Empire Strikes Back: Iran Bans Hundreds of US-Made Goods

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Iran has published the list of more than 200 US-made goods subject for an import ban ahead of the lifting of international sanctions, which could send foreign products flowing into the country, Iranian media wrote on Monday.

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The list, released by the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran, includes an assortment of 227 goods, including chewing gum, cigarettes, CDs, DVDs, billiard tables, office equipment, luxury goods, food, tea and paintings, in addition to defense equipment such as tanks and armored vehicles,  Tasnim news agency reported on Monday.

The list was drawn up in response to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s directive to block American imports.

US products often find their way into the Iranian marketplace through back channels.

There are other routes such as licensing workarounds and direct trade for goods not covered by US sanctions which result in American products ending up in the Iranian market.

US food and beverages such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi have local bottlers and distributors in Iran, but they say they have nothing to do with the American brands.

US brands also make up the bulk of contraband cigarettes in Iran. Up to 6-7 billion Marlboro cigarettes, made by Philip Morris USA, are annually smoked in Iran, the agency reported.

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