EghtesadOnline: Close to $350 million worth of Iranian hand-woven carpets were exported in the last fiscal year (March 2016-17), registering a 27% increase, the head of Iran’s National Carpet Center said.
“Our main export destinations were the US, Germany, Lebanon, the UAE, Pakistan, Japan, the UK, Qatar, South Africa and Australia,” Hamid Kargar was also quoted as saying by IRNA. The US was the biggest customer of Persian hand-woven carpets last year. Minister of Industries, Mining and Trade Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh put last year’s carpet exports to the US at more than $84 million, up from $2.7 million the year before, which indicates a 96.7% hike. 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 in January 2016 as part of a landmark nuclear deal the country signed with world powers in the previous year. In exchange, Iran agreed to limit the scope of its nuclear activities, Financial Tribune reported.