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Bahamas seeking to ‘beef up security’ amid U.S.-Iran tensions

The Bahamas is seeking to “beef up security” until there is a de-escalation in tension between the United States and Iran, Minister of Foreign Affairs Darren Henfield said yesterday.

He said the government has spoken to officials at the U.S. Embassy in Nassau about security concerns.

“We’re watching it very closely for any fallout that may come from it economically or otherwise,” Henfield told reporters at Government House.

“We’re watching it very closely for the security posture that we have to take. As I indicated, we spoke with the American embassy. Our commissioner of police, commander of the defense, they’re talking to them about any need to beef up security in the interim until this thing cools down.”

On Friday, General Gasem Soleimani, Iran’s top general, was assassinated in an attack at an airport in Baghdad, Iraq, at the direction of U.S. President Donald Trump.

Nine other Iran-back militia figures were also killed in the attack.

In a statement, the United States Department of Defense (DOD) said the attack was taken as a “decisive defensive action”.

“General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region,” the statement noted.

“General Soleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more.

“He had orchestrated attacks on coalition bases in Iraq over the last several months – including the attack on December 27 – culminating in the death and wounding of additional American and Iraqi personnel. General Soleimani also approved the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad that took place this week.”

According to the DOD, the strike was aimed at “deterring future Iranian attack plans”.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, vowed “harsh retaliation” after the assassination.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said, “The great nation of Iran will take revenge for this heinous crime.”

Leaders in major American cities have ramped up security measures in the wake of the attack.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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