South Africa’s State Security Agency says it has discovered no proof to assist US media claims that Iran was planning to assassinate American Ambassador to Pretoria Lana Marks.
In an announcement launched on Friday, the company spokesman Mava Scott stated that South African officers had met with their US counterparts to request extra data.
“At present, the information provided is not sufficient to sustain the allegation that there is a credible threat against the United States Ambassador to South Africa,” Scott stated.
The remarks got here days after the Politico information journal alleged that Tehran was planning to kill Marks earlier than the US presidential election to avenge Washington’s assassination of high Iranian anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani in Iraq early this 12 months.
The article claimed to be based mostly on US intelligence experiences, purportedly seen by a US authorities official and one other official conversant in the paperwork, noting that Marks had possible been chosen because of her closeness to US President Donald Trump.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry categorically rejected the “baseless” allegations as a part of American officers’ “hackneyed and outworn methods to create Iranophobic atmosphere on the international arena.”
Trump, nevertheless, cited the report back to threaten an assault “1,000 times greater in magnitude” towards Iran.
Scott careworn that South Africa had heightened safety to guard the US diplomatic mission and personnel, saying, “Such plots of assassination against diplomats are viewed in a very serious light and Her Excellency, Ambassador Marks has been assured of our commitment in this regard.”
Additionally on Friday, South African Minister of International Relations Naledi Pandor stated her nation is “as surprised as its Iranian friends” after studying in regards to the alleged assassination plot.
“I find it surprising, why would Iran being a very good friend of South Africa come and commit a horrendous act in a country which has been a good friend to Iran, and of such a nature?” she stated in an interview with SABC News. “I can only describe it as bizarre and let me stop there.”
Tensions have been operating excessive between Tehran and Washington since May 2018, when Trump pulled the US out of a multilateral nuclear deal and unleashed a tricky marketing campaign of sanctions as a part of his ‘maximum pressure’ coverage and army threats towards the Islamic Republic.
The two sides seemed to be on the point of direct confrontation after General Soleimani was assassinated within the US drone strike near the Baghdad International Airport on January 3.
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