Spanish National Police members inspect the area after former president of the People's Party of Catalonia and Former Vice-President of the European Parliament, Alejo Vidal-Quadras, was shot in the face by a gunman on motorbike in Madrid, Spain, 09 November 2023. EPA-EFE/Borja Sánchez-Trillo


Was Iran behind ‘assassination attempt’ of Spain’s Vox founder?


Alejo Vidal-Quadras, the 78-year-old founder of Spain’s Vox party and a former vice president of the European Parliament, has been discharged from Gregorio Marañon hospital in Madrid two weeks after he was shot in an apparent assassination attempt.

Vidal-Quadras was shot in the face on November 9, minutes after denouncing the Socialist-separatist amnesty deal.

He accused the Tehran regime of “plotting and executing” what he said was his attempted assassination, though police are following are number of leads.

“They shot me in the face to kill me, but I miraculously survived,” he wrote in a letter sent to the National Council of Resistance of Iran, an opposition group, from his hospital bed.

The group has also blamed the Iranian Government for the attack.

Investigators have not yet ruled out the possibility of an orchestrated Iranian attack.

The National High Court has declared the investigation of Vidal-Quadra’s attempted murder as “secret”.

The failure to kill Vidal-Quadras is however raising questions among analysts about the possibility of Iran’s direct involvement. Police sources in Spain, quoted anonymously, claim it could not have been a professional job, as it was unprofessionally carried out.

The Spanish police have identified a French national of Tunisian origin as the alleged perpetrator of the attempted murder.

According to the official investigation, the gunman fled on a BMW motorbike after shooting Vidal-Quadras near his house on Núñez de Balboa Street in Madrid city centre.

Hours later, the authorities found the burnt-out motorbike in Fuenlabrada, a city 30km south of the crime scene.

The would-be killer’s whereabouts are still unknown. Analysts suggests he – or she – might have fled to Tunisia, Libya or Morocco.

According to police leaks, the attacker was hired by a Shiite couple who planned the attack from a house in the Adalusian city of Granada. They had been living there for fewer than 15 days.

Police are also looking at another theory suggesting the Moroccan regime might be behind the attack.

The Spanish authorities already detained three suspects in the southern port city of Málaga as part of the investigation. Two are Spanish nationals – one a Shiite Islam convert – and the third is a British woman.

Days before his discharge, Vidal-Quadras published an op-ed lambasting Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez.

He called Sánchez a “progressive Prime Minister who’s an ally and friend of terrorists and seditionist fugitives”.

“If something can be recognised about Pedro Sánchez, it is that he managed to bring Spain down to the level of his minimal moral stature, which is that of an ambition-drunk pygmy without merit and lacking in culture,” he added.