Bahraini officials said the Gulf Arab kingdom has been working with
Western allies to protect strategic sites from Iranian missile strikes amid
any war with the United States. They said Bahrain has been introducing
measures to protect against Iranian infiltration and respond rapidly to any
missile or insurgency strike.
On April 25, Al Khalifa was quoted as telling the official Bahrain News
Agency that the kingdom established a committee to plan for war, Middle East Newsline reported. He said the
panel would prepare for emergency supplies and strategic facility
"We at the Interior Ministry have made plans to deal with the possible
threats," Bahraini Interior Minister Rashid Bin Abdullah Al Khalifa said.
Al Khalifa said he hoped that Iran would not be attacked. At the same
time, the interior minister said Bahrain applied for membership of the
International Atomic Energy Agency in an effort to acquire early warning of
a nuclear threat.
In late April, Bahrain and the United States conducted the largest
emergency response exercise in the Gulf Cooperation Council state. The
exercise envisioned an Iranian missile strike on the headquarters of the
U.S. Fifth Fleet, which contains about 3,000 sailors and Defense Department
Later, Manama hosted a four-day seminar on maritime security in an
effort to ensure regional planning. More than 60 representatives from the
states as well as Britain, the United States, Iran, Pakistan and Yemen
"There is no such thing as purely internal security anymore," Al Khalifa
said. "All security is a global issue. There has never been a time when
cooperation has been more important in this area. We all need to work
together to find ways of making our countries more secure."
Meanwhile, the Bush administration is seeking to
reassure the Gulf states of the U.S. commitment to the
Vice President Richard Cheney's trip to the region is meant to reaffirm U.S. commitment to Gulf and Arab security.
Cheney plans to meet UAE President Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Saudi
King Abdullah, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordan's King Abdullah.
Officials said the trip was decided in late April amid tension with the
Officials said the vice president's trip would be to clarify issues with
Riyad amid the kingdom's increasing cooperation with Iran. They said
American relations with Saudi Arabia have been strained, highlighted by the
king's calling the U.S. military presence in Iraq a "foreign occupation."
"I'll let the vice president and the Saudis have their conversations
privately, and to the extent that he wants to read those out, I'm sure he'll
provide information to you," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said on May