Spanish Police Seize Iran-Bound Helicopters Purchased in Israel

May 26, 2011

Publication Type: 

  • International Enforcement Actions


Wisconsin Project Staff

Spanish police seized 9 U.S.-made Bell-112 military transport helicopters and aviation spare parts, and arrested 5 Spanish businessmen suspected of attempting to illegally export the seized materials to Iran. The police also arrested three Iranians accused of traveling to Spain to negotiate their purchase. Spanish Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said that the Iran-bound helicopters, which had been stashed in industrial warehouses in Barcelona and Madrid, were purchased in Israel. According to the police, the aviation spare parts were earmarked for transport to Venezuela. The export of the helicopters and spare parts, which were valued at $140 million, is subject to both Spanish and European Union controls and is prohibited by the United Nations.


[1] "Spain Halts Sale of Military Choppers to Iran: Police," Agence France-Presse (AFP), May 26, 2011.

[2] "Iran Helicopters: Spain Holds Eight Over 'Illegal Sale,'" BBC News, May 26, 2011.

[3] "Spain Stops Sale to Iran of Helicopters Purchased in Israel," The Jerusalem Post, May 26, 2011.