News ID: 166975
Published: 0535 GMT August 16, 2016

Iranian carpets retake US market

Iranian carpets retake US market

The removal of anti-Iran sanctions has led to a boost in Iran's rug trade, with exports to the US reclaiming lost ground in a big way.

Sanctions imposed in 2010 and later intensified in 2012 pulled the rug from under the much-coveted Iranian carpet business, allowing cheaper craft from Pakistan, India and China to gain a foothold in the US and other key markets, wrote Press TV.

The nuclear accord reached in July 2015 has put Iran back on the market and the country's elegant hand-knotted carpets have returned to their traditional destinations.

On Tuesday, Head of Iranian National Carpet Center Hamid Kargar said that Iran's carpet exports to the US significantly grew in the four months since March 20 to reach $27.6 million.

The figure compared with the export of Iranian carpets valued at $80 million annually to the United States prior to the imposition of sanctions which brought the figure down to zero, IRNA quoted him as saying.

Kargar said Iran exported carpets worth $83 million in the three months from March 20 showing a rise of about 40 percent from the figure during the same period last year.

Iranian caviar, pistachios, saffron and carpets and US commercial aircraft and their parts are among the items allowed for limited business with the US.

Carpets are a major source of revenue for Iran's $400 billion economy behind oil and gas and their derivatives, and pistachio nuts.

In 2011, the country exported carpets worth more than $600 million and sought  o raise it to $1 billion in the next year but intensified sanctions suspended the plan.

In the United States, Persian carpets are offered from $200,000 to $5,000 a piece depending on the type of the fabric, design and intricacy employed in their making.

Those produced in India, Pakistan and China sell for about half the price of Persian carpets due to their lower quality, according to dealers.

In recent years, Iranian rug dealers have switched to the Asian market, catering especially to the growing crave in China and the UAE where many affluent families see exotic Persian carpets as an investment.

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