Trump Iran Lana Marks, revenge for top general Qassem Soleimani.
Iran is considering assassinating the US ambassador to South Africa as revenge for the US killing of top general Qassem Soleimani in January, Politico reported, citing officials familiar with the matter.
US intelligence has been aware of the threats against Lana Marks since the spring, but found that the threats had become more “specific” in recent weeks, the report said.
Marks was nominated to the role by President Donald Trump in 2018 and was sworn in last October.
A US government official who spoke to Politico said that Marks has been aware of the threat as part of intelligence community protocol, and that Iran’s embassy in Pretoria, South Africa, is involved in the plot against her.
The intelligence was also included in the CIA’s classified World Intelligence Review, which reaches security officials, according to Politico.
Politico reported that the intelligence community remains unsure as to why Iran had focused on Marks.
However, the government official told the outlet that Marks’ relationship with Trump may have been a factor as to why she was singled out as a target.
Marks was a handbag designer and a member of his Mar-a-Lago club before she was selected as ambassador, and has known Trump for more than two decades, Politico reported.
Iran’s network of operatives in South Africa may also have been a factor in selecting Marks, Politico reported.
The State Department, CIA, and Office of the Director of National Intelligence all declined to comment to Politico.
The National Security Council, Iran’s mission at the United Nations, and South African Embassy in Washington, DC did not respond to Politico’s requests for comment.