Iran Exports First Petrochemicals to Egypt

An Iranian official said Tehran has exported its petrochemicals to Egypt, a country with which it has still not restored diplomatic ties broken more than 30 years ago.

"The first shipment of 25,000 tons of petrochemicals was sent to Egypt," Iran's Mehr news agency quoted Reza Hamzelou, director of Petrochemicals Commercial Co, which sells petrochemicals at home and abroad, as saying.

Announcement of the shipment, whose timing was not disclosed, comes a week after the two countries resumed direct flights between Tehran and Cairo.

Iran and Egypt have still not restored full-fledged diplomatic ties broken after the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran.

Iran "would increase its exports of petrochemical products to the Middle East," Hamzelou said even as Tehran's vital oil, gas and petrochemical industries are the target of Western sanctions.

So far, he said, Tehran has exported "4.3 billion dollars (3.1 billion euros) of petrochemical products" in the Iranian year starting March 20, which is "an increase of 56 percent over the same period last year."

The previous year, Iran exported 6.5 billion dollars worth.

Hamzelou said the bulk of this year's exports, 41.5 percent, went to the Far East. That was followed by 23.9 percent to the Middle East and 10.7 percent to India.(AFP)

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