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.
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.