- Iran is seeking revenge.
- Iran has an agent network in South Africa.
- US Ambassador to South Africa Lana Marks is being targeted.
A new report published by Politico indicates that Iran is planning an assassination attack on the US ambassador to South Africa. It highlights that the move against Ambassador Lana Marks is being made in retaliation for the murder of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani earlier this year.
His slaying escalated tensions between the US and Iran, bringing them to the brink of war. Although Iran fired a few missiles at a US base in Iraq in retaliation, no casualties were reported, and there was limited damage.
At the time, intelligence agencies warned that there was bound to be a vendetta further down the road.
In this instance, the US ambassador to South Africa is reportedly being targeted because of her proximity to US President Donald Trump, as well as the low security level in the country.
It would be a much more complex endeavor to undertake in developed nations, such as the UK, France, and Germany, where surveillance and security is tight.
An attack in a European country at this time would also undermine any cooperation with the EU, especially in the current nuclear standoff with the United States.
US intelligence agencies are required to notify targeted officials of any plots that might endanger their lives. The notes are routinely added to their briefings, and so it is assumed that Marks has been informed about it.
Iran is believed to have a network of state agents in South Africa. This has been the case for several decades now. In 2015, a secret Iranian network in the country was uncovered by an Al Jazeera investigation.
The Ambassador is a Close Associate of the President
Prior to her appointment, the US Ambassador to South Africa, Lana Marks, 66, worked as the CEO of the Lana Marks fashion house. She is currently a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, one of the most prestigious fashion organizations in America.
She’s also a long-time associate of US President Donald Trump, and was once a member of his exclusive Mar-a-Lago club.
Retaliation for Soleimani’s Killing
General Qasem Soleimani was a central figure in Iranian military operations, especially in the Middle East region. He was the head of Iranian elite Quds Force.
He was assassinated via a missile strike while at Baghdad airport, where his office was based. The strike was ordered by Trump as a mitigation measure again further killings perpetuated by his proxy groups.
Trump said that Soleimani was responsible for a lot of murders in the Middle East.
Under his leadership, the Hezbollah militia group that is based in Lebanon, and other Iranian-backed groups, expanded their presence in Iraq and neighboring Syria. His death dealt a hefty blow to Iran’s regional military operations due to his extensive coordinated network.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was livid after learning about his execution, and promised retaliation, stating, “severe revenge awaits the criminals.”