TEHRAN: Iran says it has exported $80 million worth of carpets to the United States over a period of 11 months starting March 21, 2016. Hamid Karegar, the president of Iran National Carpet Center, told local media that the exports had been mainly carried out directly from Iran to the US. The boost, he emphasized, came after a multi-year halt in exports to the United States that followed a ban devised by the previous US administration in 2010.
Karegar told Iran’s IRNA news agency that the doors for exports of Iran’s carpets to the US market literally opened after the removal of sanctions against the Islamic Republic in January 2016. “It was a month later that the first consignment of carpets – that had been barred from the US from 2010 – was sent to Los Angeles from Hamburg,” he said. “Ever since, there has been a surge in exports of Iranian carpets to the US.” Karegar told IRNA that Iran’s total exports of carpets over the past 11 months stood at above 5,200 tons in weight and around $320 million in value. He said the exports indicated a growth of 16 percent in weight as well as an increase of 27 percent in value compared to the same period last year. Before the intensification of US-led sanctions against Iran in 2011, the country exported more than $600 million worth of carpets – mostly to the US – and had serious plans to raise it to $1 billion in the next year. In the US, Iranian carpets are offered from $5,000 to $200,000 a piece depending on the type of the fabric, design and intricacy employed in their making.