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UK has huge trade imbalance with Iran


Britain has recorded a substantial trade surplus with Iran for more than six years, according to figures published by Foreign Office Minister for Trade Promotion Mike O'Brien, IRNA reported from London.

Since 2001, exports to Iran have also been boosted by increasing state credit offered to British companies, separate figures further show.

In a written reply to parliament on Monday, O'Brien listed British exports to Iran between 1996 and 2002 to be worth over Pnds 2.5 billion (Dlrs 3.8 bn) compared with Iranian exports to the UK valued at only Pnds 326 million during the same period.

The trade figures confirm a substantial fall off in Iranian exports after 1996 when the UK stopped purchasing crude oil from Iran that previously averaged up to Pnds 100 m or more annually. Since then, UK imports from Iran have only averaged around Pnds 30 m.

In contrast, British exports to Iran have averaged between Pnds 245 m to over Pnds 430 m a year. Separate figures show that since the UK restored state cover, the value of exports credits for Iran rose from Pnds 38 m in 2001 to Pnds 83 m last year.

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