Iran exports caviar to US

FNA- Iran announced that it has exported its prized caviar to the US after receiving the necessary license from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“We have exported 10kg of natural caviar to the US last year after receiving license from the FDA in the years 2016 and 2017,” Managing-Director of Agricultural Services of Specialized Holding Company Abbas Rajayee said on Wednesday.

He added that Iran intends to increase exports of the precious product to other countries.

As Iran’s economy tries to rebound from years of harsh international sanctions, producers of black caviar — that salt-cured delicacy associated with the rich and famous, with a price tag to match — are also eyeing a comeback.

Once among Iran’s most famous exports, the industry nearly collapsed because of trade restrictions and an international clampdown on the capture of sturgeon from the Caspian Sea. The long, prehistoric fish, whose glittery, bead-like eggs make the choicest caviar, had been driven nearly to extinction by overfishing.

Now, dozens of Iranian producers are raising sturgeon legally on fish farms, just as the 2015 nuclear agreement Iran signed with six world powers has slowly reopened foreign markets to Iranian products.

After the United States lifted an embargo on Iranian goods in January 2016, the first shipment of Iranian caviar in nearly a decade reached the US last year: a modest 18 pounds of the prized beluga variety, some of which ended up for sale at stores frequented by Iranian expatriates in Los Angeles and other cities.

The shipment was worth about $16,000 before retail markup, or about as much as Iran’s $41 billion oil and gas industry generates in 12 seconds. Caviar alone, no matter how costly, is not going to resuscitate Iran’s economy.