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Analysts: Iranian 'plot' to kill US ambassador to SA Lana Marks unlikely

15 September 2020 12:18 PM
Tags:
Politico
US Ambassador Lana Marks

US expert Brooks Spector speculates US intel may have picked up informal chatter, but is unlikely to be a formal Iranian plot.

US magazine Politico reported allegations of an attempted plot to assassinate US Ambassador to South Africa Lana Marks, in retaliation for the United States killing the Iranian general, Qassem Soleimani, in a January drone attack, based on US intelligence sources.,

RELATED: Donald Trump’s new SA ambassador Lana Marks talks trade, rugby and impeachment

On Monday, Lester Kiewit spoke to Naeem Jeenah, director at Afro-MiddleEast Centre, who said it needs to be taken 'with a pinch of salt'. He argued that South Africa is one of Iran's few friends and it seemed unlikely it would put that good relationship in jeopardy by orchestrating such action on South African soil.

Jeenah also noted that Iran was unlikely to consider Marks a political equivalent to Soleimani.

He adds that it is more likely a ploy by the United States to send a message to the South African government about its relationship with Iran.

SA State Security Agency has stated that the matter is receiving the necessary attention.

Kiewit now talks to and Associate Editor of Daily Maverick and former US Diplomat, Brooks Spector.

Spector notes that Politico is known to be a reasonable publication not given to wild innuendos.

He notes the SSA's statement was the expected response.

Spector says he is entering completely speculative waters when he suggests perhaps this was something hatched in the 'shadier and darker edges of the world.'

He notes that when Soleimani was killed by the Americans in Iraq, the Iranians did say there would be an accounting for this death.

So it is just possible that somewhere in the edgier versions of the Revolutionary Guards, that there was chatter that we really need to get back at them, we really have to get even.

Brookes Spector, US foreign policy expert

Spector notes that such a statement could be interpreted in many ways.

Is it a plot? Is it after-dinner chatter? Is it boisterous talk by young men who have an itch? The intelligence services in the US may have picked up language like that electronically eavesdropping and would be duty-bound through their channels to make the target aware.

Brookes Spector, US foreign policy expert

He adds that the way it has been communicated leads him to believe this was soft rather than hard intelligence.

Listen to the SA State Security Agency audio statement and US expert Brooks Spector below:

Listen to Naeem Jeenah, the Executive Director at Afro-Middle East Centre in the audio below:


15 September 2020 12:18 PM
Tags:
Politico
US Ambassador Lana Marks

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