Arrests were carried out in Malaga and Granada this morning. | Jorge Zapata

Spanish police today detained three people in their investigation into a murder attempt on the former head of Spain's conservative Partido Popular in Catalonia.

One of the suspects was arrested in the southern port city of Malaga and the other two in Granada, a police source told Reuters, confirming early reports from news website El Confidencial and radio station Cadena SER.

Two of them were Spanish nationals and the third arrested was a British woman, the source said. Police are looking into whether they have links with foreign countries.

Alejo Vidal-Quadras was shot in the face on a sidewalk in the wealthy neighbourhood of Salamanca in central Madrid at 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 9 by a gunman wearing a helmet who fled on a motor bike.

The 78-year-old conservative politician survived the attack as the bullet passed through his jaw but is reportedly still in hospital.

An anti-terrorism court is in charge of case investigation. The court spokesperson was not immediately able to comment.

Vidal-Quadras is former head of the centre-right PP in Catalonia and a founder of Spain's far-right Vox party.

He also served as European Parliament vice-president between 2009 and 2014. He has been a staunch ally of the Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, and exile opposition group that has blamed the Iranian government for the attack.

Police have not confirmed any such theory, and a spokesperson for the Iranian Embassy in Madrid did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In October 2022, Vidal-Quadras was included in an Iranian sanctions list in retaliation for European Union sanctions imposed on the country following the death in custody of 22-year-old Iranian-Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini.

Amini's death triggered months of nationwide protests that represented one of the fiercest challenges to the Islamic Republic since its establishment in 1979.

The Iranian sanctions included a visa and entry ban on Vidal-Quadras and seizure of any property in Iran.