Iran Reportedly Plotting Assassination of U.S. Ambassador; Trump Continues to Tighten Iran Sanctions

Iran is reportedly considering a plot to assassinate the U.S. Ambassador to South Africa, Lana Marks. The purported plot is in retaliation for the killing of Qassem Soleimani, leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. The U.S. is aware of reported threats against Marks. Reported by Fox News. Read more… Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps. has also vowed to retaliate for the killing of Soleimani. The Guard’s website purportedly promised, “Mr. Trump! Our revenge for martyrdom of our great general is obvious, serious and real.” Reported by Fox News. Read more… In response to the reported assassination threat, President Trump warned Iran that the U.S. was prepared to respond to any attempt to retaliate for the death of Soleimani. Speaking on Fox & Friends, he said, “We’re all set. They’ll be hit a thousand times harder.” Reported by Fox News. Read more… Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy made a show of force, sailing a carrier task force near Iran’s shores. The navy sent the carrier U.S.S. Nimitz and its escorts through the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic waterway through which a significant portion of the world’s oil flows. Reported by Fox News. Read more…

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration plans to continue to tighten sanctions on Iran, focusing on nations that illegally trade with the Islamic Republic despite U.N. and U.S. sanctions. Kelly Craft, the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., recently said, “The United States must keep pressure on the regime in Tehran as long as it creates conflict, chaos, and human suffering, … Endangering millions of innocent men, women and children in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, Iraq and other parts of the Middle East cannot be tolerated. Cutting off revenue to the world’s No. 1 sponsor of terror will save lives.” Reported by Fox News. Read more… Trump also predicted that if he won the election in November, Iran would be forced to negotiate with the U.S. Speaking from the oval officer, Trump said, “We’ll see what happens with Iran, I’d say right after the election, within a period of a week, maybe a month, but within a period, a very short period,…. literally a very short time, you’ll have Iran coming back and saying let’s get this whole thing worked out.” Reported by Fox News. Read more…

The U.S. State Department has said that it will proceed with U.S. Sanctions against Iran. The U.S. also said that it would impose sanctions on any nation that violated the arms embargo on Iran, despite the fact the embargo expires in October. Reported by Fox News. Read more… Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in a press conference with the U.K.’s foreign minister, said that the U.S. will “return to the United Nations to reimpose sanctions so that the arms embargo will become permanent next week.” It is unclear how the U.S. will do this, however, because the U.N. Security Council has already turned back an attempt to maintain the embargo, and many U.S. allies do not support the move. Reported by Fox News Read more…  During the same press conference, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the U.S. will “do all the things we need to do” to ensure the snapback of U.N. sanctions on Iran. This, despite the U.N. Security Council’s failure to back a U.S.-bid to maintain sanctions on arms trade with Tehran. Pompeo also said, “As for the actions that we will take, the U.N. will take the sanctions it always does, these will be valid U.N. Security Council resolutions and the United States will do what it always does, it will do its share as part of its responsibilities to enable peace, this time in the Middle East, we’ll do all the things we need to do to ensure that those sanctions are enforced.” Reported by Fox News. Read more… In a separate statement, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that John Kerry was wrong to say that Israel, if the U.S. withdrew the Iran nuclear deal, would be more isolated. Trump says that Trump’s deals between Israel and Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates is proof Kerry was wrong. Reported by Fox News. Read more… Pompeo also recently said that when Iran changes its behavior, there will be a chance for true peace and stability in the region. Reported by Fox News. Read more…

The U.S., for the first time, imposed sanctions on Iran’s judiciary. The sanctions are in response to Iran’s execution of 27-year old wrestler Navid Afkari for his role in participating in anti-government demonstrations in 2019. Elliott Abrams, the U.S. Special Representative for Iran, said “These so-called ‘revolutionary courts’ are not what anyone in the United States would recognize as a court. Their purpose is to maintain the regime’s stranglehold on power and put Iranians who seek freedom into prison—or even to order their execution.” He added, “They take orders for their verdicts from the ayatollahs and they make a mockery of justice.” Reported by Fox News. Read more…

Finally, Iran may be undergoing a third wave of coronavirus. The number of new infections in Iran has jumped to 3,000 a day. In August, the count was fewer than 1,600 new cases a day. Reported by MSN. Read more…