiman waged three campaigns against the Safavids; the earliest being the historically important city of Baghdad which fell under Suleiman's forces in 1534. The second campaign in the year 1548-1549 which resulted in temporary gains for Ottoman in Tabriz and Azerbaijan, along with a lasting presence in the province of Van, along with some forts in Georgia.
In his third campaign, in 1555, Suleiman's forces failed to eliminate the Shah's army, which departed into the mountains of Luristan, and eventually signed a treaty at Amasya in which the Shah recognized the existing borders and promised that he would end his raids into Ottoman territory. In addition to this, bulk territories of North Africa up to west of Algeria also came to be annexed. The Ottoman expansion of this time was chiefly associated with naval dominance for a short period in the Mediterranean Sea.
Apart from this, Ottoman navies also controlled the Red Sea, and held the Persian Gulf until 1554, when their ships were ultimately defeated by the navy of the Portuguese Empire. The Portuguese continued to contest Suleiman's forces for control of Aden. In 1533 Khair ad Din who was known to Europeans as Barbarossa, was made Admiral-in-Chief of the Ottoman navies actively fighting the Spanish navy.
In 1535 the Habsburg Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V won a significant victory against the Ottomans at Tunis, but in 1536 King Francis I of France allied himself with Suleiman against Charles. In 1538, the fleet of Charles V was defeated at the Battle of Preveza by Khair ad Din, securing the eastern Mediterranean for the Turks for 33 long years. Francis I asked for help from Suleiman, then sent a fleet headed by Khair ad Din who was victorious over the Spanish, and managed to retake Naples from them. One result of the alliance was the fierce sea battle between Dragut and Andrea Doria, which left the northern Mediterranean and the southern Mediterranean in Ottoman's hands.
Thereafter, attention came to be concentrated to the west thereby resulting in the annexation of the Balkan region, Vienna and such other places. Thus, the Ottoman Empire's conquest was one filled with extreme ambitions of expansion of their empire.