This file photo taken Monday. May 11, 2020, at OR Tambo Airport Johannesburg and supplied by the United States Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa shows U.S. Ambassador to South Africa Lana Marks posing with ventilators donated by the U.S. Government. ... more >

Iran mulls assassination plot against U.S. ambassador: Reports


American intelligence reports warn that Iran is considering assassinating the U.S. Ambassador to South Africa Lana Marks, according to multiple reports.

Intelligence officials have been aware of threats against Ms. Marks since the spring, but noted they became more “specific” in the last few weeks, according to Politico, which first reported the news. The Iranian Embassy in Pretoria is reportedly involved in the plan.

Officials said the assassination attempt is only one option they believe the country is considering as revenge against President Trump and the United States for killing Qassem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian military’s elite Quds force, in January.

Ms. Marks was nominated to her position by Mr. Trump in 2018 and sworn in last October.

The officials informed Ms. Marks of the plot against her and also included the information in the CIA’s World Intelligence Review. They said they believe her close friendship with Mr. Trump may be part of why she was targeted.

Tensions between the U.S. and Iran have escalated steadily during the Trump administration.

Not long after Soleimani’s death, Iran launched ballistic missiles at Iraqi bases where U.S. troops were stationed.