0530 GMT March 18, 2019
Azimzadeh told Iran Daily that the Iranian carpet is currently exported to a majority of nations, as it boasts top quality.
Iranian carpets date back to between 2,500 and 3,000 years and are preserved in international museums. This is while rivals of Iranian carpet have emerged in less than 100 years.
“India, Pakistan, Nepal and Turkey are considered Iran's rivals with regard to carpets,” he said.
“Rival nations copy Iranian patterns and market these carpets under their own names.”
Azimzadeh said China used to be a serious rival of Iranian carpets, but is presently the main customer of Iranian hand-woven carpets.
The official noted that close to 2.3 million people are directly involved in the domestic carpet industry.
“By including their families, close to 9 million earn their livelihood in the carpet industry,” he said.
Azimzadeh said the carpet market is experiencing recession due to the global credit crunch.
He lamented that state officials have paid less attention to hand-woven carpet industry in recent years, which has declined Iran’s share in the world carpet market.
“Iran used to account for 60 percent of global carpet market some three decades ago,” he said.
The official said exporters of hand-woven carpets have been active, in spite of the Western sanctions.
Azimzadeh, who has been the top carpet exporter in the past four years, said exporters are considered “economic commanders” and play a key role in earning non-oil revenues.
According to the statistics of Iran Customs Administration, Azimzadeh exported $21 million worth of hand-woven carpets during the year to March 2014.