Spanish Authorities Seize Nuclear Valves Destined for Iran

January 30, 2013

Publication Type: 

  • International Enforcement Actions

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

Related Country: 

  • Spain
  • United Arab Emirates


Wisconsin Project Staff

Spanish police have broken up a smuggling ring that was planning to ship nuclear components to Iran. The police operation, dubbed "Operation Alfa," began in March 2012. It resulted in two arrests and the interception of a truck owned by the Spanish company Fluval Spain S.L. and carrying dozens of highly corrosion-resistant Inconel 625 valves. The two men were Fluval employees. The seizure took place in January 2013 at a toll barrier in northern Spain, near the company's headquarters in Amurrio. Export documents found on the truck indicate that the valves were destined for Iran via front companies in the United Arab Emirates. According to Spanish authorities, Fluval has commercial ties with Iranian entities identified by the European Union as being involved in Iran's nuclear program.


[1] Harold Heckle, "Spain arrests 2 over suspected Iran nuclear export," Associated Press, January 11, 2013.

[2] "Spanish police seize parts for Iranian nuclear program, expose supply network," El Pais, January 12, 2013.

[3] "Spain seizes materials bound for Iran nuke program," The Jerusalem Post, January 11, 2013.