The United States sent Iran $546 million in goods from 2001 through last year, government figures show. It exported roughly $146 million worth last year, compared with $8.3 million in 2001, Bush's first year in office. Even adjusted for inflation, that is more than a tenfold increase.
Exports to Iran are a politically loaded but tiny part of U.S. trade....Top U.S. exports to Iran over Bush's years in office include corn, $68 million; ...vitamins, $18 million; [and] bull semen, $12.6 million... The value of cigarettes sold to Iran was more than twice that of the No. 2 category on the export list, vaccines, serums and blood products, $73 million.
Iran is a top customer of Alta Genetics Inc., a Canadian company with an office in Watertown, Wis., that sells bull semen, used to produce healthier, more profitable cattle. "The animals we're working with are genetically superior to those in many parts of the world," said Kevin Muxlow, Alta's global marketing manager.
Also getting Bush administration approval for export to Iran were at least $101,000 worth of bras; $175,000 in sculptures; nearly $96,000 worth of cosmetics; $8,900 in perfume; $30,000 in musical instruments and parts; $21,000 in golf carts and/or snowmobiles; $4,000 worth of movie film; and $3,300 in fur clothing.
Few people or companies asking U.S. permission to trade with Iran are turned down by the Treasury Department, the lead agency for licensing exports to sanctioned countries....Read more...