South Africa’s State Security Agency has poured cold water on allegations that Iran was plotting to assassinate the United States Ambassador to South Africa, Lana Marks.

In a statement, the intelligence agency says the information provided is not sufficient to sustain the allegation and it has requested additional information from the United States Government.

The South African intelligence agency’s statement indicates that officials met with their counterparts from the US and other stakeholders and that they have requested additional information from Washington. It adds that it views such assassination plots against diplomats in a very serious light.

The agency’s statement seems to echo the views of the country’s chief diplomat who earlier questioned the veracity of reports in an interview with SABC News.

International Relations Minister Dr Naledi Pandor used words such as “surprising” and “bizarre” in reacting to the Politico story that the Iranians – including its Embassy in Pretoria – were part of a plot to take out Ambassador  Marks to avenge the assassination of Iranian Commander Qasem Soleimani in January.

Pandor says reports of Iran’s plot to kill American ambassador are bizarre: