News ID: 274336
Published: 1155 GMT September 18, 2020

South Africa says ‘surprised’ by ‘bizarre’ report of Iran plot to kill US envoy

South Africa says ‘surprised’ by ‘bizarre’ report of Iran plot to kill US envoy

South African Minister of International Relations Naledi Pandor said her country is “as surprised as its Iranian friends” after learning about the American news website Politico’s report of a “plot” by Tehran to kill the US envoy to the African nation.

“It’s been a very strange public statement and of course our friends in Iran are as surprised as we were,” Pandor said in an interview with SABC News released on Friday.

“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 added, according to Press TV.

“I can only describe it as bizarre and let me stop there.”

Her comments came after Politico news website claimed Iran had sought to assassinate US Ambassador to South Africa Lana Marks in retaliation for the US assassination of top Iranian commander, Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, in January.

The article claimed to be based on US intelligence reports, allegedly seen by a US government official and another official familiar with the documents, stating that Marks had likely been chosen due to her closeness to US President Donald Trump.

Iran dismissed the "biased and agenda-driven" report, and advised American officials to stop resorting to hackneyed and outworn methods to create Iranophobic atmosphere on the international arena.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran, as a responsible member of the international community, has demonstrated its continued adherence to the principles and customs of international diplomacy," Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Monday.

The spokesman said baseless allegations such as the one published in the Politico are "part of the Trump administration's counterintelligence campaign against Iran."

"The US regime's resort to anti-Iranian accusations and lies in the run-up to the US presidential election, and at the same time its pressure to abuse UN Security Council mechanisms to increase pressure on the Iranian people, was predictable.

"Nevertheless, such moves and news fabrications, probably to continue in the future, will certainly remain futile, adding to Washington's long list of ongoing failures against the Islamic Republic of Iran."




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