South Africa: 'Iran Plot' to Assassinate US Ambassador to South Africa Met With Scepticism

Ambassador Lana Marks presenting credentials as U.S. Ambassador to South Africa to President Cyril Ramaphosa.
analysis

South African intelligence does not think there is a 'discernible threat' by Iran to assassinate the US ambassador to South Africa, as US intelligence agencies are reported to believe. Some analysts say that the news of the alleged plot is a ploy by US President Donald Trump to help him win re-election on 3 November.

According to a report in the US journal Politico, quoting two anonymous US officials, Tehran has contemplated killing ambassador Lana Marks to avenge America's assassination in January of top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, head of the country's crack Quds Force -- a unit of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.

"If carried out, it could dramatically ratchet up already serious tensions between the US and Iran and create enormous pressure on (US President Donald) Trump to strike back -- possibly in the middle of a tense election season," Politico says.

It adds that the US intelligence report is not clear why the South African-born Marks would be Iran's target for revenge, except that she is a close friend of Trump's and a member of his exclusive Mar-a-Lago resort club in Florida. Marks made her fortune by designing and selling expensive fashion handbags and had no diplomatic...

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