Iran Reportedly Plotting to Assassinate U.S. Envoy to South Africa Over Soleimani Killing

Politico reported Sunday that Iran is seeking retaliation for the U.S. killing of Qassem Soleimani by targeting Lana Marks

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Haaretz
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Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani, center, attends a meeting in Tehran, September 18, 2016
Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani, center, attends a meeting in Tehran, September 18, 2016Credit: enei.ir/AP
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Haaretz

U.S. intelligence officials reportedly believe Iran has “been weighing” an assassination attempt against the U.S. ambassador to South Africa in retaliation for the January U.S. killing of Qassem Soleimani - who was the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Crops.

Politico reported Sunday that “U.S. officials have been aware of a general threat against the ambassador, Lana Marks, since the spring” - an act which would represent a major escalation between the U.S. and Iran.

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Politico specifically cited an official that indicated U.S. intelligence believes that the Iranian embassy in Pretoria, one of South Africa's major cities, “is involved in the plot.”

Marks, the Jewish, South Africa-born luxury handbag designer, became the fourth member of Trump’s exclusive Palm Beach club, Mar-a-Lago, to be tapped to join the administration when she was nominated for her post in November of 2018. 

Lana J. Marks, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of South Africa.
Lana J. Marks, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of South Africa.Credit: U.S. Department of State

Read more: The long, strange journey of Lana Marks, Trump’s pick for South African ambassador

Politico explains that the intelligence community “isn’t exactly sure why Iranians would target Marks, who has few, if any, known links to Iran,” but adds there is speculation the Iranians took her long friendship with Trump, who she has known for decades, into consideration.

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