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EghtesadOnline: Iran exported $321 million worth of hand-woven carpets during the 11 months of the last Iranian year (March 20, 2016-February 18, 2017), the head of National Carpet Center said.

This shows a 27% hike compared with the similar period of a year before, IRNA reported.

“New markets have also been added to export destinations for the Iranian hand-woven carpets in recent years,” Hamid Kargar also said, referring to China as an example.

Japan, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, France, Britain, the UAE, Kuwait, Lebanon and Qatar are traditional markets for the luxury Iranian product, Financial Tribune reported.

According to Kargar, some $3 million worth of handmade rugs were exported to China in the period under review.

He added that $80 million worth of carpets were exported to the United States alone.

Iran’s carpet exports were hit hard by sanctions imposed on the country over its nuclear program. The United States—the biggest importer of Iran’s handmade rugs—banned the import of Iranian carpets, among other products, in September 2010.

Sanctions were lifted last year as part of a landmark nuclear deal the country signed with world powers the year before. In exchange, Iran agreed to limit the scope of its nuclear activities.

Now that the sanctions are gone, carpet exports are slowly gaining momentum.

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