Spain: Another Iranian Bear Hug

Italy isn’t the only Mediterranean country getting the full bear hug treatment from Iran. Spain, where unemployment hovers around 25%, has also become a target for Tehran’s efforts to circumvent sanctions and break its isolation.

Reaching back to January, a delegation from  Iran’s strategically located port city of Bandar Abbas met in Barcelona with local officials to discuss “issues of mutual interest” and ways to expand cooperation.

Bandar Abbas, which overlooks the very narrow Straits of Hormuz, is already home to the Iranian navy – and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) is making its headquarters there as well. Bandar Abbas also serves as one of the seven ports of the benignly-named “Tidewater Middle East Co,” which is partly owned by the IRGC and was placed on the US Department of Treasury’s sanction list two years ago.

In the meantime, like in Italy, Iranian diplomats are in high gear in Spain.  In early May, for example, Tehran’s ambassador to Spain, Morteza Saffari Natanzi and his economic attaché met with Francisco Alvarez-Cascos, a former government minister, former president of the northern Spanish province of Asturias and a veteran of Spain’s center- right People’s Party, along with the mayor of Oviedo. They discussed how good relations with Iran could benefit Asturias’ construction, food – and shipbuilding – industries.

Earlier on, Ambassador Natanzi managed to organize a trade mission from Malaga to Iran.

And not surprisingly, the ubiquitous Seyed Hossein Mousavian appeared at a Barcelona think tank, also receiving good play in the local media . Something about Barcelona…

This Iranian bear hug in the Mediterranean is getting a bit creepy. A recommendation to our friends over there: since the media isn’t reporting any of this, might want to keep your own eyes wide open.


Blogging & updating on #Iran related news- focusing on Politics, Human Rights & the Iranian nuclear Program. Followed by top Middle East Analysts, Reportes & think tanks.

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Posted in Iranian Financial Sanctions, Iranian Nuclear Crisis, Iranian Politics, IRGC, Media Coverage, Seyed Hossein Mousavian
One comment on “Spain: Another Iranian Bear Hug
  1. […] after Russian Navy warships docked in April at the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas (recently mentioned here). The two navies are planning joint military exercises later this […]

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