U.S. exports to Iran grew 32% in 2012 despite sanctions
Suitland, MD, United States (4E) – The amount of U.S. exports to Iran grew 32 percent to $199.5 million in the first eight months of 2012, from $150.8 million during the same period last year despite economic sanctions imposed by Washington, according to the Census Bureau.
Wheat and other grains worth $89 million comprised bulk of the exports to Iran from January to August, the bureau said on Monday. In 2011, the amount of U.S. corn exports to Iran was $21 million.
Other exports to Iran during the 8-month period were dairy products worth $20 million, medical apparatus worth $8 million and medicines worth $14.9 million. The dairy product and medical apparatus exports were higher than last year’s sales of $7.8 million and $4.7 million, respectively.
For the entire 2011, U.S. exports to Iran amounted to $229 million, according to the bureau’s data. The figure is higher than the 2010 total export worth $208 million.
Iran can still import from the U.S., but American exporters are discouraged by the difficulty in getting payment as big Iranian banks have been blacklisted by the U.S. Treasury as punishment for Tehran’s alleged support for terrorism and building of a nuclear weapon. Iranian banks, however, can indirectly transact with U.S. banks through banks in other countries.
Restriction on U.S. exports to Iran began in 1987 as ordered by then President Ronald Reagan. In May 1995, President Bill Clinton prohibited any U.S. trade with Iran, but eased the ban when reformist Iranian president Seyyed Mohammad Khatami was elected in 1997.