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Companies Are Ready To Do Business With Iran


OK, now, we've been exploring what might happen now that sanctions have been lifted against Iran. As we've been doing that, we found a rug maker who has been anxiously waiting for this day.

KHASHAYAR NIROUMAND: Actually, I'm a news guy, and I always follow news about sanction, and I always hopeful to have all sanction removed.


Khashayar Niroumand is the general manager of a rug workshop in Isfahan, Iran, and he knows what he's going to do next.

KHASHAYAR NIROUMAND: The first thing - I want to send one shipment to the United States because I really interested to do it soon (laughter) because we are ready.

MONTAGNE: That shipment will wind up in a showroom in San Francisco run by a couple named Melina and Dodd Raissnia.

GREENE: Dodd was born in Iran. Back in 2002, he and Melina founded Peace Industry. That's the felt rug company Niroumand works for back in Iran. Felt rugs are among the oldest types of rugs in the world, and Peace Industry makes them using the same methods that have been used for thousands of years.

MELINA RAISSNIA: It's a very primitive technology. Basically, it's just pressing wool fibers with water - hot water. So there's all different techniques for doing that, from stomping, hammering - like with mallets - kicking. It's a very physical process.

GREENE: Now, Melina is excited about what the lifting of sanctions means on many levels.

RAISSNIA: I really hope that this means that our business can thrive. And if I may speak for everyone, I think that this is really a game changer, you know, in geopolitics.

MONTAGNE: And for Niroumand back in Isfahan, the lifting of the sanctions is also more than just economics.

KHASHAYAR NIROUMAND: We don't sell much at our work just as a business. Actually, it is something cultural because felt rug is one of the ancient handcraft in Iran. And when we import it into the United States, they'll look at it something cultural.

MONTAGNE: And for the customers in San Francisco...

RAISSNIA: We don't really talk that much about politics with our customers. When they come into the store, they're really just looking for a nice rug.

MONTAGNE: A nice rug, imported from Iran. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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