Reports of alleged Iranian threats to assassinate US ambassador to South Africa, Lana Marks, are receiving due attention, according to the State Security Agency (SSA).
The reports said that killing Marks would be the Islamic Republic’s preferred method of retaliating against US President, Donald Trump’s assassination of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Commander, Qasem Soleimani. Soleimani was assassinated in Iraq in January 2020 using a drone.
The SSA said it had noted the reports of the alleged plot to kill Marks, but asserted that South Africans should rest assured that the matter is receiving all the necessary attention. The agency added that it is currently interacting with all relevant partners, both in the country and abroad, to ensure that no harm would befall the top US diplomat, or any other diplomatic officials in South Africa.
“The agency has noted the rising public interest on the matter. We would like to assure all South African citizens and interested parties that the matter is receiving the necessary attention,” the agency said.
“It should be noted that the nature of the allegation and attendant threat doesn’t permit us to give any detailed updates on the investigations. Reports thereon shall be provided to all the relevant authorities, including the State President, the International Relations and Cooperation Minister, and relevant officials in the United States administration,” the agency added.
However, Tehran has strongly denied the allegations.
Minister of State Security, Ayanda Dlodlo said South Africa has a duty to protect maximally all diplomatic officials who are on official duty.
South African-born Marks, a tycoon and friend of Trump, was appointed to the top US post in October 2019. She made her fortune in designing and selling fashionable handbags, according to her biography.