CARICOM countries need to prepare for fallout of US and Iran situation

Thursday, January 9, 2020 - 13:45

A suggestion that CARICOM heads meet as soon as possible, and come up with a strategy to deal with any possible fallout or dangerous scenarios, resulting from the recent détente between the United States and Iran.

It comes from Strategic Security Consultant and former Director of the National Operations Centre, Commander Garvin Heerah, who says Trinidad and Tobago should take the lead on this.

He warns that countries around the world where US interests are located have now been made more vulnerable, as a result of the current situation between Washington and Tehran.

“Iran has made a clarion call to all of their supporters,” he states. “To all of their proxy forces—those are forces that are backed by the Iranian government and their sympathisers—to wage an attack on the US government."

He is urging CARICOM leaders to get together quickly and come up with an appropriate response to what could happen next.

"You will find that people will be wrongfully accused, wrongfully profiled, wrongfully investigated,” he warns. “We've seen that before. Some of us actually have been the victims of that when we've travelled internationally based on that sort of profiling, especially at international airports and sea ports. That's a disadvantage. It is something that rolls out of these sorts of issues." 

Commander Heerah says security officials in the Caribbean must take proactive moves and engage in strategies to ensure the safety and security of their citizens, because real threats already may be embedded in their populations.

“They must pay specific attention to what might be the existence of ‘sleeper cells’. Or at least, increasing our intelligence gathering to listen out to the chatter that is taking place, especially in the realm of the dark web." He adds: “There is evidence that there are sleeper cells in our region. Because of that, there can be that sort of personal sympathiser type of approach, where people may take it onto their own as lone wolves, for instance, to treat with the issue."

Both the US and Iran have reported to the United Nations Security Council that their missile strikes against each other were acts of self-defence.

And both have reserved the right to engage in similar defensive action in the future.