Amid heightened tensions between the United States and Iran, Bahamian Ambassador to the United States Sidney Collie said yesterday that security at airports and seaports in The Bahamas must be increased, as it is a soft target.
“One thing we should be aware of is we are home to over seven million visitors. And therefore, our security forces at our airports and our seaports and where people gather should be stepped up,” Collie told The Nassau Guardian.
“The Bahamas is considered a soft target. And so, once we take care of the basics at the sea port and the airport and major places where Bahamians and tourists congregate, we should be fine, but in the scheme of things, The Bahamas isn’t even on the map, in the scheme of the geopolitical wars and what is developing.”
Iranian General Qasem Soleimani was killed on Friday morning in Iraq in a drone strike ordered by United States President Donald Trump, immediately prompting concerns that there could be a war between Iran and the United States.
Soleimani was Iran’s most powerful military commander. He headed Iran’s Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force, which handles Iran’s foreign operations.
The drone strike has been labeled an assassination, and policy experts have called it an act of war.
Whether the attack was legal according to international law is still being debated. Trump has argued that it was an act of self defense, but has not provided proof of that.
Collie said Bahamians should not be too concerned, but should stay informed.
“The Americans for sure are very concerned that this might escalate into a wider war,” he said.
“The American citizens are fully aware of the eight-year war with Saddam Hussein in Iraq. And then there was a 12-year war between Iraq and Iran. And recently, there has been a civil war in Syria and the incursion of a new state, the caliphate of ISIS [a]nd also Israel, Hamas and the satellite organizations that Iran command. The Middle East is very unstable now, so Bahamians should stay tuned and follow what’s going on.
“I don’t see any reason for any major concern in The Bahamas. The American government and its different agencies have stepped up its security preparations. We know terrorism has changed the world. The Bahamas is not a military country. We do not have a standing army. We are friendly with all nations. We have diplomatic standing with all of the major countries of the world.”