On Monday, Iran secured a $300 million deal with Qatar to supply saffron to the Gulf country in what has been described as the world’s largest ever saffron export deal.
The recently inked agreement, with an initial estimated worth of $300 million, will see approximately 200 tons of Iranian saffron shipped to Qatar.
According to IRNA, the agreement was signed during a meeting between the Minister of Finance, HE Ali bin Ahmed al-Kuwari, and Iran’s Ambassador to Doha, Hamidreza Dehghani.
Under the terms of the deal, the first shipment is expected to be delivered to Qatar on October 1. This deal is significant and comes amid expanding economic and political ties between Doha and Tehran, particularly in the post 2017 blockade context.
Iran ranks first in the world in the production of saffron, followed by India and Afghanistan. Iran produces approximately 587 million dollars worth of the spice annually. In 2020, the Islamic Republic exported an estimated $108 million’s worth, ultimately securing Iran’s status as the first largest exporter of saffron in the world. However, due to U.S. sanctions, saffron exports have depleted in recent years.
Saffron is called “red gold,” and it is the most expensive spice in the world due to the nature of its harvest and production process.