Iran planning assassination of U.S. ambassador in South Africa
Iranian plans to attack American targets following the assassination of Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani early this year keep coming to light.
According to intelligence reports, Iran had planned to assassinate U.S. Ambassador in South Africa Lana J. Marks who is a close associate of President Donald Trump.
The American newspaper Politico quoted an unnamed American official as saying that the Iranian embassy in Pretoria was involved in the assassination plan.
It said the assassination of this U.S. diplomat would have come in response to Soleimani's assassination in January this year.
U.S. officials revealed that Iran manages large clandestine networks in South Africa.
They said the U.S. has been aware of threats to the life of its ambassador in South Africa since last spring.
Marks is also aware of the presence of threats to her life in South Africa, the officials said.
They added that the assassination of the U.S. ambassador in South Africa is one of the options Iraq considers in retaliation for Soleimani's assassination.
Marks, 66, has been her country's ambassador in South Africa since October last year. She has been friends with President Trump for years now.
The backers of the U.S. president consider her a successful businesswoman. She is fond of owning expensive handbags.
The U.S. intelligence could not, meanwhile, determine the reasons why Iran wants to target Marks.
However, the official speaking to Politico attributed this to her old friendship with President Trump.
He said Iran wants to take revenge on Trump personally for issuing orders for Soleimani's assassination.
Speaking to supporters in Nevada, Trump described Soleimani as the world's most dangerous terrorist.
Soleimani was an outstanding figure on the regional and international stages. He was Iran's most powerful commander in the region.