According to the latest official data, Iranian hand-woven carpets exports fell from $426 million in 2017 to $238 million in 2018, and experienced another drop last year, ending with approximately $69 million.
Earlier in August 2018, Fereshteh Dastpak, the head of Iran's National Carpet Center, announced that the value of Iran's hand-woven carpet exports amounted to $ 1.2 billion annually over the past decade, most of which were exported to the United States. However, she admitted that the figure dropped sharply during Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's presidency, following the Islamic Republic's international sanctions.
Iranian hand-woven carpet exports peaked in 2017, immediately after the implementation of Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). In the same year, the U.S. imported the highest proportion of Iran's world-renowned rugs with 28 percent.
Meanwhile, Germany, Lebanon, and Britain were the other major customers of Iranian carpets.
Carpets and pistachios are Iran's most significant traditional exports to the U.S. Nevertheless, two years ago, Washington banned the import of handmade rugs from Iran.
The U.S. Statistics Center's latest report shows that the country imported only $3 million from Iran in the first half of 2020.