resident Donald Trump said late Monday that his administration would retaliate to any form of attack by the Iranian regime with an attack “that will be 1,000 times greater in magnitude.”
In a Twitter statement, the president wrote, “According to press reports, Iran may be planning an assassination, or other attack, against the United States in retaliation for the killing of terrorist leader Soleimani, which was carried out for his planning a future attack, murdering U.S. Troops, and the death & suffering caused over so many years.
“Any attack by Iran, in any form, against the United States will be met with an attack on Iran that will be 1,000 times greater in magnitude!” he wrote.
Trump’s statement comes after South Africa’s State Security Agency said on Monday it has “noted reports about an alleged plot to assassinate the United States Ambassador to South Africa, Ambassador Lana Marks.” The agency also said that it was taking steps to ensure no harm would come to any diplomats stationed in the country.
Marks, a close ally of Trump, was sworn in as U.S. ambassador on Oct. 4 last year.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was asked on Monday to comment on the reported threat to Marks, as well as any actions that the State Department is taking to protect the ambassador.
He told Fox News, “I can’t comment on the intelligence but I’ll say this: the Islamic Republic of Iran has engaged in assassination efforts all across the world. They have assassinated people in Europe and in other parts of the world.
“We take these kinds of allegations seriously. We’ll do everything that’s within our means to protect anyone of our state department officials the same way we do for our soldiers sailors airmen and marines.
“We make very clear to the Islamic Republic of Iran that this kind of activity—attacking any American any place at any time, whether it’s an American diplomat, an ambassador, or one of our service members—is completely unacceptable.”