As if tensions between Iran and the United States couldn’t get any worse, the plot thickens and now South Africa has been dragged into it.
Politico reports that the Iranian government is weighing an assassination attempt against the American ambassador to South Africa. This is according to a US government official familiar with the issue and another official who has seen the intelligence.
The plot to kill 66-year-old Lana Marks, is seen as part of a revenge plot by Iran's government over president Donald Trump’s decision to have Iranian general, Qassem Soleimani, assassinated by an American drone strike. The strike happened in January.
The Politico report also reveals that prior to being sworn in as the US Ambassador to South Africa last October, Marks was perhaps best known as a luxury handbag designer and close personal friend of the late Princess Diana.
The State Security Agency (SSA) said in a statement on Monday that it was communicating with its partners both locally and internationally to ensure that the Ambassador was not harmed, reports EWN.
The spokesperson for the SSA said that "the Minister of State Security, Ayanda Dlodlo, says that South Africa has a duty to protect maximally all diplomatic officials who are on state duty in our country".
The US government official told Politico that the intelligence community isn't exactly sure why Iranians would target Marks, who has few, if any, known links to Iran. It's possible the Iranians took her long friendship with Trump into consideration.
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Image credits: The South African