Iran caught trying to buy choppers in Spain

Bell UH-1N Twin HueyImage via Wikipedia

Spanish police say they have prevented the illegal sale of nine military transport helicopters to Iran and have detained eight people.

The operation, which took place in Madrid and Barcelona, led to the arrests of five Spanish businessmen and three Iranian nationals, reports say.

As well as the Bell-212 helicopters, police also found spare parts for export to Venezuela, police said.

Iran is banned from buying attack helicopters under UN sanctions.

The five Spanish businessmen are suspected of trying to export the US-made aircraft, while the three Iranians are accused of negotiating the purchase of military material, the AFP news agency reports.

As part of Operation Nam, police raided industrial sites in Madrid and Barcelona where they found the helicopters, reports say.

The total value of the helicopters and spares was 100m euros ($140m), they said.

While Iran and Venezuela have a close relationship, I think Chavez has been buying Russian equipment of late. They appear to be Vietnam era aircraft which demonstrates how desperate Iran is for equipment.
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