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Countries: Asia - Middle East -


Key Facts
Local Time GMT + 3.5
Language Farsi (official), Turkish, Arabic
Local currency Dinar (IRR)
Dialling code from UK + 98
GDP 2005 (estimate): US $203.3bn; US $2,926 per capita


British Embassy Tehran and we have received a number of credible reports that the Iranian authorities have put in place undeclared restrictions on goods of UK origin. Some members of the Iranian government have denied this, but others have not done so and said they support such measures. Similar measures are believed to be in place against South Korean imports to Iran.

This last happened in autumn 2003. On that occasion the situation lasted for approximately 2-3 months with little lasting effect.

British Embassy Tehran are investigating and trying to obtain confirmation of the measures and will make appropriate representations to the Iranian authorities.  In the meantime we are advising UK companies planning to ship goods to Iran to re-examine how they plan to do so in the light of the current situation

In 2004, UK exports to Iran were valued at £444m. Trade and economic relations between the UK and Iran have improved in recent years. Both countries recognise the potential for boosting bilateral relations.

Note that where you know Iran is the final destination of your goods, export control obligations potentially apply regardless of the shipping route. For more details on export controls, please see the Export Control Organisation website:

For further information about this please contact Paul Isolani Smyth, Senior Manager Iran Unit UKTI. E-mail:  Tel: 020 7215 4744 .

There have been a number of reports that Iranian authorities have placed undeclared restrictions on UK imports. The British Embassy in Tehran is investigating further and, in the meantime, UK companies should re-examine how they ship goods to Iran. Contact UK Trade & Investment to discuss further.

What are the opportunities?

Iran is one of the most exciting countries in the region for business development. After years of economic self-sufficiency, Iran now recognises the need for the transfer of technology and management skills across a wide range of sectors.

Iran is a difficult market for UK companies to penetrate, although if done successfully it can be very rewarding. The main opportunity for UK businesses is in providing capital and equipment to Iran's priority sectors:

  • Oil, gas and petrochemicals
  • Mining
  • Power
  • Agriculture
  • Packaging
  • Automotive

How can we help?

For insight into a particular sector in Iran, see our Sector in Country Reports (registered users only).

To find specific export opportunities for Iran, see our Business Opportunities (registered users only).

For information about what we can offer potential and established UK exporters, see Our Services.

Additional background information on Iran can be found on the website of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

Source of GDP data: IMF World Economic Outlook Database

UK Trade & Investment Contact:
Publication date: 06/02/2006

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