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Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani

Iran is plotting to assassinate the US ambassador to South Africa as revenge for killing General Qassem Soleimani – Report

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Iran is said to be contemplating an assassination attempt against America’s ambassador to South Africa.

The alleged plot has been detailed in intelligence papers which have been seen by U.S. intelligence and government officials.

American officials say they have been aware of threats towards ambassador, Lana Marks, 66, since the spring but the intelligence detail has suddenly become more specific in recent weeks

Marks has been made aware of the threat.

The Iranian embassy in South Africa’s capital, Pretoria, is said to be involved in the plot according to Politico. 

U.S. officials say they have been made aware of threats towards the South African ambassador, Lana Marks

U.S. officials say they have been made aware of threats towards the South African ambassador, Lana Marks

Such a plot would act as a revenge attack after President Donald Trump decided to kill Qassem Soleimani, a powerful Iranian general, but it might also result in another tit-for-tat attack by Trump in a show of strength, particularly as the U.S. election approaches.

Soleimani was killed by a U.S. drone strike in January. At the time, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. killed Soleimani to re-establish a deterrent against Iran.

Soleimani led the Quds Force, a unit of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps that oversees much of the country’s military activities outside its borders.

Americans blame him for the death of numerous U.S. troops in the region.

Before Lana Marks became a diplomat, she was a luxury handbag designer. She is pictured here in front of her collection in 2009

Before Lana Marks became a diplomat, she was a luxury handbag designer. She is pictured here in front of her collection in 2009

Marks, who has known Trump for more than 20 years, became the U.S. ambassador last October.

Marks is a member of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago and was among the few women in Princess Diana’s inner circle prior to her death.

Before becoming a diplomat, Marks was best known for her six-figure handbags, clutched by A-list celebrities like Charlize Theron, Angelina Jolie and Kate Winslett.

The plot against Marks is believed to be in retaliation for a U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, pictured, as he was visiting Baghdad in January

The plot against Marks is believed to be in retaliation for a U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, pictured, as he was visiting Baghdad in January

It’s not known why the Iranians would want to target Marks but it is likely her long-standing friendship with Trump is a reason and would make the attack on her life all the more personal.

Intelligence officials have also suggested that carrying out an attack in South Africa could be easier than targeting American diplomats in other parts of the world where improved relationships between the U.S. and local police and national intelligence services could see an attack foiled.

After Soleimani’s killing, Trump noted that the general had been plotting to attack American diplomatic missions.

‘They were looking to blow up our embassy,’ Trump said in January, later revealing, ‘I can reveal I believe it probably would’ve been four embassies.’

Lana Marks and her husband, Dr. Neville Marks, live in Palm Beach

Lana Marks and her husband, Dr. Neville Marks, live in Palm Beach

General Kenneth McKenzie, the head of U.S. Central Command, has said that he had been expecting a ‘response’ from Iran over the US’s presence in Iraq.

‘I do not know what the nature of that response will be, but we will certainly be ready for it, should it occur,’ he said.

Last Wednesday, McKenzie confirmed plans to cut the U.S. troop presence in Iraq from 5,200 to 3,000 by the end of September.

 

Read more

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/09/13/iran-south-africa-ambassador-assassination-plot-413831

 

 

 

About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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