The Iranian government plans to murder the US ambassador to South Africa in retaliation for the murder of one of its top generals earlier this year, it has been reported.
US intelligence officials say the threat against Lana Marks has increased in recent months, with agents reportedly working against her from the Iranian embassy in the city of Pretoria.
The plot is believed to be in retaliation for the death of Revolutionary Guard General Qassem Soleimani – who was killed by a US drone strike in Iraq last January.
South African-born Marks, 66, was sworn in as a US ambassador in October and is a long-time ally of Donald Trump.
Her association with Trump could have led to her being targeted by the Iranian regime, US officials warned.
A directive from the intelligence community, known as “Duty to Warn,” requires US spy agencies to notify a potential victim if their lives are in danger.
Earlier this year, Iran issued a warrant for the arrest of Donald Trump for the murder of its chief Revolutionary Guard general.
Soleimani’s murder culminated in the confrontation between Iran and the United States.
Iran retaliated with a missile attack on an Iraqi air base where US troops were stationed.
The US president is one of 36 people accused by the Iranians of murder and terrorist attacks after the drone attack.
Trump tops the list of suspects, the prosecutor said, adding that the country’s judiciary has given the 36 names to Interpol and asked for its help to arrest the president.
Earlier this month, Tehran announced that an Iranian had been sentenced to death for spying on Soleimani for US and Israeli intelligence.
Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili said during a televised press conference: “Mahmoud Mousavi-Majd, one of the CIA and Mossad spies, has been sentenced to death.
“He had shared information about the whereabouts of Martyr Soleimani with our enemies.
Last summer, Iran said it had captured 17 spies working for the CIA, some of whom it said had been sentenced to death.
In February, it said it had sentenced a man to death for spying for the CIA and attempting to pass on information about Tehran’s nuclear program.