EU Firms Oppose Anti-Iran Sanctions
Head of Iran’s Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines said US-sponsored economic sanctions against Tehran are political and thoroughly opposed by European firms.
“Anti-Iran sanctions are political. They are being imposed despite the opposition of European economic associations,” Mohammad Nahavandian told a gathering of Iranian businessmen in Belgium on Thursday.
“The volume of trade between Iran and Europe has increased notably over the past decade,” IRNA quoted Nahavandian as saying. “European firms are pressuring their governments to think up ways to bypass these sanctions without having to revise their political stance.”
“However, we must certainly not encourage more sanctions, since the measures increase [trade] costs,” the Iranian official added.
Nahavandian went on to add that having numerous neighbors and a diverse range of trade partners gave Iran a special economic obscurity. “Iranian economy is such that it is incalculable.”
Fresh rounds of UN Security Council and unilateral sanctions have been imposed against the Islamic Republic since June over Tehran’s nuclear program.
While Iranian officials have repeatedly declared that Tehran is only seeking the peaceful applications of nuclear technology, Israel and its Western allies insist that Iran is following a military nuclear program.
Iran rejects the claims, arguing that it has the right to a peaceful nuclear program, as a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency and a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Meanwhile, Iran announced on Wednesday that the volume of its exports to the European countries has increased by 31percent in the current Iranian year (started March 21).
Announcing the above, General-Director of Iran’s Customs Office Ardeshir Mohammadi, reiterated that the country’s imports from Europe also increased 3 percent in comparison with the same period last year.
He also said that the total volume of Iran’s foreign trade reached $44.017 billion in the first six months of the current year.
Iran had announced in August that it has exported $7.7 billion of non-oil products during the first three months of the current Iranian year, showing a 31percent increase compared with the same period last year.
Iran’s non-oil exports have witnessed a 31percent growth from March to July 2010 despite sanctions, Head of Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization Babak Afqahi said at the time.
The country exported over 3,300 types of goods worth $7.7 billion to more than 160 countries in the first quarter of the current Iranian year, the official added.
He said 40 percent of the budget required for imports has been provided via revenues from exporting non-oil products, adding that China, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, India and Afghanistan are the main markets of Iranian products.
Iran will dispatch 123 trade delegations to foreign countries by the end of the current Iranian year (March 20, 2011), the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines deputy director for international affairs stated.
The Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting quoted Mehdi Fakheri as saying that some delegations will be sent to Portugal, Denmark, India, China, and South Africa in the near future to find new markets.
According to the official, Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines have defined 40 target countries.
“Some delegations from Germany, Turkey, India, Spain, and Bosnia have traveled to Iran recently,” he said, noting that 46 foreign delegations visited Iran during the previous Iranian year.
“Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines plans open trade centers in different countries such as Sudan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Turkey, India, and Germany,” he explained.
Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines has 38 joint chambers and councils with foreign countries.
The Economist stated in its September report that Iran’s imports had not risen this year, while its trade balance had increased $10.7 billion.
ISNA reported that last year Iran imported some $56.5 billion worth of goods which will remain the same this year.
The report maintained that imports will increase $300 million and reach $56.8 billion next year.
Imports will continue to rise and reach $57.4 billion in 1391 of the Iranian calendar year (March 2011-March 2012), in 1392 it will reach $58.3 billion and in 1393 it is expected to increase to $60.1 billion, the report showed.
Meanwhile, Iran’s trade balance last year was $10.9 billion and with an increase of $10.7 billion this year it will reach $21.6 billion, according to The Economist.
According to the report the balance is estimated to reach $23.2 billion in 1390, and $25.7 billion in 1391.
In 1392 the trade balance will go up to $23.3 billion, but it will decrease $1 billion in 1393 and reach $22.3 billion.
Carpet Exports Up 49%
Iran has exported $500 million worth of hand-woven carpets in the first half of the current Iranian year (started March 21) posting 49 percent increase against the corresponding period last year.
Announcing the above, head of Iran’s National Carpet Center Feysal Mardasi said that US sanctions on Iran’s hand-woven carpets have proved ineffective as the international market demand for Iranian carpets are on the rise, IRIB reported on Saturday.
“US-engineered unilateral sanctions on the product are not new to us and the Islamic republic has experienced a trend of different sanctions since its establishment,” Mardasi added.
He put the total value of the world’s carpet exports in the first six month to August 22 at $1.3 billion adding Iran’s share accounts for one third of the amount.
Most of the problems facing this traditional art are due to low quality of the raw materials, ignoring consumer interest and marketing as well as the consistent loss of original design patterns, the official noted and added that training programs for producers are underway to tackle the problem.
Iran exports carpets to more than 100 countries in the world.
The US, Germany, UAE, Japan, and Qatar import the highest number of carpets from Iran.
The country produces about five million square meters of carpets annually, of which 80 percent are sold in international markets.
Carpet weaving is an ancient tradition in Iran. The Persian carpet with its fast colors, fine designs and unique texture has always been the most tangible manifestation of Persian art for other nations.
Although carpet production is now mostly mechanized, traditional hand-woven carpets are still widely found all around the country, and usually have higher prices than their machine-woven counterparts due to their exquisite quality