Published On: Mon, Sep 14th, 2020

Report: Iran Considering Assassination of US Ambassador to South Africa

The Iranian government is considering assassinating the U.S. ambassador to South Africa in response to the killing earlier this year of Qassem Soleimani, according to intelligence reports, Politico reports.

The ambassador, Lana Marks, is a maker of pricey designer handbags and a longtime friend of President Donald Trump.

A U.S. government official claims the Iranian embassy in Pretoria, the capital of South Africa, is involved in the plot. Soleimani was killed by a U.S. drone strike in January.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the time said Soleimani was killed as part of a broader strategy of deterring challenges by U.S. foes that also applies to Russia and China.

“President Trump and those of us in his national security team are re-establishing deterrence – real deterrence ‒ against the Islamic Republic of Iran,” he said in January in his speech at Stanford University’s Hoover Institute.

“Your adversary must understand not only that you have the capacity to impose cost but that you’re in fact willing to do so,” he said, adding that the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal from which Trump withdrew in 2018 had emboldened Tehran.

“America now enjoys the greatest position of strength regarding Iran we’ve ever been in,” he said, pointing to the damage done to the Iranian economy by U.S. sanctions that Trump re-imposed following his withdrawal from the nuclear deal.

The intelligence community has notified Marks of a “credible threat” against her life under a directive known as “Duty to Warn,” the outlet reported.

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