Police believe Iran may be linked to the attempted murder of the former head of Spain’s People’s Party in Catalonia.
Alejo Vidal-Quadras was shot in the face while in the Salamanca region of Madrid on Thursday around 1:30 p.m. He was later taken to the hospital where he is still recovering.
A police source with inside information on the investigation told The Associated Press that 76-year-old Vidal-Quadras, while recovering in the hospital, theorized the gunmen could be linked to Iran.
The Iranian foreign ministry previously placed sanctions on Vidal-Quadras due to his relationship with Iran’s opposition-in-exile, the People’s Mujahedin of Iran.
Police say they have no evidence the Iranian government was involved in the assassination attempt, but they are looking into the theory as one of several possible motives.
Two men seen on a Yamaha motorcycle are believed to be connected to the assassination attempt.
The man who shot Vidal-Quadras dismounted the black motorbike and pulled the gun while his face was obscured by a helmet. Both men escaped on the vehicle following the attack.
The single gunshot fractured Vidal-Quadras’s jawbone but is not believed to be life-threatening.
The scene of the shooting has been roped off by authorities, and no suspects have been arrested yet.
The remnants of a burnt motorcycle were later found outside the city.
Vidal-Quadras is a former member of the right-wing Popular Party. He later broke off from the Popular Party after three decades with the group due to a falling out with then-Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, founding the Vox Party. He left Vox in 2014.
Authorities are checking surveillance footage and soliciting witness accounts in an attempt to identify the shooter.