On September 29th 2010, the United States government introduced sanctions on bringing Iranian products into the USA, including Persian rugs, oil and caviar. The aim of these sanctions was to try to put pressure on the Iranian government to follow international regulations concerning their development of nuclear technology, and to follow international human rights standards concerning the treatment of their citizens. Although these sanctions aim to put pressure on the Iranian government, these sanctions also have an effect on the ordinary people of Iran whose businesses include the international trade of authentic rugs, caviar and pistachios. Unfortunately, these sanctions are necessary to attempt to put pressure on the government of Iran, for both international security reasons and to try to encourage humane treatment of Iranian citizens.
Following the introductions of these sanctions, some rug owners and buyers have begun to worry about the legality of owning or buying a Persian piece in America, however they do not need to be concerned as long as they obey the regulations concerning rugs. Firstly, it is NOT illegal to own a Persian rug in any capacity, so long as it was obtained legally, therefore owners of authentic Persian pieces from Iran do not have to be concerned that they are breaking the law, and they do not have to consider having the rug destroyed as part of the sanctions. Current rug owners should simply be happy that they are lucky enough to own such a beautiful, genuine item.
Secondly, it is not illegal to buy Persian rugs within the United States, as long as they were legally imported into the United States of America on or before the 29th September 2010, when the newest trade embargo came into force. The trade in rugs which are already in the United States is perfectly legal because they do not support the Iranian economy. Luckily, there are already a large number of wonderful, genuine Persian pieces in the United States, in the hands of collectors and dealers and it is entirely legal to purchase these pieces, because purchasing from a registered dealer who already has the piece in America will only benefit the American economy, and not the Iranian economy. Continuing to buy rugs from American dealers will help to support the American economy, so it is actually encouraged!
Thirdly, it is entirely legal to sell on any rug which you own. One of the positive things about the sanctions on rugs is that any authentic rugs which you own may have actually increased in value due to the sanctions. Because new rugs are no longer able to be brought into the country, even though the demand for these pieces has stayed the same, old rugs can now be sold on for higher prices to satisfy this demand. Although the value of authentic rugs will continue to increase the longer the sanctions against Iran continue to be in place, it is unclear how long these sanctions will last for, so the increase in sales and investment value may not last forever.