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Iran dismisses alleged plot to kill US ambassador to SA Lana Marks

14 September 2020 - 15:43 By Ernest Mabuza
Iran has dismissed a report that it planned to assassinate US ambassador Lana Marks.
Iran has dismissed a report that it planned to assassinate US ambassador Lana Marks.
Image: Alon Skuy

Iran has dismissed claims in a news report that the country was considering an assassination attempt against Lana Marks, the US ambassador to SA.

The report alleged that Iran sought to assassinate Marks to avenge the killing of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.

Iran's ministry of foreign affairs spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh described the report in Politico as “custom-ordered, biased and purposeful”. He said it cited remarks purportedly made by a US government official in an attempt to make it look real.

He said these baseless allegations were part of the “[US President Donald] Trump administration’s counterintelligence campaign against Iran”.

“We advise the American officials to stop resorting to hackneyed and worn-out methods for anti-Iran propaganda in the international arena,” said Khatibzadeh.

Iran had proved its constant commitment to international diplomatic principles and norms, said Khatibzadeh.

He said it was the US that had ignored the basic diplomatic principles and become a rogue regime in the international arena — particularly in recent years, with numerous measures out of line with internationally accepted methods and norms.

He said these included masterminding and implementing plots for assassination and military and intelligence interference, withdrawal from many international agreements, violating the territorial integrity of nations, and the assassination of Soleimani.

It was predictable that the US would resort to anti-Iran accusations and falsification ahead of the US presidential election, he said.

“However, such measures and news fabrication that would possibly continue in the future will undoubtedly get nowhere and will add to the long list of Washington’s continuous defeats in the face of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” he said.

He said Iran would press on with international legal action at all levels in connection with the assassination of Soleimani and would neither forgive nor forget the act of “terrorism”.

Security expert Jasmine Opperman said according to US legislation, the moment officials got an intelligence report of a threat to their citizens, they were legally mandated to release a report.

“One would hope there has been liaison with the State Security Agency and at this point in time, there are investigations to verify the reliability of the intelligence,” said Opperman.